US3890874A - Keying mechanism for wind instruments - Google Patents

Keying mechanism for wind instruments Download PDF

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US3890874A
US3890874A US43259074A US3890874A US 3890874 A US3890874 A US 3890874A US 43259074 A US43259074 A US 43259074A US 3890874 A US3890874 A US 3890874A
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hole
cover
means
key
flat
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Charles N Vedder
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Charles N Vedder
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    • GPHYSICS
    • G10MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS; ACOUSTICS
    • G10DSTRINGED MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS; WIND MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS; ACCORDIONS OR CONCERTINAS; PERCUSSION MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS; MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G10D9/00Details of, or accessories for, wind musical instruments
    • G10D9/04Valves; Valve controls
    • G10D9/043Valves; Valve controls for woodwind instruments

Abstract

A keying mechanism for wind instruments wherein a second hole is provided for a particular note, such as the E flat on a flute, at the same axial location as the original hole for that note. A mechanical linkage is used to automatically open the second hole when another hole in the instrument is uncovered. In the flute, the mechanical linkage is arranged to automatically open the second E flat hole when the note E or a higher note is fingered, thus providing the proper venting and pitch, and allowing the little finger of the player''s right hand to be used more easily to manipulate other keys.

Description

United States Patent 11 1 Vedder 1 1 KEYING MECHANISM FOR WIND INSTRUMENTS [76] Inventor: Charles N. Vedder, PO. Box 2075,

Ventura, Calif. 93001 [22] Filed: Jan. 10, I974 [21] Appl. No.: 432,590

52 U.S. Cl. 84/384 [51] Int. Cl. Gl0d 7/02 [58] Field of Search 84/380, 382, 384, 385

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 264,61 1 9/1882 Berteling 84/380 901,913 10/1908 .lulliot 84/384 1,317,219 9/1919 Price 84/382 2,234,107 3/1941 Comer.... 84/380 2,791,145 5/1957 Christensen 84/382 3,212,385 10/1965 Acton 1 84/382 3,526,165 9/1970 Robbins 84/382 1 June 24, 1975 Primary Examiner-Richar'd B. Wilkinson Assistant E.\-aminerlohn F. Gonzales Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Fulwider, Patton, Rieber, Lee and Utecht 5 7 ABSTRACT A keying mechanism for wind instruments wherein a second hole is provided for a particular note, such as the E flat on a flute, at the same axial location as the original hole for that note. A mechanical linkage is used to automatically open the second hole when another hole in the instrument is uncovered. In the flute, the mechanical linkage is arranged to automatically open the second E flat ho1e when the note E or a higher note is fingered, thus providing the proper venting and pitch, and allowing the little finger of the players right hand to be used more easily to manipulate other keys.

3 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures KEYING MECHANISM FOR WIND INSTRUMENTS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates generally to musical wind instruments. and, more particularly, to keying mechanisms for wind instruments.

As is well known, wind instruments such as the flute, clarinet, oboe, bassoon, and saxophone, depend for their operation on the vibration of a column of air by means of a vibrating reed or a player's lips at a mouthpiece. The pitch of the resulting musical note depends, of course, on the effective length of the column, and this may be varied by selectively venting the column through holes which may be opened or closed by the players fingers, either directly or with finger-operated keys. Usually, there are six finger holes, for the three main fingers of each hand. For each type ofinstrument. keying mechanisms have evolved to allow the player to produce every note in the chromatic scale, but, in some instances, a particular note or the transition from one note to another is very difficult to execute because of the requirements for the keying or fingering of that note.

One such instance arises from the fingering requirements of the Boehm flute. This flute mechanism and the corresponding Boehm-system clarinet mechanism have become practically world-wide standards. In the Boehm flute, and in many alternative designs, fingering of almost any note above low D (the note one tone above middle C) preferably requires the actuation of a so-called E flat key which opens an E flat hole in the flute. Without use of the E flat key for those notes, there is insufficient venting of the flute, and the resulting sounds are breathy" and slightly flat. Use of the E flat key, on the other hand, gives proper pitch and improves intonation.

Operation ofthe E flat key is often difficult, however, since it must normally be operated by the little finger of the right hand, and since this finger may also be required to operate other keys in fingering certain notes. Consequently, there is a need for a keying mechanism for wind instruments which automatically opens a hole, such as the E flat hole, and thereby facilitates fingering of certain notes on the instrument. The present invention fulfills this need.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention resides in the provision of a second hole for a note to be automatically actuated, the second hole being practically identical to the original hole for that note, but angularly spaced from it around the column of the instrument. Basically, and in general terms, the mechanism of the invention comprises a cover for the second hole and a mechanical linkage adpated to lift the cover from the second hole when the player covers or uncovers a particular hole in the instrument.

More, specifically, and by way of example, the invention may be applied to a flute to provide a second E flat hole which is automatically opened when the note E or any higher note is fingered. In a presently preferred embodiment of the invention, the mechanical linkage to uncover the second E flat hole is connected with a ringkey operable when the lower of the six basic fingerholes of the flute is covered. This hole is uncovered to play the note E and most of the notes above E, and the mechanism of the invention ensures that, when the hole is uncovered, the second E flat hole will also be uncovered. Thus, the notes E and above will be played with the correct pitch and intonation automatically.

The mechanical linkage in this preferred embodiment comprises two rocker-arms, one supporting the cover of the second E flat hole and the other attached to the ring-key, the two being connected so that inward movement of the ring-key towards its hole results in inward movement of the cover. Resilient means urge the cover and the ring-key into a normally open position.

In an alternate embodiment of the invention, a ringkey is connected through a pivoted link to a shaft which is rotatable by movement of the ring-key to open or close two separate E flat holes simultaneously. A cover for one of the E flat holes is connected to a crank on the rotatable shaft, while a cover for the other E flat hole is attached to one end of a center-pivoted lever,

the other end of which is movable by another crank on tive means of simplifying the fingering and improving the intonation of the flute and other wind instruments. Furthermore, it may be either incorporated as a feature of newly designed instruments or added relatively eas- I ily to existing conventional instruments. Other aspects and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the following more detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a portion of a flute including a second E flat hole controllable in accordance with the invention; y

FIG. 2 is an enlarged cross-sectional view taken substantially along the line 2-2 in FIG. 1 and showing the second E flat hole open;

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view similar to FIG. 2 but drawn to a reduced scale and showing the second E flat hole closed;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a portion of a flute and FIG. 5 is an enlarged cross-sectional view taken substantially along the line 5-5 in FIG. 4.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION As shown in the drawings for purposes of illustration, the present invention concerns an improved keying mechanism for wind instruments, particularly woodwinds, and, in a presently preferred embodiment, it is incorporated into a flute. A flute is usually manufactured and sold in two or three separate joints" or sections which are then fitted together to form a single elongated tube. A row of six' basic holes is spaced along the length of the tube, and each hole may be covered by one of three fingers of each hand of a player. Only a portion of the lower or foot" joint 10 is illustrated and the foot of the flute is at the right-hand end 11 of the portion illustrated in FIG. 1.

Like the other joints of the flute, the foot joint 10 is formed as a tube 12 with a generally central bore 13.

illustrating an alternate embodiment of the inventions.

which may be cylindrical. In the portion of the foot joint illustrated in FIG. 1, holes and 16 are the lowest-positioned two of the six basic holes in the flute. Theflute is normally held with the foot joint 10 in the right hand, and the holes 15 and 16 may be covered by the right middle finger andthe right ring finger, respectively; I Toward the foot end 11 is a C key 17 which may be operated by" the little finger to cover a normally open C hole 18. The C key 17 has a small hole 19 through it sdthat it may be operated to cover the C hole either fullyor partially. For example, when all six basic holes are covered and thelC'h'ole 18 is covered, the middle C note is sounded when the flute is played; but if the C key 17 is operated with its small hole 19 uncovered, the C sharp note is sounded. With the C hole 18 uncovered completely, the note D is produced when all six basic holes are covered. v

Between the C hole 18 and the ring-finger hole '16 is an E flat hole 21 (FIGS. 2 and 3). This is normally closed by a spring-loaded cover'22, but may be opened bymeans of an E flat key 23 usually operated by the littlefingenWith all six basic holes covered and the E flat hole 21 uncovered, the E flat note is produced. To produce' the note E,both the hole 16 and the E flat hole 21 must beuncovered, and to produce almost any note aboveE', the E flat hole must remain open to provide proper venting of the instrument, and to maintain proper-pitch of the desired note. This raises a problem, since the l'ittle finger is also required to manipulate other-wke ys on the instrument when certain notes are fingered.

In accordance with the invention, an additional hole 25 is provided at the same axial location on the flute as an existing hole, such as the E flat hole 2l, and the additional hole may be closed simultaneously with the opening or 'closing of another existing hole, such as with the covering of the hole 16 bythe ring finger of the right hand. Consequently, when the hole 16 is uncovered to play the note E, the additional E flat hole 25 is automatically uncovered to provide the required venting and accuracy of pitch.

Morespecifically; when the ring-finger hole 16 is closed, a ring-key 26 surrounding the hole may be moved by the same finger down over a short cylindrical projection 27 'extendingslightlyabove the outer surface of the tube 12. The ring-key 26 is mounted at one end of a center-pivoted lever 28 which is pivoted near its' center on a bearing shaft 29 mounted in generally parallel relation with the axis of the tube 12. Downward or inward movement of the ring-key 26 causes upward or outward movement of the opposite end 31 of the center-pivoted lever 28. This opposite end 31 is pivotally connected with one end 32 of a second centerpivoted lever 33 independently mounted on a second bearing shaft'34 generally at right angles to the first, and supporting ahole-cover 35 at its other end. A spring (not shown) urges the hole-cover 35 into a normally open positiona'nd the ring-key 26 outwardly from the hole 16.

Consequently,-'the additional E flat hole 26 is kept closed solong as the ring-key 26 is depressed by the fing er covering hole 16. However, as soon as the hole 16 is u'ncovered, to play notes E and above, and the ring- 6 An alternate embodiment of the present invention is illustrated in FIGS. 4 and 5, in which corresponding primed numerals are used to label features with exact counterparts in FIGS. l-3. In this embodiment, the ring-key 26 may be used to simultaneously control the opening and closing of two separate E flat holes 40 and 41. The ring-key 26 is mounted by a short arm 42 on a bearing shaft 43, and is pivotally connected to a link 44, which, in turn. is pivotally connected to a short crank 45 on a rotatable shaft 46 mounted on endbearings 47 and 48 on the tube 12' in generally parallel relation with the tube axis. When the ring-key 26 is depressed, the link 44 and the crank 45, which .is generally oriented between the shaft 46 and the tube 12, turn the shaft approximately one-quarter turn in a counterclockwise direction as viewed from the foot end 11.

A hole cover 57 positioned over the first E flat hole 40 may be lifted independently by a conventional Eflat key 58. A circular plate 49 of approximately the same si7 e as the hole-cover 57 is rigidly secured to the top of the hole-cover and slightly offset therefrom, as best shown in FIG. 4. A short arm 51 connected to the shaft 46 extends under the plate 49. Thus, when the shaft 46 is rotated in a clockwise direction (as viewed from the foot end 11'), the short arm 51 lifts the plate 49 and,i

means of the conventional E flat key 58. A second hole-cover 52 is positioned over the second Ezflat'hole 41 and is carried on one end of a center-pivoted lever 53 mounted on a bearing shaft 54. As the shaft 46 rotates in the counterclockwise direction, another crank 55 on the shaft moves the opposite end of the centerpivoted lever 53 outwardly from the tube 12, thus moving the second hole-cover 52 to close the second E flat hole 41.

As in the first-described embodiment, a spring (not shown) urges the ring-key 26' away from the tube 12' and, consequently, urges the hole-covers 57 and 52 away from the E flat holes 40 and 41, respectively. Therefore, there will be an atuomatic E flat opening if the ring-key 26' is released. However, even if the ringkey 26 is held down, thereby rotating the shaft 46 counterclockwise and closing the second E flat hole 41, the first E flat hole 41 may still be uncovered by means of the conventional E flat key 58.

It will be appreciated from the foregoing that the present invention greatly facilitates the fingering of certain notes and transitions between notes on the flute and other wind instruments. Moreover, it is relatively uncomplicated to install on existing, conventionalinstruments or to manufacture in new instruments.

7 Although particular embodiments of the invention have been described in detail herein for purposes of illustration, it will be appreciated by those of ordinary skill in the artthat various modifications may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. Accordingly, the invention is not to be limited except as by the appended claims. I

I claim:

1. In a flute having a tubular body with a plurality of holes therethrough selectively coverable by a players fingers, and including an E flat key operable to open a normally closed E flat hole,,the improvement'wherein:

the body includes an additional E flat hole atsubstantially the same axial location as the original E flat hole; and

the flute further includes a cover for said additional E flat hole, a key operable simultaneously with the covering of a particular existing hole, mechanical means linking said key with said cover,

and

resilient means urging said cover open; whereby said additional E flat hole is automatically uncovered as said key is released by removal of a finger from the particular existing hole, and simultaneous operation of the E flat key is rendered unnecessary.

2. The improvement as defined in claim 1, wherein said mechanical means includes:

a first center-pivoted lever carrying said cover at one of its ends; and

a second center-pivoted lever attached to said key by one end and pivotally attached by its other end to the other end of said first centerpivoted lever, whereby depression of said key results in an inward movement of said cover and release of said key results in an outward movement of said cover.

3. In a wind instrument having a generally tubular body with a plurality of holes therethrough selectively coverable by a players fingers, and a plurality of keys operable to cover and uncover other holes in the instru ment to produce desired notes, the improvement wherein the body includes an additional hole at substantially the same axial location as a first existing hole, and wherein the instrument further includes:

cover means for said additional hole, movable between two positions;

mechanical means connected with said cover means and operable to move said cover means simultaneously with opening and closing a second existing hole on the instrument, said mechanical means having key means pivotally mounted on the body for movement with respect to said second existing hole, I

a rotatable shaft mounted on the body,

linkage means connecting said key means with said shaft to rotate said shaft in response to movement of said key means,

a center-pivoted lever having one end connected to said cover means,

a crank attached to said shaft and pivotally connected withsaid center-pivoted lever to effect a displacement thereof in response to rotation of said shaft, and

resilient means urging said cover means open;

cover means for said first existing hole; and an additional crank attached to said shaft and extending generally radially therefrom toward and beneath said cover means for said first existing hole; whereby, on 'release of said key means, said resilient means rotates said shaft, thereby lifting said cover means for said first existing hole and said cover means for said additional hole.

l l l

Claims (3)

1. In a flute having a tubular body with a plurality of holes therethrough selectively coverable by a player''s fingers, and including an E flat key operable to open a normally closed E flat hole, the improvement wherein: the body includes an additional E flat hole at substantially the same axial location as the original E flat hole; and the flute further includes a cover for said additional E flat hole, a key operable simultaneously with the covering of a particular existing hole, mechanical means linking said key with said cover, and resilient means urging said cover open; whereby said additional E flat hole is automatically uncovered as said key is released by removal of a finger from the particular existing hole, and simultaneous operation of the E flat key is rendered unnecessary.
2. The improvement as defined in claim 1, wherein said mechanical means includes: a first center-pivoted lever carrying said cover at one of its ends; and a second center-pivoted lever attached to said key by one end and pivotally attached by its other end to the other end of said first center-pivoted lever, whereby depression of said key results in an inward movement of said cover and release of said key results in an outward movement of said cover.
3. In a wind instrument having a generally tubular body with a plurality of holes therethrough selectively coverable by a player''s fingers, and a plurality of keys operable to cover and uncover other holes in the instrument to produce desired notes, the improvement wherein the body includes an additional hole at substantially the same axial location as a first existing hole, and wherein the instrument further includes: cover means for said additional hole, movable between two positions; mechanical means connected with said cover means and operable to move said cover means simultaneously with opening and closing a second existing hole on the instrument, said mechanical means having key means pivotally mounted on the body for movement with respect to said second existing hole, a rotatable shaft mounted on the body, linkage means connecting said key means with said shaft to rotate said shaft in response to movement of said key means, a center-pivoted lever having one end connected to said cover means, a crank attached to said shaft and pivotally connected with said center-pivoted lever to effect a displacement thereof in response to rotation of said shaft, and resilient means urging said cover means open; cover means for said first existing hole; and an additional crank attached to said shaft and extending generally radially therefrom toward and beneath said cover means for said first existing hole; whereby, on release of said key means, said resilient means rotates said shaft, thereby lifting said cover means for said first existing hole and said cover means for said additional hole.
US3890874A 1974-01-10 1974-01-10 Keying mechanism for wind instruments Expired - Lifetime US3890874A (en)

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Cited By (9)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4714000A (en) * 1985-01-29 1987-12-22 Braun Anton J Piccolo flute
FR2606541A1 (en) * 1986-11-06 1988-05-13 Parmenon Michel Creation of a resonance key of low B on a flute
US5044248A (en) * 1989-10-27 1991-09-03 Yamaha Corporation German bassoon equipped with improved pianissimo key mechanism
US5309807A (en) * 1990-07-30 1994-05-10 Kingma Eva K Flute
FR2778010A1 (en) * 1998-04-28 1999-10-29 Selmer & Cie Henri Saxophone
WO2008024779A2 (en) * 2006-08-21 2008-02-28 Baldwin Katherine L Wind instrument with compliant actuator structures
EP2138995A1 (en) * 2008-06-27 2009-12-30 Ernst Reißner Fingering mechanism for woodwind instruments
US9257105B1 (en) 2014-11-18 2016-02-09 Kanichi Nagahara C# mechanism for flutes and piccolos
GB2547473A (en) * 2016-02-18 2017-08-23 Esmonde Mark Flute keywork variant

Citations (7)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US264611A (en) * 1882-09-19 Theodore berteling
US901913A (en) * 1906-02-20 1908-10-20 Jean Mignolet Flute.
US1317219A (en) * 1919-09-30 Planooraph co
US2234107A (en) * 1940-07-25 1941-03-04 Buescher Band Instr Company Key pivot action
US2791145A (en) * 1954-03-31 1957-05-07 Oscar E Christensen Clarinets
US3212385A (en) * 1964-04-14 1965-10-19 Boosey & Hawkes Ltd Clarinets
US3526165A (en) * 1968-09-23 1970-09-01 Jack W Robbins Clarinets

Patent Citations (7)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US264611A (en) * 1882-09-19 Theodore berteling
US1317219A (en) * 1919-09-30 Planooraph co
US901913A (en) * 1906-02-20 1908-10-20 Jean Mignolet Flute.
US2234107A (en) * 1940-07-25 1941-03-04 Buescher Band Instr Company Key pivot action
US2791145A (en) * 1954-03-31 1957-05-07 Oscar E Christensen Clarinets
US3212385A (en) * 1964-04-14 1965-10-19 Boosey & Hawkes Ltd Clarinets
US3526165A (en) * 1968-09-23 1970-09-01 Jack W Robbins Clarinets

Cited By (14)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4714000A (en) * 1985-01-29 1987-12-22 Braun Anton J Piccolo flute
FR2606541A1 (en) * 1986-11-06 1988-05-13 Parmenon Michel Creation of a resonance key of low B on a flute
US5044248A (en) * 1989-10-27 1991-09-03 Yamaha Corporation German bassoon equipped with improved pianissimo key mechanism
US5309807A (en) * 1990-07-30 1994-05-10 Kingma Eva K Flute
FR2778010A1 (en) * 1998-04-28 1999-10-29 Selmer & Cie Henri Saxophone
WO2001031626A1 (en) * 1998-04-28 2001-05-03 Henri Selmer & Cie Improvements to saxophones for enhancing the accuracy of its c sharp notes
WO2008024779A2 (en) * 2006-08-21 2008-02-28 Baldwin Katherine L Wind instrument with compliant actuator structures
WO2008024779A3 (en) * 2006-08-21 2008-06-12 Katherine L Baldwin Wind instrument with compliant actuator structures
EP2138995A1 (en) * 2008-06-27 2009-12-30 Ernst Reißner Fingering mechanism for woodwind instruments
US20090320667A1 (en) * 2008-06-27 2009-12-31 Reisner Ernst Fingering mechanism for woodwind instruments
US7851685B2 (en) * 2008-06-27 2010-12-14 Ernst Reiβner Fingering mechanism for woodwind instruments
US9257105B1 (en) 2014-11-18 2016-02-09 Kanichi Nagahara C# mechanism for flutes and piccolos
GB2547473A (en) * 2016-02-18 2017-08-23 Esmonde Mark Flute keywork variant
GB2547473B (en) * 2016-02-18 2018-09-05 Esmonde Mark Flute keywork variant

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