US527742A - Wind reed musical instrument - Google Patents

Wind reed musical instrument Download PDF


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US527742A US527742DA US527742A US 527742 A US527742 A US 527742A US 527742D A US527742D A US 527742DA US 527742 A US527742 A US 527742A
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    • G10D7/00General design of wind musical instruments
    • G10D7/06Beating-reed wind instruments, e.g. single or double reed wind instruments
    • G10D7/066Clarinets


(No Model.) P. J. DEVAULT.
,742- Patented Oct. 16, 1894.
SPECIFICATION forming part of Letters Patent No. 527,742, dated October 16, 1894.
Application filed March 10, 1894. Serial No- 503,082. (No model.)
T0 00% whom it may concern.-
Be it known that I, PHILIP J. DEVAUL'I, a citizen of the United States of America, residing at Denver, in the county of Arapahoe and State of Colorado, have invented certain new and useful Improvements in Wind Reed Musical Instruments; and I do declare the following to be a full, clear, and exact description of the invention, such as will enable others skilled in the art to which it appertains to make and usethe same, reference being had to the accompanying drawings, and to the letters and figures of reference marked thereon, which form a part of this specification.
My invention relates to improvements in wind, reed musical instruments; and its object is to simplify and facilitate the fingering of these instruments and render them more nearly perfect in intonation, and the sound more even throughout.
In this specification, I shall describe the invention as applied to the clarinet; and my improved construction will be fully understood byreference to the accompanying drawings in which is illustrated an embodiment thereof- In the drawings, Figure 1 is a front View of a clarinet provided with my improvements, or a view of the side which is uppermost when the instrument is held in position for use. Fig. 2 is a fragmentary view of the same shown on a larger scale. Fig. 3 is a similar view of the same part of the instrument, but seen from the opposite side. Fig. 4c is a fragmentary view of the instrument given a quarter turn from the position shown in Fig. 1, but
in the opposite direction from that necessary to show Fig. 3. Fig. 5 is a section taken through the body of the instrument on the line sic-00, Figs. 1 and at. Fig. 6 is a section taken on the line yy, Figs. 1, 2 and 3. Fig.
7 is a section taken on the line z-z, Figs. 1
and 2, and illustrating the double cover. Fig. 8 is a perspective View illustrating a sleeve, the cover attached thereto by means of a stem, and the projections at the extremities of the sleeve. Fig. 9 is a perspective view in detail, of a cover provided with a raised portion to facilitate what I term gliding with the fingers.
by springs, while the covers are held open by springs. The keys A, B, O, are lever-like in action, being pressed on one end to raise the other, thereby opening ahole. The covers, on the contrary, are pressed to close the holes. The parts which are connected with the covers 13, 14 and 15 to operate them, are called keys, as the parts marked D, E, F and G in the drawings.
' It will be observed from Fig. 1 of the drawings that the body of the instrument and the keys A, B, O, in my improvedinstrument are not changed from the ordinary construction of similar instruments; but the construction, arrangement and operation of the covers designated by the numerals 1 to 15, both inclusive, are new, and constitute my invention.
The holes 16 which are bored in the tubular body 16 of the instrument to give the different sounds are all placed at the top, front,
or upper side in a straight line as indicated by the covers 1 to 15, and at such a distance apart as to give sounds half a tone from one another. Hence, when these holes are opened or closed one after another, the succession of sounds emitted, complete what is know as the chromatic scale. This arrangement, which is a part of my invention, not only facilitates the fingering, but also obviates the necessity for employing the supplementary keys with which ordinary instruments of this class are provided. Iam thus enabled to do away with the holes in the sides and bottom of the instrument, rendered necessary by the use of supplementary keys. These holes allow the escape of the moisture of condensation resulting from the use of the instrument, and oftentimes resulting in much annoyance to the performer.
The sound holes in my improved instrument are all closed or opened by covers which are designated by the numerals 1 to 15 as heretofore stated, each of which is provided with a stem a made fast to a separate sleeve section a, as best illustrated in Fig. 8. These sleeves belonging to the covers 1 to 12, both inclusive, are all supported upon a single straight shaft 17 which passes through all of said sleeves, while another shaft 18 passes In the following description, I shall speak through the sleeve sections connected with the covers 13,14 and 15. These shafts 17 and of keys and covers. The keys are held closed 18 are stationary, and are held in place by apertured lugs 19 made fast to the body of the instrument. The covers numbered 1 and 2 are operated by the thumb of the left hand through the instrumentality of the key-levers 20, as best illustrated in Figs. 3 and 6. The covers 3 to 7, both inclusive, are operated directly by the first three fingers of the left hand; those from 8 to 12 by the first three fingers of the right hand; While the covers 13, 14 and 15 are operated by the fourth finger of each hand through the instrumentality of the keys D, E, F and G. The key F engages a crank-arm 17 on shaft 17.
It will be seen from the drawings that all the covers from 1 to 15, both inclusive, are so connected, that by closing any one of the covers, all the others on the side in the direction of the mouth piece from the cover directly acted on or pressed, will be closed, but not those in the opposite direction. To accomplish this, the extremities of the sleeve sections are provided with projections (1, cl made fast to the sleeves. The projection d of any sleeve is adapted to overlap the projection d of the adjoining sleeve. Each projection 61 carries a screw g which enters a threaded aperture and engages the projection d of the adjoining sleeve. The function of these screws is to regulate and accurately adjust the projections d, d, whereby their relative position may be such that the covers will close their respective holes tightly when desired.
The necessity for the accurate adjustment of the sleeves, whereby the covers are all made to act in harmony with one another, will be readily observed.
The advantage of closing all the covers in the direction of the mouth piece, when any cover below is pressed or closed, will be easily understood, since this feature enables the performer to pass from any one note on the instrument to any other note, by the movement of one finger; while with instruments of ordinary construction, the passing from one note to another, often requires the movement of several fingers, which is difficult, since they must all move simultaneously in order that the instrument may sound properly.
From the description heretofore given, the facility with which diatonic scales may be executed on my improved instrument, will be readily understood.
I will now explain the manner of executing the chromatic scale upon an instrument provided with my improvements. In tho diatonic scale, the intervals are mostly whole tones, and in their execution, the covers are opened and closed by twos; while in the chromatic scale, the intervals being all half tone, it is necessary to open or close the covers one at a time, in succession; and since there are more covers to be operated than the performer has fingers, it becomes necessary for some of the fingers to operate two covers each, one after the other. This can only be done by gliding. This gliding movement upon the covers can only be obtained by con necting the covers as I have done, that is, by means of sleeves having overlapping projections attached to the sleeves, since in this case, the over-lapping parts otter no obstruction to the movement of the fingers. This gliding movement must be easy of execution in order to insure rapidity of performance; and to further facilitate ease and rapidity of finger movement during this action, I have provided every alternate cover, from 3 to 7, both inclusive and from 8 to 12, both inclusive, with a raised part 7L, whereby when this cover is down, the part It will still be on a level with the next open cover, thus enabling the finger to move easily from the closed to the open cover.
One more illustration will suffice to make clear, my method of performing the chromatic scale by the gliding of the fingers from one cover to another:
The foregoing example is fingered in the following manner: The first note, which is G, is obtained with all the covers open. For the second, I press with the thumb of the left hand upon a key-lever 20 mounted on a shaft 21, and having an arm 20 engaging an arm ct made fast to the sleeve of cover 1. This closes cover 1 and gives note G fiat. The thumb is then moved a little downward so as to reach the other thumb key 20 which closes the next cover and gives the note F. The first finger of the left hand now closes cover 3 for the note E. \Nithout raising the finger, I glide to cover a for the next note, which is E fiat. I now use the second finger to close cover 5 for the note D, and glide the same finger to cover 6 for note D flat; and use the third finger for the note 0. This finger does not glide in playing the scale, descending. Next, the first finger of the right hand is placed upon the raised part of cover 8 to close it, which gives the next half note below 0, which is B. This finger then glides to engagement with cover 9 for B fiat. The second finger of the same hand is now used to close cover 10 for the note A. It then glides to cover 11 fon the note A fiat. I then use the third finger on cover 12 for the note G. This finger also does not glide, descending. The next note is obtained by pressing the fourth, or little finger, of the left hand upon the key D which closes cover 13. Hence, only the first and second fingers of each hand glide, In ascending, I place the first descending.
three fingers of each hand upon the raised covers, or covers provided with the raised part It for the lower note G. I next glide the third finger of the right hand from cover 12 to cover 11, allowing cover 12 to open, giving the next half note above G, which is G sharp. The third finger is then raised from cover 11, holding cover 10 closed with the second, and the note A is given. I then glide the second finger from cover 10 to cover '9, allowing cover 10 to open for the note A sharp. I then raise second finger from 9 for note B; then take off first finger, which does not glide, ascending, and we have the note C. The third finger of the left hand, which is closing cover 7 for O, is now glided from cover 7 to cover 6, allowing cover 7 to open to give the note C sharp. Then by raising the third finger from cover 6, it opens and gives the note D. Then the second finger of the same (left)' hand glides from cover 5 to cover 4, allowing cover 5 to open, giving the note D sharp. Then raise the second finger from cover 4, allowing it to open, thus giving the note E. Then raise first finger {which does not glide, ascending) off cover 3 for the note F. Now the thumb of the same hand glides a little to let go of the key 20 which closes cover 2, which then opens, giving the note F fiat. Then remove the thumb from the key 20, which closes cover 1, allowing it to open, and we have the note G.
While in descending, as we have seen, only the first and second fingers of each hand.
glide; in ascending,I glide the third, then the second, but not the first finger of each hand. The following lower notes are obtained by closing and opening the covers numbered 13, 14 and 15. First, G flat is obtained by closing cover 13, which is accomplished by pressing the key D with the fourth finger of the left hand. For the next note F, I close cover 14 by pressing on key G with which the cover is connected; and for the next and last'note E,
' I close cover15 by pressing on key E with the fourth finger of the left hand. The keys E and D are attached to separate sleeves c mounted on the shaft 19. The sleeves c of these keys are provided with short arms "cengaging similar arms 0 made fast to sleeves c of the covers 13 and 15, respectively. The 0011- nection of the arms 0 and c is illustrated in Fig. 5, from which, the mechanical operation of closing the covers 13 and 15 by pressing the keys D and E, will be readily understood. As I have before stated, only two fingers of each hand glide; and when my system is properly learned, there can be no passages in music that could require the gliding of fingers from a lower to a raised cover; but the gliding is always from a raised cover to the next lower. Hence, it makes gliding easy, and gives a smooth and even chromatic scale.
- By my improved construction, the intonation of the clarinet is much improved, as will be readily understood.
The construction of the clarinet, as heretofore used, requires that a number of the sound holes be closed by placing the fingers over them. Such holes, of course, have to be placed so as to accommodate the fingers, which necessity brings some of these holes out of their proper places, often to the detriment of the sound. In my construction, on the contrary, the holes can be placed where they are required, in order to give the best sound, since the sound holes are closed by covers, and the mechanism can be brought under the fingers. Another serious defect in the ordinary construction of clarinet is, that some of the notes have to be obtained by what is known as fork-fingering, that is, some of the holes have to be opened between holes that are closed. The resulting notes, besides being very difficult to execute, are always thin and disagreeably shrill. My construction corrects this defect, since the connection of the covers not only obviates all necessity for fork-fingering, but also renders such fingering impossible.
In the execution of the extremely high notes of the upper register, the clarinet now used is very defective, in that these notes are uneven-some shrill and some loud, others weak, and sometimes false-while the fingering necessary to obtain these notes is difficult and irregular. These defects, 1' have corrected by means of a double cover designated in the drawings by the numeral 3. This cover is provided with an auxiliary part 3 located underneath the main part of the cover. This is shown in section in Fig. 7, and in dotted lines in Fig. 2. The upper part of the cover is attached to a sleeve 0 mounted on the shaft 17, the same as the other covers, except its sleeve is not provided with a projection d located beneath the projection d of the sleeve connected with cover 4. The underneath part, 3*,which is provided with a small aperture 3, is attached to a short bar 3 which is provided with a short sleeve 3 mounted on the shaft 17. One extremity of the bar 3 is overlapped by the projection d of the sleeve 0 belonging to or connected with cover 4. Hence, the lower part 3 of the cover is closed or pressed down, every time any 1 cover below it, or farther from the mouth piece than itself, is closed; while the upper part of the cover is only closed by pressing said part directly, in which case, it closes the auxiliary part 3 and also, both covers 1 and 2, since the sleeve of the upper part of the cover 3 is provided with a projection 01 overlapping a projection d onthe next sleeve. The two parts of the cover 3 are normally maintained in the open position by independent springs, not shown, but of the same character shown in Figs. .3 and 4, and designated by the numeral 25. These springs are employed to hold all the covers normally open.
The springs 25 are small steel wires, or needle springs, made fast at one extremity to lugs c on the sleeves 0, while they engage stop pins 26 at the opposite extremity, where they have the necessary movement to make them operative. While playing in the middle and lower registers of the instrument, this cover 3 is fingered like the others as if it were one, in which event, both sections open and close together, allowing the full hole in the instrument tube to open; but in the extreme upper register, or when the instrument is required to play higher than the first C above the staff, the upper section of the double cover is allowed to open byraising the finger which .operates it while the lower section is held closed by its being connected with the sleeve of the next cover, 4:, which is then pressed down by the second finger. All the fingering for these upper notes is done by the covers from 5 to 9, both inclusive, keeping cover t closed all the time, which, of course, keeps the lower section 3 of the double cover 3, closed at the same time. The small vent hole 3 of the part 3 of the double cover, which is thus opened in this particular part of the clarinet, owing to the acoustic nature of the instrument, makes these higher notes as soft and even as the notes in the lower registers, and renders the fingering for executing the notes of the upper registers, as easy and regular as for those of the lower registers.
Every one who understands something of the clarinet, knows how diflicult it is in the execution of some of the trills on that instrument; such, or the difficult trills, can only be performed by a special fingering which requires much labor and practice.
From the description heretofore given, it will be understood that with an instrument provided with my improvements, every trill, whether whole or half tone, is very easy and simple to execute, since in passing from one note to another, only one finger is used. All the trills throughout the whole extent of the instrument, are accomplished by the regular scale fingerings, and by the movement of one finger.
From this description, the great advantages of my improvements will be readily under stood by those skilled in the art to which the invention pertains.
I have heretofore spoken in this specification of the reed, wind musical instrument, exclusively. It must be understood, however, that my improvements are equally applicable to the instruments known as the flute and piccolo.
Having thus described my invention, what I claim is 1. In a wind reed musical instrument, the combination with the tube, of the covers for closing the sound holes, sleeve sections movably mounted on the tube and provided at their extremities with overlapping projections, and narrow stemsconnecting the covers with the sleeve sections, whereby the covers proper are unobstructed by the overlapping parts, substantially as described.
2. In a wind reed musical instrument, the combination with the tube, of the covers for closing the sound holes, sleeve sections movably mounted on the tube and connected with the covers by narrow stems, the sleeve sections being provided at their extremities with overlapping projections and means engaging said projections for adjusting the position of the covers relatively to each other, whereby they all close simultaneously, substantially as described.
3. Ina reed, wind musical instrument, the combination with the tubular body part, of a stationary shaft attached to the body part, sleeve -sections movably mounted on said shaft and provided with stems carrying covers adapted to close the sound holes, the adjacent sleeve extremities being provided with overlapping projections,and adjusting screws carried by one set of projections and adapted to engage the other set, substantially as described.
41. In a reed, wind musical instrument, the sleeve-sections provided at each extremity with a projection, one of said projections carrying an adjusting screw, and a stem attached to the sleeve and carrying a sound hole cover at its free extremity, substantially as described.
5. A wind reed musical instrument provided with connected covers for closing the sound holes, every alternate cover from 3 to 7, both inclusive and from 8 to 12, both inclusive, having projections formed on their upper surfaces, whereby the projecting parts of said surfaces are raised above the corresponding surfaces of the adjacent covers to facilitate the execution of the chromatic scale, substantially as described.
6. A reed, wind musical instrument provided with sound hole covers composed of two parts, onelocated directly above the other, the lower or inner part being capable of independent operation, and having an aperture much smaller than the sound hole in the tube, substantially as described.
In testimony whereof I at'fix my signature in the presence of two witnesses.
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Cited By (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2883898A (en) * 1955-03-17 1959-04-28 Edward V Powell Fipple flute
US3015981A (en) * 1958-09-09 1962-01-09 Thomas F Mcintyre Clarinets
US5309807A (en) * 1990-07-30 1994-05-10 Kingma Eva K Flute
WO2011151539A1 (en) * 2010-06-03 2011-12-08 Denis Rappalini Keying device for an aerophone and aerophone provided with such a keying device

Cited By (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2883898A (en) * 1955-03-17 1959-04-28 Edward V Powell Fipple flute
US3015981A (en) * 1958-09-09 1962-01-09 Thomas F Mcintyre Clarinets
US5309807A (en) * 1990-07-30 1994-05-10 Kingma Eva K Flute
WO2011151539A1 (en) * 2010-06-03 2011-12-08 Denis Rappalini Keying device for an aerophone and aerophone provided with such a keying device

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