US812237A - Tone-modulating device for pianos. - Google Patents

Tone-modulating device for pianos. Download PDF


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US812237A US22080004A US1904220800A US812237A US 812237 A US812237 A US 812237A US 22080004 A US22080004 A US 22080004A US 1904220800 A US1904220800 A US 1904220800A US 812237 A US812237 A US 812237A
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Jose Sampere
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Regina Co Inc
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Regina Co Inc
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    • G10F1/00Automatic musical instruments
    • G10F1/02Pianofortes with keyboard


"PATENTED FEB. 13, 1906.
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No. 812,237. I PATENTED PEB.13, 1906.
- 34 jwxww PATENTED FEB. 13, 1906.
TQNE-MODULATING DEVICE FOR PIANOS- Specification of Letters Patent.
Patented Feb. 13, 1906.
Application filed August 15, 1904. Serial No. 220,800.
Tu all whom, it inn/y concern:
Be it known that I, Jose SAMPERE, a subect of the King of Spain, residing at the city of New York, State of New York, have invented certain new and useful Improvements in Tone-Modulating Devices for Pianos, of which the following is a specification.
This invention relates to improvements in tone-modulating devices, more especially as applied to self-playingpianos operative pneunnhtieally and adapted also'to be played manua v.
The invention has for its object to provide for production of a wide range of pleasing or blended tone effects. by means of compound or divided constructions of the piano action hammer rest-rail and of the string dam er-rail, which are easily operated, preferab y by depressing ushbuttons on valved levers intentional y located near the ordinary mechanical layingstops of the piano to ermit manipu ation of the improved rest-rairand damper-rail tonemodulating devices and of the ordinary expression and forte mechanical playing-stops y one hand of the performer, whose other hand is free to control the ordinary tempo regulating-stop of the instrument.
The invention will first be described and then will be particularly defined in claims hereinafter set forth.
Reference is made to the accompanying drawings, forming part of tnis specification, and in which- Figure 1 is a partly-sectional front elevation of a piano embodying the invention with the action represented diagrammatically and parts of the casing removed. Fig. 2 is a detail partly sectional plan view illustrating the compound hammer rest-rail and the auxiliary damper-rail with their preferred pneu matte-operating devices and preferred controlling means. Fig. 3 is a central vertical sectional view of the iano as adjusted for mechanical playing. 4 is a detail vertical sectional view' illustrating pneumatic operation of the inner bass portion of the hammer rest-rail. Fig.5 is an enlarged front sectional view showing the left-hand portions of the rest-rail and the damper-rail and their connections for pneumatic and foot-pedal operation. Fig. 6 is an enlarged detail central vertical section illustrating the grouped mechanical playing-stops and the valved levers This is accomplished pneumatically controlling the rest rail and the damper-rail, and Fig. 7 is an enlarged ver tical sectional side view showing the rest-rail and the damper-rail and their adjacent pneumatic attachments.
In the manually or mechanically operated piano shown in the drawings and embodying this invention the pedals 1- operate air-pumping bellows 2, held to a main wind-chest 3, with which communicate the valved airchests 4 of series of striking-pneumatics 5. These pneumatics in collapsing lift abstracts 6, which raise the inner ends of the piano-kc s 7, fulcrumed on a key-table 8, and raise t e 17 in the chest 18, communicating with the motor 19 for controlling speed of travel of the'music-sheet 13, operated. by the motor. A reroll-lever stop 20 by suitable connections may operate a valve 21 in one chamber of a chest 22, communicating with the strikingpneumatic chests 4 and the main wind-chest 3, so as to cut off the chests 4 to silence the mechanical playing during rewinding of the music-sheet. An expression lever-stop 23 by suitable connections may operate a valve 24 in another chamber of the chest 22 to more or less close the air-passa e between the chests 3 4, and thus control t e force of the blows of the collapsing pneumatics 5 for regulating the volume of tones. during mechanical playing. There is an air-passage 25 along the main wind-chest 3 and between the motor-valve chest 18 and the expression and reroll-valve chest 22. Said passage 25 when the valve 21 is moved to cut off the chambers 4 from'the chest 3 is o ened to give full aircurrent to the motor or quickly rewinding the music-sheet. A forte lever-stop 26 :by suitable connections including a rockingshaft arm 27, havinga bent end. 28, may be operated to lift thepedal-rod 29, and thereby swing the damper-rail 30 rearward on its pivots 31 to throw all the dampers32 from the piano-strings 12 to obtain louder tones along the Whole scale during mechanical playing, and the same effect may be produced during manual playing by erating the ordinary loud pedal 33 at the lhwer front rail of the piano-case 34. All of the stops-16 20 23 26 are preferably arranged in a recess of the piano-case front below the keyboard 7, and a cover 35, preferably hinged, is provided to conceal said stops during manual playing of the instrument.-
All the above-named parts 1. to 35 are substantially similar to those shown and described in a prior concurrent application for Letters Patent. The above brief description of-their operation is given to facilitate clear understanding of the present invention in tone-modulating devices, and more particularly as regards the speciallocation and effects of the preferred valved levers having push-buttons and causing operation of the tone-modulating devices relatively to or with the expression and forte stops 23 26.
The improved tone-modulating devices comprise, first, a compound or divided hammer rest-rail and preferred pneumatic devices for operating its two inner face portions inde endentiy for producing subdued bass or treb e tone e ects during mechanical playing, while permitting simultaneous adjustment of both bass and treble portions of the rest-rail by operating the ordinary soft pedal during manual playing; second, a compound or di vided damper-operating rail permitting the bass-string dampers to be operated by preferred pneumatic devices independently of the treble-string dampersfor givin improved sostenuto bass-tone effects uring mechanical playing, while allowing simultaneous operation of all the dampers by the ordinary loud pedal during manual playing; third, a system' of stops, preferably in the form of levers carrying push-buttons and arranged near the expression and forte mechanical playing-stops, to permit control of .both adjustable face portions of the divided hammer rest-rail and the bass portion of the damper-rail by or from said valved levers, while allowing simultaneous manipulation of said expression and forte stops by the same hand of the performer, whose other hand thus is free, for adjusting the tem ocontrollingtop. A spec1al'coverconceal; the mechanica -playing stops and rail-controlling levers during manual layin of the instrument.
It is preferre to ma e the compound hammer rest-rail with a main full-length outer or front rail portion 36 and two inner or rear felt-faced portions 37 38, hinged suitably to part 36 and each preferably extending i we ,alongthe iano-action. Near the en of each rai portion 37 38 is hin ed action-.frame or other support an el ow-len-er' 39, one. end of wh.i'ch may engage the front of the rail portion 37 or 38 to permit it to swing said rail portion rearward toward. the strings 12 with thehamr'ners resting upon it. The
other ends of the levers 39' are preferably coupled, as by links 40, with movable walls of respective pneumatics 41 42, held to chests 43 44, suitably fastened in the piano-case. These chests 43 44 each have air-chambers in which are arranged a primary pneumatic or diaphragm 45, adapted to lift a valve 46, thereby cutting off the pneumatic 41 or 42 from the atmosphere and opening the pneumatics to air-suction inducedthrough pipes 47 48, connecting the respective chests 43 44 with the main wind-chest 3. The chest 43 is connected by a tube 49 with an orifice 50 in a duct-board 51-, held preferably to the keytable 3, and this orifice is normally closed to the atmosphere by a valve 52 on a lever 53, fulcrumed on the table 8 and carryin a pushbiltton 54. (See Figs. 1, 2, and 6 of-t 1e drawings.) A tube 55, leading from the other chest 44 to the duct-board 51, connects with another orifice therein controlled by a valve on a second lever 56, carrying a push-button 57. These twolever push-buttons 54 57 are arran ed, preferably, between the expression and forte stops 23 26 or otherwise near enough to them to permit convenient operation of both valved-levers and both stops by the left hand of the performer. The fulllength outer portion 36 of the hammer restrail has the usual projecting lip 58, which is en aged by a rod 59, leading upward from the or inary soft-pedal of the piano. If during manual playing of the piano the soft-pedal be 0 erated to raise the rod 59, it is obvious that t 1e entire compound rest-rail 36 37 38 will be swung rearward on its pivot-joints 60 to carry all the hammers 11 nearer the strings 12 for assuring softer tones along the whole scale. 7 As the entire rest-rail thus is moved rearward, the pneumatics 41 42 will collapse without appreciable resistance, as they then are open to the atmosphere. If during mechanical pla ing it is desired to soften the bass or treb e tones, the push-button 54 or 57, respectively controlling the valves of the pneumatic 41 or 42, will be pressed, thereby opening the respective tube 49 or 55 to the atmosphere and operating the communicating pneumatic-valves and causing collapse of the corresponding pneumatic 41 or 42 by the air-exhaust. This causes the elbow-lever 39 of said pneumatic to move the inner facesection 37 or 38 of the compound rest-rail rearward and-carry only the corresponding hammers'll nearer the strings 12 to soften either the bass or treble tones. When the button 54 is depressed, the rail-section 37 is moved to soften the bass tones and when the button 57 is depressed the rail-section 38 is moved to soften the treble tones. These 0 er'ations are indicated inFigs. 4 and 2 of t edrawin 's.
- The damper-operatin rail 30 has pivoted at its bass end an auxi iary rail portion 61,
the perform'er. I
carrying an arm 62, which overlies a projection on the lower movable wall of a pneumatie63, which is fastened to a valve-chest 64, containing valves like those in the two chests 43 44 above mentioned. This chest 64 is shown interposed in the pipe 47', leading from the chest 43 above it to the main windver 66, carrying a push-buttori67, preferably arranged near the forte-stop 26, so as also to be conveniently 0 erated by the left hand of during manual laying of theinstru ment the loud pedal 33 be depressed, the entire full-length rail 30 will be swung on its pivots 31 to throw all the dampers 32 away from the piano strings 12 to obtain usual forteor sosltenuto tone effects throughout the whole scale. It may be preferable to have the auxiliary dam er-rail portion 61 sto against the full-lengt rail 30,'so that bot rail portions 30 31 will swing together as the rod 29 is lifted by the loud pedal 33. or sostenuto bass tones are desired during mechanical playing these may be obtained by simply depressing the push-button 67, thereby admitting atmospheric air through the corresponding orifice of the duct-board 51 and thence through the tube 65 to the chest 64 to actuate the valves therein, and thus cause operation of the pneumatic 63, which in collapsing will swing only the auxiliary damper-rail portion 61, and thereby throw only the bassdampers 32 from the piano-strings 1 2 to assure forte or sustained bass tones. It is obvious that by operating this auxiliary bass-dampen rail portion 61 simultaneousl with the operation of the treble auxiliary ammer-rest-rail section 38 various novel and pleasingtone effects maybe produced, as the softened treble manipulation of the expression-stop 23 or the forte-stop 26 relatively t0'= any one or more of the push-buttons 54 57 6?,controlling the If forte devices, thereby assuring an unusual range or variety of tone modulation and permitting automatic playing, which. may with difliculty, if at all, be distinguished from the manual laying of expert performers. The pushuttons 54 57 67 are hidden during manual playing by the same cover 35, which conceals the mechanical playing-stops 16 20 23 26.
Various modifications of this invention may be made by theskilled mechanicas, for instance, the inner face portions 37 38 of the hammer rest-rail andthe auxiliary bass ortion 61 of the damper-rail may each or all be operated otherwise than. pneumatically, and the strings 12 may be substituted by other devices producing musical tones when struck by the action-hammers The details of construction also may be variously and materially changed \Vi'tliO'Llt departing from the spirit andvscope of the invention expressed in the appended claims.
I claim as my invention 1. In a iano, a continuous rail extendin transversey of the strings, a sectional rail spaced from said. continuous rail and extend ing parallel therewith, and pneumatically o erated devices for moving the sections of t e second-named rail individually, the actuating portions of said :devices being arranged between the continuous rail and the sectional rail.
. 2. s In a iano, a continuous rail extendin rest rail and per rail tone modulatin transverse y of the strings, a sectional rai spaced from said continuous rail and extending parallel therewith, and pneumaticallyo erated devices for moving the sections of t e second-named rail individually, the actuating portions of said. devices being arranged between the continuous rail and the sectional rail, and an operating device for the continuous rail, the actuating portions of said device being located on the side of the saidcrail opposite 'to that on which the first-named operating devices are placed.
Signed at the city of 'New York, State of New York, this 13th day of August, 1904.
Witnesses: I
CARson G. ABCHIBALD, Ail YIN. K. Goonwzu,
US22080004A 1904-08-15 1904-08-15 Tone-modulating device for pianos. Expired - Lifetime US812237A (en)

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