US874050A - Tuning device for timpani. - Google Patents

Tuning device for timpani. Download PDF

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US874050A
US874050A US25745305A US1905257453A US874050A US 874050 A US874050 A US 874050A US 25745305 A US25745305 A US 25745305A US 1905257453 A US1905257453 A US 1905257453A US 874050 A US874050 A US 874050A
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shell
hoop
keys
tuning
head
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US25745305A
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Harry A Bower
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Harry A Bower
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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
    • G10D13/00Percussion musical instruments; Details or accessories
    • G10D13/04Timpani

Description

No. 874.050. PATENTED DEC. 17, 1907.

A. BOWER.

TUNING DEVICE FOR TIMPANI. APPLICATION nun APB.26,1906.

2 anus-sans!" 1.

Merzfar: finry 5 125 000492,

PATENTBD DEC. 17, 1907.

H. A. BOWER. TUNING DEVICE FOR TIMPANL- APPLIOATIOK FILED APR.26,1906.

2 SHEETS-SHEET 2.

HARRY A. BOWER, OF BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS.

TUNING DEVICE FOR TIMPANI. I

Specification of Letters Patent.

Patented Dec. 17', 1907'.

Application filed April 26, 1905. Serial No. 257,453.

To all whom it may concern.

Be it known that I, HARRY A. BOWER, of Boston, in the county of Suffolk and State of Massachusetts, have invented certain new and useful Improvements in Tuning Devices for Timpani, of which the following is a specification.

This invention relates to timpani,musical instruments which are more generally known as kettledrums The skin-hoop of the timpano now generally used is forced down to tighten the skin or head by a plurality of hand screws, generally six in number, of which each is screwthreaded to a boss riveted to the side of the timpano, near the vibratory edge thereof.

Hence in order to tune the head so that all portions thereof shall vibrate in unison, each hand-screw must be manipulated. The tuning operation is therefore more or less complicated, and especially difficult when changing the pitch to another key while other instruments are being played. Moreover, the tension upon the bosses conflicts with a free vibration of the shell and thereby muffles the sound. Then the timpano is tuned to a high pitch, the tension on the bosses is sometimes so great as to bend the thin copper shell to which they are riveted.

It is the object of the present invention to eliminate the riveted bosses which are detrimental to the vibration and tone of the instrument, and thereby avoid the possibility of bending or injuring the shell, by substituting means by which the vibration of the shell is not interfered with, and the tuning operation more easily accomplished, so that the different parts of the instrument shall vibrate in unison. To this end, flexible bands are substituted for the bosses. These bands are stretched under the shell and the ends thereof may if desired be adjustably connected to two diametrically opposite hand-screws, which bear against projections on the skimhoop. Inasmuch as the bands are not riveted or otherwise fastened directly to the copper shell near the vibratory rim, they do not materially interfere with the vibration thereof or of the head. They cooperate with either hand-screw and equalize the tension so that it is the same at diametrically opposite points of the head. The tuning operation is thus reduced, and the result is more nearly correct than that generally obtained heretofore.

the drawings illustrate a central member to i which the bands are connected under the shell, and means whereby all the bands may be simultaneously tightened or loosened. This device is especially adapted for changing the pitch of the instrument from one key to another, after having beentuned.

Other features of improvement are illustrated on the drawings and set forth in the following specification.

Of the drawings :-Figure 1 is aplan view of a timpano. Fig. 2 is an elevation of the same fitted with tuning devices constituting apart of this invention. Fig. 3 is a detail section of the skin-hoop and adjacent parts. Fig. 3 shows in section a modified form of vibratory rim. Fig. 4 is an elevation of one of the hand-screws and connections. Fig. 5 is a fragmentary view of another form of the invention. Fig. 6 is a plan view (omitting the head) of a timpano having means for operating the tuning devices individually or collectively. Fig. 7 is a vertical section of the structure shown in Fig. 6.

Referring first to Figs. 1 to 4,1O is the hemispherical shell of sheet cop er of which timpani are formed. The she l is formed with the usual hole 1 1 at the bottom, and the vibratory rim 12 is rolled around a filling hoop indicated at 112 in Figs. 3 and 7. The skin or head 13 is stretched over the rim 12 and the edge curled around the skin-hoop 14, as illustrated in Fig. 3. The hoop 14 is provided with a plurality, siX in the present instance, of lips 15, each having an indentation 16 in its upper face. The siX tuning keys or hand-screws are indicated at 17. Each key is provided with a link or yoke 18, with which it has screw-threaded connection, (see Figs. 2 and 4). Said yokes are attached, one to each end of three flexible steel belts or bands 20 which extend under the shell 10 and toward diametrically opposite lips 15 on the skin-hoop. The end of each tuning-key isstepped in one of the indentations 16 and the yoke connected thereto surrounds the lip 15, thus permitting alinement of the band, the yoke and the tuning-key. The keys are turned to cause the screw-threads to draw the bands 20 tight and consequently to draw down the skin-hoop to tighten the head 13. When each key 17 is turned, the tightening or loosening effect thereof is transmitted through its band 20, which is free to move relatively to the shell 10, to the As a more elaborate form of tuning device, diametricallyopposite part of the head so that any difference in pitch of the instrument is distributed between three pairs of diametrically-opposite points instead of between s'rx individual points. It is therefore clear that the timpanist may tune the instrument solely by the three tuning-keys nearest him, instead of having to lean over it to regulate the keys 011 the opposite side, in addition thereto. It will be observed by inspection of Fig. 2 that the bands, by reason of their tangential engagement with the surface of the shell 10, do not engage the highly vibratory portion thereof. Heretofore the tuning keys have been threaded into bosses riveted to the shell so close to the rim 12 that the free vibration of the rim has been impeded by the weight thereof and by the rigid connection with the tuning keys. It is therefore evident, since the vibration of an object is confined chiefly to its extremities, that by the substitution of the present bands for the former bosses, the effectiveness of the instrument is impaired to a much smaller extent than formerly. By reason of stepping the shanks of the tuning-keys in the indentations 16 as described, they are always alined with and by the tension of the bands upon the skin-hoop. The filling-hoop previously referred to is for the purpose of giving additional strength to the vibratory rim 12.

A modified form of rim which is designed to forestall any possibility of rattling is indicated at 113 in Fig. 3". In this form a rim of comparatively thicker metal is dovetailed or brazed to the shell so that it is practically integral therewith.

Another form of the invention is illustrated in Fig. 5. Said figure shows, instead of three connecting bands 20, a centerpiece or plate 21 having a vent-hole 22 which registers with the hole 11 in the shell, and six radiating bands 120 connected thereto by studs 23. The bands 120 are connected to the tuning keys in the same manner as the bands 20. This figure also shows strips 121 of cushioning material such as felt or leather between the bands 120 and the shell 10 to prevent said parts from rattling against each other, and a gasket 19 between the plate 21 and the shell.

Figs. 6 and 7 illustrate a more elaborate form of the invention, involving means whereby the timpanist, by manipulating a single hand-screw, is enabled to vary the tension of the entire set of bands 120 simultaneously and to the same extent. This form comprises in addition to the band 120 and center-plate 2]., a spider 30 within the shell. Said spider is swiveled upon the upper end of a post 31 which is screw-threaded through the plate 21, and is provided with three equidistant hinged yokes 32. Said yokes carry three swiveled struts 33 which extend toward the rim 12 of the shell 10. The upper ends of said struts are screw-threaded and 1 carry forks 34 thereon, whose ends abut against the rim 12 at points on the same radii as the keys 17 The length of the struts may be regulated by screwing the swiveled portions 33 relatively to the forks 34 so that the latter shall all have an equal bearing against the rim 12. By reason of this construction, it will be seen that the tension of the entire six bands 120 may be varied simultaneously and to an equal extent by moving the plate 21 toward or from the spider 30 by rotating the screw-threaded post 31 for which purpose a hand-wheel is provided.

As illustration of the advantages of the multiple tension regulating device, let it be assumed that the timpani, (two being the usual number) are mounted upon stands 100, such as that illustrated in Fig. 7, and that they have been tuned. to a certain key by means of the tuning-keys 17. The particular piece of music for which they are tuned to play in cooperation with an orchestra may change to one or more different keys without ceasing. In that event, the timpanist is sometimes obliged to change the key of the timpani, in advance of the rest of the orchestra. To accomplish this, he may turn the hand-wheel 35 either by hand or by foot until the tension of the head is changed. to produce the desired sound. The unison established by the tuning-keys 17 is not destroyed by movement of the hand-wheel 35 inasmuch as all parts are affected equally when the latter is used. The work required of the timpanist in changing the key of the timpani is, by means of the present invention, reduced to a minimum. Furthermore, he is not compelled to rise from his seat as is necessary to reach the tuning-keys 17 at the farther side of the instruments.

Having thus explained the nature of the invention, and described a way of constructing and using the same, although without attempting to set forth all of the forms in which it may be made, or all of the modes of its use, I declare that what I claim is 1. A timpano comprising a shell, a head, a skin-hoop encircling the rim of the shell, a plurality of tuning-keys in operative engagement with the hoop, and flexible members equal in number to said keys, said members being connected to said keys and engaging the rounded surface of said shell.

2. A timpano comprising a shell, a head, a skin-hoop encircling the rim of the shell, a plurality of tuning keys in operative engagement with said hoop, and a plurality of flexible members engaging the rounded portion of the shell and extending tangentially therefrom to and connected to said keys whereby tension may be applied to said hoop.

3. A timpano comprising a shell having a vibratory rim, a head, a skin-hoop encircling said rim, and adjustable means connected to said hoop and extending to andengaging the substantially non-vibratory portion of said shell whereby tension may be applied to said hoop.

4. A timpano comprising a shell having a vibratory rim, a head, a skin-hoop encircling said rim, a plurality of tuning-keys in operative engagement with said hoop, and a plurality of flexible members connected to said keys and extending to and engaging the sub stantially nonvibratory portion of said shell whereby tension may be applied to said hoop.

5. 'A timpano comprising a rotund shell having a vibratory rim, a skin-hoop encircling said rim, a head connected to said hoop, and flexible adjustable means connected to said hoop and engaging the nonvibratory portion of the shell and adapted to cooperate with said non-vibratory portion to exert tension on said hoop.

6. A timpano comprising a rotund shell, a skin-hoop encircling the rim of the shell, a head, a plurality of tuning-keys engaging said. hoop, and separate means connected to and extending from said keys respectively to points on said shell separated from said keys by the convex surface of the shell, for exerting tension on said hoop.

7. A timpano comprising a rotund shell having a rim, a skin-hoop encircling said rim,

- a head, a plurality of tuning keys having universal connection. with said hoop, and flexible members engaging the rotund contour of said shell and connected. to said keys whereby tension may be applied to said hoop at any desired point to tune the head.

8. A timpano comprising a shell, a head, a skin-hoop, means whereby tension may be applied individually to a plurality of predetermined portions of said hoop, and means whereby tension may be applied to. all of said portions simultaneously.

9. A timpano comprising a shell, a head, a skin-hoop encircling the rim o1. said shell, means engaging said hoop whereby tension may be applied thereto at predetermined points independently, and means whereby said independently operative means may be actuated to apply an equal degree of tension to all of said points simultaneously.

1.0. A timpano comprising a rotund shell, a head, a skin-hoop, a plurality of independently adjustable tuning-keys in operative engagement with said hoop, flexible members engaging the rotund contour of said shell and connecting said keys, and means whereby said flexible members may be moved as a unit to exert an equal degree of tension on all of said keys simultaneously.

11. A timpano comprising a shell, 9. head, a ski n-hoop encircling the rim. of the shell, a plurality of adjustable tuning-keys in operative engagement with said hoop, and means whereby tension may be applied to said keys simultaneously.

12. A timpano comprising a shell, a head, a skin-hoop encircling the shell, a plurality of lips projecting from said hoop, tuningkeys having portions bearing upon said lips, and means connecting each of said keys and said shell adapted to cooperate with said keys in exerting tension upon one of said lips and adapted to aline itself and said keys w ith the tension.

13. A timpano comprising a shell, a head, a skin-hoop, a plurality of lips projecting from said hoop, a socket in each of said lips, a tuning-key extending into each socket, a yoke having screw-thread connection with each key and extending around its respective lip, and means connecting each yoke and the shell.

14. A timpano comprising a shell, a head, a skinhoop, a plurality of lips projecting from said hoop, a socket in each of said lips, a

tuning-key extending into each socket, a yoke having screw-thread connection with each key and extending around its respective lip, and flexible members connected to the yokes and operatively engaging the shell.

15. A timpano comprising a shell, a head, a skin-hoop having a plurality of lips projecting therefrom, flexible members engaging the shell and extending toward said skinhoop, yokes attached to said flexible members and surrounding said lips, sockets in said lips in the faces farthest from the flexible members, and tuning-keys having screwthread connection with said yokes and projecting into said sockets and adapted to move relatively to said lips to alinement with said flexible member when subjected to tension.

16. A timpano comprising a shell, a head, a plate located substantially at the bottom and outside of the shell, and tuning devices connecting said head with said. plate.

17. A timpano comprising a shell, a head with a hoop, a member outside oi the shell, and adjustable connections radiating from said plate to the said hoop.

18. A timpano comprising a shell, a head having a hoop, and a plurality of tuning devices all connected substantially at the bot tom of the shell.

19. A timpano comprising a shell, a head having a hoop, a plurality of flexible tuning devices, and a single member underneath the shell to which said devices are connected.

In testimony whereof I have aflixed my signature, in presence of two witnesses.

HARRY A. BOlVER. lVitnesses M. B. MAY, C. C. Srnonnn.

US25745305A 1905-04-26 1905-04-26 Tuning device for timpani. Expired - Lifetime US874050A (en)

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Cited By (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4635524A (en) * 1984-06-06 1987-01-13 Allen Barbara A Kettledrum
US4674390A (en) * 1984-06-06 1987-06-23 Allen Barbara A Kettledrum
US4730531A (en) * 1984-11-01 1988-03-15 Allen Barbara A Kettledrum
US4831912A (en) * 1984-11-01 1989-05-23 Allen Barbara A Kettledrum

Cited By (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4635524A (en) * 1984-06-06 1987-01-13 Allen Barbara A Kettledrum
US4674390A (en) * 1984-06-06 1987-06-23 Allen Barbara A Kettledrum
US4730531A (en) * 1984-11-01 1988-03-15 Allen Barbara A Kettledrum
US4831912A (en) * 1984-11-01 1989-05-23 Allen Barbara A Kettledrum

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