WO1989010611A1 - Percussion musical instrument - Google Patents

Percussion musical instrument Download PDF

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Publication number
WO1989010611A1
WO1989010611A1 PCT/GB1989/000428 GB8900428W WO8910611A1 WO 1989010611 A1 WO1989010611 A1 WO 1989010611A1 GB 8900428 W GB8900428 W GB 8900428W WO 8910611 A1 WO8910611 A1 WO 8910611A1
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WO
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Application
Patent type
Prior art keywords
musical instrument
sound
elongate member
percussion musical
percussion
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/GB1989/000428
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Andrew John Leggo
David Roger Sherriff
Original Assignee
Andrew John Leggo
David Roger Sherriff
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date

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Classifications

    • GPHYSICS
    • G10MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS; ACOUSTICS
    • G10HELECTROPHONIC MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS
    • G10H3/00Instruments in which the tones are generated by electromechanical means
    • G10H3/12Instruments in which the tones are generated by electromechanical means using mechanical resonant generators, e.g. strings or percussive instruments, the tones of which are picked up by electromechanical transducers, the electrical signals being further manipulated or amplified and subsequently converted to sound by a loudspeaker or equivalent instrument
    • G10H3/14Instruments in which the tones are generated by electromechanical means using mechanical resonant generators, e.g. strings or percussive instruments, the tones of which are picked up by electromechanical transducers, the electrical signals being further manipulated or amplified and subsequently converted to sound by a loudspeaker or equivalent instrument using mechanically actuated vibrators with pick-up means

Abstract

A percussion musical instrument for the production of electronically synthesized sound in response to activation by a performer characterised in that the percussion musical instrument consists of a cylindrical elongate member (10) which includes trigger means (12) for initiating the production of said electronically synthesized sound.

Description

PERCUSSION MUSICAL INSTRUMENT

Technical Field

This invention relates to a percussion musical instrument for the production of electronically synthesized sound in response to activation by a performer.

Background Art

Electronic sound synthesizers generally are known. These enable not only the creation of new sounds but also the simulation of known musical sounds, such as percussive sounds. More particularly, it is known to trigger the production of these predetermined sounds by electrical means, as is the case, for instance, with electric pianos or keyboard synthesizers generally, electric guitars or drum synthesizers.

In relation specifically to percussion musical instruments, drum synthesizers suffer from the twin drawbacks that they cannot simultaneously be held in the hand of a performer and be played using that same hand, and that they are only responsive to one type of rhythmical percussive movement, namely a drumming action, usually made with the aid of a stick.

fiiiitim-ry of the Invention

According to the present invention, there is provided a percussion musical instrument for the production of electronically synthesized sound in response to activation by a performer characterised in that the percussion musical instrument consists of a cylindrical elongate member which includes trigger means for initiating the production of said electronically synthesized sound.

There is thus provided a musical instrument which is responsive to the natural rhythmical and percussive movements made by a performer, and which has a shape which is ergonometrically adapted to these types of movements. It is also capable of being simultaneously held and played using only one hand. It is envisaged that this instrument could be used by the lead singers of pop groups instead, for example, of electric guitars, since its method of operation is simpler and since it can visually enhance the per ormance.

The musical instrument may be responsive to a percussive movement either of the performer's hand against the instrument or of the instrument against some suitable surface such as a floor or wall, or it may be responsive to shaking, twisting, glissando or other percussive movements. The trigger means may be responsive only to a particular sequence of percussive movements.

The sound produced may be of any form, such as a discrete musical note, a sequence of notes, or sampled sound. It will be appreciated that the form of sound which can be produced is limited only by the capabilities of the sound synthesizer which is used, and not directly by the capabilities of the musical instrument of the present invention. The sounds produced do not have to be synthesized reproductions of traditional percussive instruments.

As used herein, the term "cylindrical" preferably connotes a circular cross-section, but includes arbitrary cross-sectional shapes such as squares or ovals. Neither the cross-sectional shape nor dimension need be uniform along the length of the member. The member could, for instance, be tapered. Also, the axis of the member need not be straight, but could, for example, be arcuate.

Preferably, the elongate member is capable of being gripped and held aloft in one hand. Thus it is preferred that the elongate member is less than 3m and more preferably less than 2m in length. Preferably, it is longer than 0.3m. Preferably also for the same reason, it has a maximum cross- sectional dimension of less than 0.2m, although alternatively a handle could be provided on the elongate member.

The trigger means may be located at one end of the elongate member, since this facilitates a percussive movement of the instrument against any suitable surface. The trigger means may alternatively or additionally be located elsewhere on the surface of the elongate member; for instance it may be located at both ends of the elongate member. The trigger means may be dynamically responsive (that is the signal output depends upon the force applied) , in which case it is preferred that it includes at least one switch which incorporates a piezo electric film sensing element. Whilst it is known in the art of electronic musical instrument design to use piezoelectric sensing elements in general, the use specifically of a piezoelectric film is not known. Alternatively, the trigger means may incorporate capacitance or electromagnetic type switches.

The trigger means may be responsive to relative rotation of two or more portions of the percussion musical instrument about the axis thereof. The synthesized sound might, for example, be a rasping sound, but any other sound could alternatively be produced. The trigger means may be dynamically responsive either to the angular displacement, angular velocity or angular acceleration of one portion of the musical instrument relative to another.

The trigger means may be responsive to acceleration, preferably to linear rather than angular acceleration. The musical instrument is thus responsive to shaking movements. The trigger means may alternatively or additionally be responsive to velocity. It may typically comprise an accelerometer, a series of pressure transducers, or a series of strain gauges.

Preferably, the cylindrical elongate member has a straight longitudinal axis and is of uniform circular cross- section, the diameter of said cylinder being less than 0.1m. More preferably, the diameter is in the range 0.04m to 0.065m and even more preferably in the range 0.048m to 0.050m, although versions of the instrument suitable for being gripped by small children can also be envisaged.

Preferably, the musical instrument further comprises a remote interface unit which is capable of receiving at least trigger information from the elongate member and of converting said information into a form suitable for activating an electronic sound synthesizer. Typically, the electronic sound synthesizer is of a standard type which possesses a Music Instrument Digital Interface (M.I.D.I.), so that preferably the remote interface unit converts said trigger information into a M.I.D.I, signal. The trigger information may be received by the interface unit for example through a lead or via a radio transmitter and receiver system.

Alternatively to the interface unit being remote, the unit could be housed within the musical instrument itself.

Preferably, the percussion musical instrument further comprises at least one control switch which is capable of controlling the sound produced by the musical instrument. Preferably, a series of such control switches are provided which enable the production, for example, of different pitches, volumes or types of sound. The switches may either be located on the surface of the elongate member, in which case it is preferred that they are finger operable, or they may be located on the surface of the remote interface unit, in which case it is preferred that the unit is a foot switch unit and the switches are foot operable. Preferably, the elongate member further comprises a sound generator which is capable of electronically synthesizing sound when triggered by the trigger means.

There is thus provided a completely stand-alone, preferably cordless, musical instrument.

Preferably, the elongate member is a shaft which is capable, when abruptly hit on a surface, of activating an electronic switch and by doing so of triggering an electronically generated sound.

The sound may be created either remotely or onboard the shaft. The exact nature of the switch will vary with application, as any device that creates an electric signal can be used.

The shaft can be made of any suitable material. Normally the shaft would be of hand-held diameter (diameter in this case not necessarily referring to perfect circularity but to being the overall dimension gripable by an adult hand) . Small or large diameter variants would be supplemented with handles and hand-grip points if required.

The basic arrangement of the percussive sound trigger can be supplemented on-board with circuitry and controls for sound synthesis, digital sampling, sequencing, sound processing (e.g. effects) . Other possible features include additional sound triggering areas on the surface of the shaft, memories for storing sequences or sounds, infra-red or radio transmitter output, amplification, loudspeaker and microphone.

Brief Description of Drawings

Specific embodiments of the invention are now described, by way of example, with reference to the accompanying drawings wherein: Figure l is a perspective view of a first embodiment of the invention;

Figure 2 is a schematic diagram of the first embodiment in combination with a foot switch unit and a synthesizer unit;

Figure 3 is a perspective view of a second embodiment;

Figure 4 is a perspective view of a third embodiment; and

Figure 5 is a perspective view of a fourth embodiment.

Modes For Carrying Out The Invention

Referring to Figure 1, the musical instrument comprises a right-circularly cylindrical elongate shaft shown generally at 10, which is 2 metres in length and has an outside diameter of 0.05 metres. A trigger switch 12 is located at one end of the shaft 10, whilst an output lead 14 extends from the other end.

The trigger switch 12, which is responsive to percussive movements, incorporates a simple on/off switch mechanism.

Figure 2 demonstrates, in schematic form, how the percussion musical instrument, referred to at 18, can be used, when interconnected with a foot switch unit 22 and a synthesizer unit 34, to produce sounds. Here, the performer is referred to schematically at 16. The performer 16 usually grips the musical instrument 18 with either one or both hands, and usually holds it with its axis roughly vertical. The instrument 18 is triggered by hitting it on the end having the trigger switch 12 with a percussive hand movement, or by striking it on a hard surface, such as the ground. The trigger information created by such a trigger action is communicated to the foot switch unit shown generally at 22 via a transmission means 20 on the musical instrument 18 and a reception means 24 on the foot switch unit 22. In this embodiment, the transmission means 20 and reception means 24 in fact represent the lead 14, but it will be appreciated that other transmission and reception means, such as a radio transmitter and receiver, could be utilised.

The performer 16 interacts with the foot switch unit 22 via a series of individual foot-operated control switches 26. These control switches 26 can be individually pre-set, using a memory and display unit 28, to control the production of a particular synthesized sound, according to the performer's requirements, and are individually selectable during a performance.

A converter 30 is located within the foot switch unit 22. It converts trigger information received from the musical instrument 18 and processed via a particular control switch 26 selected by the performer 16 into a Music Instrument Digital Interface signal (i.e. M.I.D.I. signal) . The foot switch unit 22 communicates this M.I.D.I, signal to a M.I.D.I. interface 32 of the synthesizer unit 34. Such M.I.D.I. interfaces are now fitted as standard on synthesizer units.

Finally, the synthesizer unit 34 converts the M.I.D.I. signal into sound.

It will be appreciated that all of the functions carried out by the foot switch unit 22 could alternatively be incorporated into the musical instrument 18 itself, which could then communicate directly either with the M.I.D.I. interface 32 of a synthesizer unit 34, or, using a special protocol, with the synthesizer unit 34 itself. It will also be appreciated that the sound produced by the synthesizer unit 34 in response to a triggering of the musical instrument 18 by a performer 16 can be of any form, such as a discrete musical note, a sequence of sounds or sampled sound, and is not limited purely to percussive sounds.

A second embodiment of the percussion musical instrument is now described with reference to Figure 3. The instrument comprises a shaft 110, which is similar to that shown in Figure 1, and on one end of which is located a near spherically shaped trigger switch 112. A series of surface trigger switches 114, which are additional to the trigger switch 112 and which are for triggering different sounds, are located along the surface of the shaft 110. A recessed finger-operated switch 116, for sequence control, and a series of set-up switches 118, for pre-setting the sounds which are to be triggered by the trigger switch 112 and surface trigger switches 114, are also provided. A radio transmitting aerial 120 is located at the end of the elongate shaft 110 remote from the trigger switch 112.

In this embodiment, the foot switch unit 22 is unnecessary, because most of its functions are provided by the musical instrument 18 itself. It is envisaged that a remote M.I.D.I, convertor (not shown in Figure 3), for receiving radio signals from the musical instrument 18 and converting them into M.I.D.I. signals, would be provided to interface between the musical instrument 18 and the M.I.D.I. interface 32 of the synthesizer unit 34.

The trigger switch 112 and surface trigger switches 114 utilise, for their sensing members, a piezoelectric film, which enables the switches to be dynamically sensitive. This dynamic sensitivity is utilised to control the volume of sound produced by the musical instrument. However, it can be envisaged that other quantities such as tremolo, vibrato or pitch could alternatively be controlled, dependent on the requirements of the performer. A third embodiment of the invention is now described with reference to Figure 4, where parts which are the same as those shown in Figure 3 are designated with the same reference numerals. The main layout of the musical instrument is identical, but three differences exist. Firstly, the trigger switch 212 is formed as an integral part of the elongate shaft 110; just the sensing portion of the switch 212 projects from the end of the shaft 110. Secondly, sound generating means (not shown) is provided within the elongate shaft 110 itself, so that sound can be output through a loud speaker 222 on the shaft 110 without the assistance of any remote devices. An auxiliary output lead 224 is provided, which in this embodiment communicates a simple on/off signal, but alternatively could communicate a M.I.D.I. signal or a custom electronic protocol.

A fourth embodiment of the invention is now described with reference to Figure 5, in which parts which are generally the same as those shown in Figure 3 are designated with the same reference numerals. This embodiment is generally a compact hand-held version of the second embodiment, the elongate shaft 110 being approximately 0.3 metres in length.

It will of course be understood that the present invention has been described purely by way of example, and modifications of detail can be made within the scope of this invention.

Claims

1. A percussion musical instrument for the production of electronically synthesized sound in response to activation by a performer characterised in that the percussion musical instrument consists of a cylindrical elongate member which includes trigger means for initiating the production of said electronically synthesized sound.
2. A percussion musical instrument according to Claim 1 wherein the trigger means is located at one end of the elongate member.
3. A percussion musical instrument according to Claim 2 wherein the trigger means includes at least one switch which incorporates a piezoelectric film sensing element.
4. A percussion musical instrument according to Claim 1 wherein the trigger means is responsive to relative rotation of two or more portions of the percussion musical instrument about the axis thereof.
5. A musical instrument according to Claim 1 wherein the trigger means is responsive to acceleration.
6. A musical instrument according to Claim l wherein the cylindrical elongate member has a straight longitudinal axis and is of uniform circular cross-section, the diameter of said cylinder being less than 0.1m.
7. A percussion musical instrument comprising a percussion musical instrument as defined in Claim 1 together with a remote interface unit which is capable of receiving at least trigger information from the elongate member and of converting said information into a form suitable for activating an electronic sound synthesizer.
8. A percussion musical instrument comprising a percussion musical instrument as defined in Claim 1 or 7 and further comprising at least one control switch which is capable of controlling the sound produced by the musical instrument.
9. A musical instrument according to Claim 1 wherein the elongate member further comprises a sound generator which is capable of electronically synthesizing sound when triggered by the trigger means.
10. A musical instrument according to Claim 1 wherein the elongate member is a shaft which is capable, when abruptly hit on a surface, of activating an electric switch and by doing so of triggering an electronically generated sound.
PCT/GB1989/000428 1988-04-21 1989-04-21 Percussion musical instrument WO1989010611A1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
GB8809383A GB8809383D0 (en) 1988-04-21 1988-04-21 Percussion sound trigger
GB8809383.6 1988-04-21

Publications (1)

Publication Number Publication Date
WO1989010611A1 true true WO1989010611A1 (en) 1989-11-02

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Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
PCT/GB1989/000428 WO1989010611A1 (en) 1988-04-21 1989-04-21 Percussion musical instrument

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GB (1) GB8809383D0 (en)
WO (1) WO1989010611A1 (en)

Cited By (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
WO1994015329A1 (en) * 1992-12-18 1994-07-07 Konstantin Vasilije Percussion instrument with strings
US5350881A (en) * 1986-05-26 1994-09-27 Casio Computer Co., Ltd. Portable electronic apparatus
US8198526B2 (en) 2009-04-13 2012-06-12 745 Llc Methods and apparatus for input devices for instruments and/or game controllers

Citations (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
GB2183076A (en) * 1985-11-16 1987-05-28 Ian Barry Tragen Drumstick electronic controlling system

Patent Citations (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
GB2183076A (en) * 1985-11-16 1987-05-28 Ian Barry Tragen Drumstick electronic controlling system

Cited By (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US5350881A (en) * 1986-05-26 1994-09-27 Casio Computer Co., Ltd. Portable electronic apparatus
WO1994015329A1 (en) * 1992-12-18 1994-07-07 Konstantin Vasilije Percussion instrument with strings
US8198526B2 (en) 2009-04-13 2012-06-12 745 Llc Methods and apparatus for input devices for instruments and/or game controllers

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date Type
GB8809383D0 (en) 1988-05-25 grant

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