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Publication numberUS1204437 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 14, 1916
Filing dateApr 17, 1915
Priority dateApr 17, 1915
Publication numberUS 1204437 A, US 1204437A, US-A-1204437, US1204437 A, US1204437A
InventorsVictor Heinze
Original AssigneeVictor Heinze
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Means for correcting the human hand for musical purposes.
US 1204437 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)




1 204,437. Patented Nov. 14, 1916.





Patented Nov. 14, 1916.





1,204,43 7. 'Patented Nov. 14, 1916.


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Application led .April 17, 1915.

To all whom t may concern.'

Be it known that I, VICTOR HEINZE, a citizen of the United States, and a resident of the city of Chicago, in the county of Cook and State of Illinois, have invented a certain new and useful Improvement in the Means for Correcting the Human Hand for Musical Purposes; and I do hereby declare that the following description of my said invention, taken in connection with the accompanying sheets of drawings, formsy a full, clear, and exact specification, which will enable others skilled in the art to which it appertains to make and use the same.

My invention relates generally to improvements in the method of, and means for correcting the human hand for musical purposes, and it consists, essentially, in the novel and peculiar combination of paits and details of construction, as hereinafter first fully set forth and described and then pointed out in the claims.

In the drawings already referred to, which disclose my invention m-ore fully, Figure l is a plan thereof, certain parts being broken away and others shown in hori- Zontal section for clearness of detail. Fig. 2 is an end elevation of Fig. 1. Fig. 3 is a rear elevation of Fig. l. 4 is a plan of a fragment of the device, illust-rating the means whereby the thumb or rst finger of a hand is corrected into a faultless member as hereinafter described. Fig. 5 is a vertical transverse section in line 5 5 of Fig. 4, with certain elements of the structure eliminated. Fig. 6 is a section of a detail in line 6 6 of Fig. 9.. Fig. 7 is a horizontal section in line -7- of Fig. 5. Fig. 8 is a like section in line 8-8 of Fig. 5. Fig. 9 is an elge view of a ring and attaching chain employed for correcting the thumb and the iingers of a hand, by means of my invention. Fig. l0 is a plan view thereof, and Fig. 1l is a side view of an elastic band used in connection with iingers. Fig. 12 is an elevation of concave sleeves for use in connection with the palm of the hand. Figs. 13 and 14 are a plan and an elevation of rings adapted to pass over the fingers of the musical student. Fig. 15 is a diagrammatic view of a portion of my device show- Speccation of Letters Patent.

Patente( Nov. 14, 1916.

Serial No. 22,135.

ing a finger in position for strengthening the flexor muscles at the third joint thereof, while Fig. 16 indicates the same linger with the extensor muscles undergoing the strengthening process. Fig. 17 indicates the second joint as under extensor muscle strengthening, and Fig. 18, the same oint as under treatment for the flexor muscles.

Like parts are indicated by corresponding symbols or characters of reference in all the iigures of the drawings.

A fact long known to music masters; the great importance of which is becoming` more recognized every day, is that the student of instrumental music, no matter how great his natural or latent talent may be, must in order to become a finished player of the piano or any other stringed musical instrument, acquire a faultless, sure, and never failing technique, to acquire which, the student must possess what is commonly known as a good piano or violin hand. By hand I mean the fingers, palm, and wrist, and, faultless hands must he wel] constructed for the purpose intended and possessed of the necessary muscular strength in the hands as well as in the arms.

Few students of the piano or other stringed instruments are endowed by nature with good, properly constructed hands', possessed of the necessary muscular strength` to naturally develop into proper condition; in other words faultless hands are the exception, rather than the rule. A faulty hand may be characterized by being too narrow in the palm; the metacarpals being spaced too closely together, so that the third digit or finger tips have insufficient separation between them. Another characteristic is the lack of muscular strength, or that the fieXor or extensor, and the multiplicity of other muscles controlling the functions of the hand are too hard, too stiff, or too closely interlaced; that there is a painful lack of pliability, fiexibility, and elasticity of the muscular group governing and connecting the iirst digit of the fingers of the hand at or near the palmar joints, and that there exists too great a sympathetic movement between the iingers of the hand. The conditions eXisting in such a hand unduly limit les,

Vthe span of the lingers, so that long stretches as they appear in all greater compositions become impossible, or atleast, extremely painful to the user of the hand. More than that, such conditions greatly impede the finger work or finger dexterity, by which is meant that rapid, almost instantaneous up and down movement of the ngers and their almost as rapid spread, is almost constantly required. The condition' of insuliicient m-uscular strength prevents the fingers, hand, and arm from maintaining that position required for good tone work, speed, and massive playing, as is so often required; but, on the contrary, produces toneless technique.

. It is now noted that in compliance with musical nomenclature, I will in all cases in this specification denote the thumb as the first linger; the index nger, as the second finger; the middle linger, as the third finger; the ring linger, as the fourth linger;

Vand Vthe little finger as the lifth finger.

The problem of correcting va faulty hand into a good piano or violin hand, the faultless hand, as it were, resides entirely in permanently stretching or widening the hand and then increasing the muscular strength thereof. These are closely interrelated to each other, and in the exemplification of my invention are provided all the essentials for correcting a hand, but it is ,fibsolutely necessary that the student himself must of his own strength and endeavor perform the exercises hereinafter described in order to eect a permanent correction of the hand or hands. Y Y Y Briefly then my invention 'resides vin a method of and means for correcting a faulty hand into one properly adapted for the playing of the piano or other stringed musical instrument. By the employment of my device l permanently widen the hand while the same is maintained in the correct playing position, and it. may now be stated that the proper position of a good hand in piano playing, is as shown in Fig. 2, in which the wrist is depressed or held low; the palmar surface at the joints of the first digit elevatedV or held high; the first digit disposed in about a horizontal plane; the second digit at about an angle of Ll degrees from the same horizontal, and the third digit at a right angle to said horizontal, or in a position perpendicular to the keys to be struck.

Now to better explain my invention I believe it of greater advantage to first describe and disclose in detail my device in one of the preferred constructions thereof, (it being understood that the mechanical details of many ofthe parts and elements of construction may be changed and altered at will vwithout falling without the scope o-f my 1la likewise maintained in spaced apart4 parallel relationship, forming therebetween a longitudinal slot 12 extending the full distance between said vertical plates.V Projecting forwardly from the forward edge of bar il are a plurality of horizontally protruding pins 18, the outer or free ends of which are bent upwardly as at 18a. These hooked pins are equally spacedalong the edge of the bar 11n and some of the same are longer than others as seen at 18h. lt is now to be noted that thc members and 10, which are really the side frames of my device, and will be so termed hereafter, are connected together' near their lower ends by a frame spreader red il, held in place by tap screws or bolts 15 and 15, the whole forming a well connected structure.

Fastened to and projecting horizontally from the side members 10 and 10a are posts 1b' and 1G, which post-s are possessed of through cross apertures, l? and 17, prefer-V ably square, and extending in planes parallel to si id side frames, but slightly upwardly toward the forward portions of the device, and, slidably littedlin these through apertures are sliding rods 18 and 18a adapted to be heldin fixed position by thumb screws 19 and 19, arranged in the posts 16 and 16a. The sliding rods 1S and 18a are adapted to slide in sli Ohtly upwardly direct-ion to a variable point forward of the front of the device and are supported from the stand upon which they may be located by short studs 20 and 20a. At their outer ends these rods have perpendicular' stems or standards Q1 and 21, projecting from the forward faces of which are arseries of equally spaced pins and bar 28, which is'adapted for free movement along said rods in the space extending between the edges of the frames 10and 10L and the upstanding studs 21 and 21, and, like the standards 21 and 21, and the frame top bar 11a, are provided with a plurality of equally spaced forwardly and downwardly pointing hooks 23a.

A short distance within the forward edge of the side frames 10 and 10a, in corresponding situations in both frames, a proper distance Vabove the common base thereof, there are tapped holes for the reception therein of thumb screws 24: and 2da, which screws are embraced by open ended long slots 25 located in forwardly projecting bars 26 and 26a, the forward endsV of which are con- Said sliding rods 18 and'1'8Y are connected together by a slidable bladeor nccted by a round, longitudinal shaft 27, eX- tending the length of the device as a whole, and are iXed to said blades 26 and 26 by machine screws 28 and 28a. Freely revoluble and laterally movable on the shaft 2T normally set medially of the length thereof are four concaved anti-friction rollers 29.

Located directly above thumb screws 2e and 24a and in vertical alinement thereto are tapped openings, in side frames 10 and 10a, for the entrance therein of the threaded portions of handled thumb screws 30 and 30a, which are embraced in slots 3l of blade members and 32, and the outer ends of these blade members have a connecting shaft 33, parallel to shaft 27, which former is fastened to the blades 32 and 32a by screws 3-l and 3i or other equivalent mea-ns. Suspended from shaft 33 and oscillatable thereon, approximately medially of its length thereof, is a built up member 35, which may be termed abacking for the wrist of a player whose hand is undergoing correction. rihis backing possesses a. sleeve 3G, rotatably and laterally movable on shaft 33 and may be fixed in position by a thumb screw 37. Depending from this sleeve at either end thereof are arms 33 and 3S, which terminate in a backing plate 39, to the under .tace of which is attached a. felt or similar cushion pad 40.

Depending from the frame top bars 1l and ll and suspended by studs ll, passing through the slot l2, are four vertically disiosed, oscillatable, wing plates, which being precisely alike, except as to being rights and lefts, are characterized by the character lV. The studs Ll-l, which are secured to these wings 'Tf/v, are slidable in the slot 12, and are adapted to be fixed in rigid position by wing nut-s a2, and it is to be observed that one of the eXtreme and one of the mean studs All and wing nuts 42 are longer than the others, the purpose of which is to permit the studs to be moved into ad- Iiacency with each other and yet allow the tightening up thereof by the longer and shorter wing nuts e2 in an evident manner.

Describing one of the wings lV, the same is of substantially rectangular contour, extending from the under side of the frame bars ll and ll to within a short distance of the frame spreader rod let as seen in Figs. 3 and 5. Located on the top edge of said wing near the rear corner thereof is a fixed circular flange 4:3, and centrally below the same is a prot-uberance let, the latter for the purpose of receiving the lower end of the stud el, and the former being provided for a free sliding contact with the under side of bars ll and lla, and also for presenting ample fricticnal area when the wing nuts e2 are tightly screwed up.

Fixedly attached to the rear edge of wing lV and extending downwardly and slightly backwardly is a tubular member el having in its rear wall a slot @LG extending the entire length of said tube. TNithin said tube is a slidable plunger JJ, adapted to receive the threaded end of a thumb screw le, movable in the slot d6, with its head thereof bearing upon a friction washer llt), parti-all)Y embracing tube -l-5 on either side of said slot. It will thus be observed7 that the plunger et? becomes freely movable in the tubular member -l by the easing otl' of thumb screw -lS and a. tightening up thereof rigidifies said plunger in said tube.

Positioned a short distance from thel lower, rear corner of the wing YV and forwardly of the tubular member l5 is fixed a stud 50a, which is attached to the wing lV and about which is adapted to oscillate a bar 50. Said bar has a rearward extension 5l the rear end of which is offset as at 52, so as to bring the same directly below the tube ln this tube is located a compression spring 53, with its upper end pressing against plunger l? and its lower end embracing a short stud of a scmispherical member 53, which member is adapted for a slight sliding motion on said extension 52 as the bar 50 is oscillated. Bent from the wing` W is a small projection 53C, which is so arranged that when under the action of the spring the bar 50 reaches a hori- Zontal plane it will be maintained there. ln other words the stop 53C will prevent any uptilting of the forward end of the bar 5U beyond a horizontal plane. Near the front of bar 50, in its top face, are produced tapped openings 5%, for the alternate or successive reception of a stud therein. it is now to be explained that the oscillatable bar 50 on the wing iV bears the same relationship to this device as does a liey to a piano, and when inert lies in a horizontal plane, the same as in a piano. The action of the spring 53 tends to impel the outer end 56 of the bar upwardly, while the 1nedial finger sketched in Fig. 5 tends to depress the key. rlhe finger pressure required for such depression may be varied by changing the relative location of the plunger l? in the tube Ll5 in a manner readily comprehended.

Before l go into further detail as to how a faulty hand is corrected, I must again emphasize the fact that a permanent widening of the hand can only be accomplished with the fingers and hand in correct plaving position as already described. rlhis understood, l i'irst place the 2nd, 3rd, Jrth, and 5th iingers upon the l-:eys 50 with the tips of said lingers against the stop pin 55. Then with the ngers in proper curved position, l adjust shaft 27 to the proper elevation of the palm, with the convened sleeves 29 under the palmar lioints of the last four fingers, and fasten this shaft in position izo through the media of the thumb nuts 24 and 24F. Next 1 depress the shaft 33 with the wrist backing 35, until the latter forces the wrist downwardly to its proper position and fix that shaftV in position. The fingers, hand, and wrist are now supported in correct playing position. Next l move the wing iN against the fourth finger and physically force it away from the third by moving and oscillating the said wing against said forth finger. it will be noticed that as the wing W extends beyond the second joint of the finger toward the palmar joint, that the stretch as it were must result in an increase of the distance between the palmar joints and metacarpals. The wing for the fourth finger is then fastened in place and the wing for the fifth finger is applied to widen the space between the fourth and fifth palmar joint. The wings iV are also directed to the 2nd and 3rd fingers, to widen the space between the second and third joints, and it will now be seen that each of the four fingers is confined in a stretched apart position in an approximation of the position of a correct hand and that the spread of the four fingers is what they ought to be, and tnat each finger is in its proper curved playing position with the palmer joints high and the wrist low. rihe springs 53 on the wings `W are now adjusted to a .proper degree to exert a resistance to depression of the keys by the fingers thereon. Lastly l slip a ring 100 over the first `finger orv thumb near the first joint thereof and draw tightly on the ring and its tensioning means 101, 102, and 103 to draw or pull the thumb palmar joint away from the same joint of the second finger, so as to increase the distance between the thumb and second finger, and likewise the spread between the thumb and last finger. The student now moves the second finger in an up and down movement depressing the key 50 at each downward motion until the finger becomes tired, or in from one to two minutes. The third, fourth, and fifth fingers are then likewise exercised, and attention is drawn to the fact, that the muscles in the palm and around the joints are caused to become pliable and flexible, so as to enable the palmar joints to permanently settle in their now widened apart position. These exercises are repeated day after day for weeks until the Vnew location of the joints becomes a natural one. rihe thumb is likewise moved in an upward and downward direction, and that motion in connection with the steady strain upon the same caused by the ring 100, and its spring 103 hooked over the hook 22, likewise causes the separation or widening away of the thumb palmar joint from that'of the second finger.

Attention is now drawn to the fact that rings 70 with their faces 71 are slipped over the fingers before the wings are forced against them so that skin abrasion of the fingers during the upward and downward movement is avoided.

ln order to increase flexibility and elasticity of the muscles joining adjacent lingers and at the same time strengthen the same, the following exercise takes place: After the so called spreading exercise: The second finger is maintained in elevated relationship by the yielding band 101i and chain 105 hooked over pin 13. The third finger is now moved up` and down as before, whereby the muscles andV ligaments between it and the first finger are rendered fiexible and strengthened. rjhe third finger may then be held elevated and the second and fourth are moved up and down thereby loosening, and strengthening and flexing the muscles and ligaments between the second and third and the third and fourth. The fifth finger may be elevated and the fourth moved up and down, to flex, and strengthen the muscles between the fourth and Vfifth. In fact any combinations of fingers may be elevated and the others exercised, the total result of which is the strengthening of each finger and eliminating entirely the generally existing and sympathetic movement of the other fingers than the one moved. It is to vbe understood that these exercises extend into the muscles of the entire palm, wrist, and fore- Y arm as well, yrendering the same flexible, strong, and instantaneously responsive to cerebral directions. To further increase the strengthening of these muscles and to render the individual fingers more independent of each other when acting in an upward and downward movement, the exercise disclosed in Fig.V 5 is directed, in which, for instance the second finger is forcibly maintained in a depressed position, even to the limit of movement of the key 50, by means of the band 10-l and chain 105, the latter being hooked over the proper hook 23a of lower cross bar 23. In this exercise the Vthird finger is free for up and down movement, and the fourth linger is maintained in an elevated position, as already described and shown in Fig. 5. In this way the up and down movement of the intermediate finger affects and strengthens the muscles to either side thereof, and it is to be understood that any desired combination of the fingers as just described may be made to effect the desired result. muscles'in the wrist and forearm often require strengthening and flexing in addition to that derived-from the other exercises, and for this particular exercise l clamp the arm near the wrist Vbetween the shafts 27 and 33 and instruct the student to physically move the hand up and down by the muscles of the The Y forearm and arm. This exercise is continued periodically as are all the others herein mentioned until the desired result is effected. lVhen approximately below the palmar joint of the fifth finger the thumb must be capable of vertical movement, as in striking keys, without any visible movement of any of the other fingers or parts of the hand. To attain this result the spring 103 is transferred to the opposite pin 22, the thumb pulled in the opposite direction under the palm, and the up and down movement instituted and periodically continued until the desired result is effected.

1n many cases it is found that the muscles between the joints of a finger or fingers are not strong enough to withstand the striking of the keys and break down as it were. To correct this evil the exercises shown in Figs. 15, 16, 17, and 18 are instituted. 1n Fig. 15 is indicated the development of the flexor muscles of the third joint; while in Fig. 16 the strengthening development of the exteiisor muscles of the same joint are disclosed, and the same may be said of the second joints of a finger as seen in Figs. 17 and 18.

ln conclusion I now state that an industrious and ambitious student possessed of faulty hands may by hard work, extending over several years of time and labor, overcome to a certain extent the shortcomings of his faulty hands, but not entirely so, while with the assistance of my invention, his hands will be entirely corrected in a period of some six to eight weeks. 1 further wish to finally emphasize that hereinbefore 1 have mainly shown my device as corrective of faulty hands for the piano; the same remarks apply equally well to any stringed instrument where dexterity of finger work, spread of fingers, or pressure of contact with keys or strings is an essential.

1 have hereinbefore disclosed the preferred mode of practising my invention, but 1 reserve the right to make such and any changes as might occur to one skilled in the art to which this invention appertaius, or to make any and all such alterations as may be permitted under the doctrine of equivalents.

Having thus fully described my invention 1 claim as new, and desire to secure to myself by Letters Patent of the United States 1. An apparatus of the class described, comprising individual supports for each finger of a hand, means for separating said supports to spread the fingers, and means for maintaining said supports in separated position.

2. In an apparatus of the class described, a frame, wings in said frame, there being Enger supporting conIleClQ? with said wings, finger stop pins on said supporting bars, and a rest for the palmar joint of the hand, whereby the fingers thereof are maintained in a properly curved position.

3. In an apparatus of the class described, a frame, wings in said frame. there being movably mounted finger supporting bars iu connection with said wings, finger stop pins on said supporting bars, and a rest for the palmar joint of a hand, whereby the fingers thereof are maintained in a properly curved position.

4L. In an apparatus of the class described, a frame having side members and connect-l ing bars between said side members, finger spreading wings in connection with said bars, finger supporting bars in connection with said winO's, and means maintaining the fingers in a curved position.

5. In an apparatus of the class described, a frame having side members and connecting bars between said side members, finger spreading wings in connection with said bars, finger supporting bars in connection with said wings, and means maintaining the fingers in a curved position, and independent tensioning means for the fingers, supported from the frame.

6. In an apparatus of the class described, a frame, a wrist backing in said frame, a plurality of individual supports for four fingers of a hand in said frame, and a yielding` support for the thumb extending from a part of said frame.

7. 1n an apparatus of the class described, a frame, al wrist backing in said frame, a plurality of individual supports for four fingers of a hand in said frame, finger spreading wings interposed between the ngers and attached to the individual supports, and a yielding support for the thumb extending from a part of said frame.

8. An apparatus of the class described, comprising aframe, a support for the palinar oints of the fingers of a hand, individual supports for the four fingers of the hand, means for separately maintaining the said four fingers in a downwardly curved position, and means for spreading said fingers.

9. An apparatus of the class described, comprising a frame, a wrist backing in said frame, a support for the palmar joints of a hand arranged in front of said wrist backing, individual supports for the four fingers of the hand arranged in front of the support for the palmar joints, means connected to said individual supports for spreading the fingers, and means for maintaining the said four fingers in a downwardly curved position.

10. An apparatus of the class described, comprising a frame, a wrist backing in said frame, a support for the palmar joints of a hand arranged in front of said Wrist back- Y 11. In an apparatus of the class described, 10

ing, said support being adjustable, individual supports for the four fingers oftlie hand arranged in front of the support for the palmar joints, m'eans connected to said individual supports for spreading the iingers, and means for maintaining the said four iingers in a downwardly curved posi tion.

a nger support comprising an oscillatable 'bar7 and a spreading Wing attached to the side of said bar.

In testimony that I claim the foregoing as my invention, I have hereunto set my hand.


Copies of this patent may be obtained for five cents each, by addressing theV Commissioner of Patents,

' Washington, D. C. Y

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4679548 *Jan 25, 1985Jul 14, 1987Compagnie Generale De Material OrthopediqueRe-education apparatus for the articulated segments of the hand
US5683351 *Sep 27, 1994Nov 4, 1997Jace Systems, Inc.Continuous passive motion device for a hand
US5723785 *Feb 14, 1997Mar 3, 1998Manning; Michael R.Hand muscle tension measuring apparatus
US6443874 *Sep 8, 2000Sep 3, 2002Mark BennettOccupational - therapy apparatus for strengthening fingers, hand, wrist, forearm and foot
US6911011Dec 4, 2002Jun 28, 2005Jody R. HaagDigit therapy device
USRE33182 *Mar 14, 1989Mar 20, 1990Compagnie Generale De Materiel OrthopediqueRe-education apparatus for the articulated segments of the hand
WO2002020095A1 *Sep 5, 2001Mar 14, 2002Marc BennettOccupational - therapy apparatus for strengthening fingers, hand, wrist, forearm and foot
U.S. Classification482/48, 601/40, 84/465
Cooperative ClassificationA63B23/16