Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS1739799 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 17, 1929
Filing dateOct 14, 1926
Priority dateOct 14, 1926
Publication numberUS 1739799 A, US 1739799A, US-A-1739799, US1739799 A, US1739799A
InventorsMills Bert E
Original AssigneeMills Novelty Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Harmonic device for stringed instruments
US 1739799 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Dec. 17, 19 29.

B. E. MILLS HARMONIC DEVICE FOR STRINGED INSTRUMENTS Filed Oct. 14. 1926 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 fiuezrfar M2. mzm

ALL/9W Q29;

Dec. 17, 1929. B. E. MILLS HARMONIC DEVICE FOR STRINGED INSTRUMENTS Filed Oct. 14, 1926 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 .Zkdezzzaz M8. M42,

Patented Dec. 17, 1929 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE BERT E. MILLS, 0F OAK PARK, ILLINOIS, ASSIGNOR TO MILLS NOVELTY COMPANY, OF

A CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, A CORPORATION OF ILLINOIS HARMONIC DEVICE FOR STRINGED INSTRUMENTS Application filed. October 14,

This invention relates to mechanically operated musical instruments, such as electric violins of the general type illustrated in Sandell Patent No. 855,021, and has for its principal object the provision of a device adapted to operate in conjunction with the fingering devices of the instrument to produce a higher pitch than is possible with the mechanism heretofore employed for playing instruments of this character.

The device provided by the invention may be referred to as a harmonic device, as its effect is really to produce a harmonic and in practice it has been found to add a complete octave to the capacity of the instrument, rendering possible the rendition of many musical selections which mechanical instruments not equipped with the device are incapable of playing. 1

Other objects and advantages of the invention will be apparent as it is better understood from the following description, which, taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, discloses a preferred embodiment thereof.

Referring to the drawings,

Figure 1 is a broken elevational view of an instrument to which my invention is applied, the circuit and circuit closing means for operating the harmonic lever being diagrammatically illustrated;

Fig. 2 is a plan view of theinstrument, showing only such parts as will aid in understanding the invention; and

Fig. 3 is a simple wiring diagram and schematic view of certain parts.

On said drawings, which are largely diagrammatic butwhich it is believed will be readily understood by those skilled in the art, particularly by reference to the prior patent above referred to, the reference character 11 indicates a violin sound box of the usual shape and construction, upon which strings 12, 13, 14 and 15 are arranged in the well known manner, the same being secured to a tail-piece 16 and extending over a bridge 17 the opposite ends thereof being attached in suitable manner to tensioning devices (not shown).

Fingering levers 18, which, may be of the 1926. Serial No. 141,471.

same general type and operated in the same manner as those shown in Sandell Patent No.

1,381,508, are provided in suitable number and arrangement, the magnets for operating the same being arranged in a housing 19 shown at the left in Fig. 2. One of said magnets is indicated at 21 in the diagram of Fig. 3, which also illustrates the means (to be later described) for closing the circuit for energizing the fingering device magnets when it is desired to bring the fingering levers into action.

The instrument is adapted to be played by a plurality of sounders or bows 22 (one for each string) carried upon the ends of rotary shafts 23, which may be mounted and adapted to be operated in the manner illustrated in Sandell Patent No. 1,579,792, or in the manner illustrated in my co-pending application Serial No. 141,470, of even date herewith. The bows 22 are preferably disposed within a housing 24 and the bow shafts are adapted to be raised and lowered by means of levers .25 secured intermediate their ends to a rock gized in the playing of the instrument to operate said levers 25 and cause the bows to be applied to or lifted from the strings. The magnets 32 are secured to a bracket 33, which may be connected by a bolt 34 to a bracket 35 spaced inwardly therefrom, as shown in Fig. 2.

The tail-piece 16 of the instrument is adapted to be vibrated to produce a. tremolo effect by means of a rod 36 secured to said tail-piece at 37 and at its opposite end to an electrically controlled pendulous lever, such as that shown in my prior Patent No. 1,407,434.

The mechanism thus far described is disclosed in prior patents and forms no part of the present invention, excepting as combined with the devices which will now be described.

It will be understood that the number of fingering levers 18 which may be employed is limited on account of the space which they requireand that, particularly in the area in which the frets nearest the bridge are arranged in an ordinary violin, the number of fingering levers required to enable the instrument to play cer ain musical selections, which can be played by a violinist, is so great that a sufficient number for all selections cannot be provided within the space available. The range of the instrument being limited in this manner, it has been found impossible in the past to play thereon certain particularly high pitched musical pieces and it is the aim of my invention to provide a device which will add at least an octave to the capacity of the instrument and render possible the playing of such high pitched pieces without requiring more lingering levers than have heretofore been used, it being readily apparent that such number, for the reason mentioned, has reached the maximum which is thought to be practical.

The illustrative embodiment of the device provided by my invention as shown on the drawings comprises a lever 38 pivoted at 39 and having at the forward end thereof a lateral extension -41, carrying a piece of felt or the like 42 adapted to be brought into contact with the string 15 under predetermined conditions in the playing of the instrument. The rear end 43 of said lever extends laterally from the body of the latter, as shown in Fig. 1 of the drawings, and forms an armature associated with a magnet 44:, which is mounted on a framepart a5 and adapted to be energized to operate the lever 38 in manner which will next be described.

The instrument may be played either by means of a keyboard, one of the keys l6 of which is shown upon the drawings, or by means of a perforated sheet l7, of the wellltnown type, mounted upon a contact roller e8, the material of which is a conductor of electric current and is connected with the positive side of a battery, or other source of current, by means of a wire 49, which has a branch 51 leading to the key 16, which is provided at its rear end with contacts 52 and 53. Upon depression of the key l6, the contact member first en ages a cooperating contact member 5a, which is connected by wiring 55 with the magnet a l, from which return wiring 56 leads back to the battery, or other source of current. lVhen said magnet 44 is thus energized, the lever 38 is turned on its pivot to bring the free end thereof into contact with the string 15, which, as shown, is the E strin on the violin, though it will be understood that the invention is not confined to a construction in which the device is ap pli d to the E string or to any particular string, or to one string only. Further depression of said hey l6 brings the contact 53 into engagement with a cooperating contact member 57, from which wiring 58 leads to the finger magnet 21 and the bow magnets (not shown), these magnets being arranged in the line 58, 56, as shown in the drawings.

It is to be understood that in the event the instrument is operated by a player roll instead of by playing upon the keyboard, the magnets will be energized by means of brushes engaging the contact roller 4-8 wherever permitted by the perforations 59 of the sheet l7, wires 61 and 62 leading from said brushes to the lingering and bow magnets and to the harmonic magnet, respectively. It will be noted that the harmonic magnet is energized prior to the energizing of the other magnets so that the lever 38 is brought into contact with the string prior to the operation of the associated fingering devices and it is understood that the lever 38 is only actuated by certain of the higher keys on the keyboard, or corresponding perforations in the music sheet.

The location of the contact member 12 is such that it produces a harmonic, the particular point at which best results have been obtained being approximately that shown in the drawings.

Obviously the same principle may be applied to a non-mechanical violin and I wish it to be understood that this comes within the purview of my invention.

7 is thought that the invention and many of its attendant advantages will be understood from the foregoing description, and it will be apparent that various changes may be made in the form, construction and arrangement of the parts without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention, or sacrificing all of its material advantages, the

form hereinbefore described being merely a preferred embodiment thereof.

I claim:

1. A mechanically operated musical instrument of the viol class, comprising electrically controlled sounder-s and fingering devices. and an electrically controlled harmonic device automatically operable in the playing of the instrument and including a member adapted to be applied to a string of said instrument beyond the zone of action of the fingering devices thereby producing in conjunction with the fingering devices hi her pitches than can be obtained with said fingerdevices alone.

2. A mechanically operated musical instrument of the viol class, comprising electrically controlled sounders and lingering devices, and an electrically controlled harmonic device automatically operable in the playing of the instrument and including a member adapted to be applied from above and to a string of said instrument beyond the zone of action of lingering devices thereby producing in conjunction with the lingering devices l'iigher pitches than can be obtained with said fingering devices alone.

3. A mechanically operated musical instrument of the viol class, comprising electrically controlled sounders and fingering devices, and an electrically controlled harmonic device automatically operable in the playing of the instrumentand including a member adapted to be applied to a string of said instrument beyond the zone of action of the fingering devices thereby producing in conjunction with the fingering devices higher pitches than can be obtained with said fingering devices alone, said harmonic device including a magnet, a magnet circuit and circuitclosing means for actuating said member.

4. A mechanically operated musical instrument of the viol class, comprising electrically controlled sounders and fingering devices, and an electrically controlled harmonic device automatically operable in the playing or the instrument and including a member adapted to be applied to a string of said instrument beyond the zone of action of the fingering devices thereby producing in conjunction with the fingering devices higher pitches than can be obtained with said fingering devices alone, said harmonic device including a magnet, a magnet circuit and circuit closing means for actuating said memher, and said member comprising a pivoted lever having at one end an armature asso ciated with said magnet and at the other a part adapted to engage said string.

5. A mechanically operated musical instrument of the viol class, comprising electrically controlled Sounders and fingering devices, and an electrically controlled harmonic device automatically operable in the playing of the instrument and including a member adapted to be applied to the E string of said instrument beyond the zone of action of the fingering devices thereby producing in conjunction with the fingering devices higher pitches than can be obtained with said fingering devices alone.

6. A mechanically operated musical instrument of the viol class, comprising electrically controlled sounders and fingering devices, and an electrically controlled harmonic device automatically operable in the playing of the instrument and including a member adapted to be applied to a string of said instrument beyond the zone of action of the fingering devices thereby producing in conjunction with the fingering devices higher pitches than can be obtained with said fingering devices alone, said member being adapted to engage the string prior to the operation of the associated fingering devices.

7. A mechanically operated musical instrument of the viol class, comprising electrically controlled sounders and fingering devices, and an electrically controlled harmonic device automatically operable in the playing of the instrument and including a member adapted to be applied to a string of said instrument at a point which will produce a harmonic thereby producmg in conjunction with the fingering devices higher pitches than can be obtained with said fingering devices alone.

8. A mechanically operated musical in strument of the viol class, comprising sounders and fingering devices, and an electrically controlled harmonic device zmtoinatically operable in the playing of the instrument and including a member adapted to be applied to a string of said instrument at a point which will produce a harmonic thereby producing in conjunction with the fingering devices higher pitches than can be obstained with said fingering devices alone.

In witness whereof, I hereunto subscribe my name to this specification.

BERT E. MILLS.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US5142961 *Nov 7, 1989Sep 1, 1992Fred ParoutaudMethod and apparatus for stimulation of acoustic musical instruments
US5315060 *Jan 17, 1992May 24, 1994Fred ParoutaudMusical instrument performance system
WO1991006941A1 *Nov 6, 1990May 16, 1991Fred ParoutaudMethod and apparatus for stimulation of acoustic musical instruments
Classifications
U.S. Classification84/11, 984/210, 84/234
International ClassificationG10F1/18, G10F1/00
Cooperative ClassificationG10F1/18
European ClassificationG10F1/18