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Publication numberUS2271772 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 3, 1942
Filing dateJul 11, 1941
Priority dateJul 11, 1941
Publication numberUS 2271772 A, US 2271772A, US-A-2271772, US2271772 A, US2271772A
InventorsDominick A Maffei
Original AssigneeDominick A Maffei
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
System of musical notation
US 2271772 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Feb.v 3, 1942. D. A. MAFFl-:l 2,271,772

SYSTEM OF MUSICAL NOTATION Filed July ll, 1941 161 12, 16, 10, 14., 15 J6, ZZ; ,J3 z3 1917; z5 'e' lf2 lbllllllmllllll Illlllllllblllllllllllll lll lllllllulnllmlml llllllllmlnu.nun-ml l Illlllllllllllllllllllll lllllllllllllllllllllllll I lmlll INVENTOR DOM//v/CK A, MAfFf/ MAL( ATTORNEY Paten'ted Feb. 3, 1942 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE 9 Claims.

This invention relates to a system of musical notation, particularly, although not. exclusively, designed to enable a musical composition to be played or read in any key of the scale. Specifically, it relates to a device adapted for cooperative use with interchangeable score sheets containing musical notations representing musical selections, whereby upon an operative manipulation of the device or sheet, the notations appear transposed from the original key on the score sheet to any selected key.

In the conventional system of musical notation, every musical selection is Written in one specific key. Should it be desired to play that selection in another key, it becomes necessary either to rewrite the entire composition in that other key, or to transpose at sight. Printing music sheets in many different keys is obviously so costly as to be prohibitive, and transposing at sight requires a rare degree of skill and experience. The average person playing an instrument is hence frequently left no alternative other thanto play in the original key. Should` that be too difficult or not feasible, the music mustre-w main unplayed. It is primarily within the contempla-tion of this inventionk to enable a musical composition to be readily transposed into any key whatsoever, using only the original score sheet or sheet of musical notation, thereby eliminating all the aforesaiddefects and shortcomings inherent in the presently used conventionalsystem of musical notations.

Time intervals in the conventional form of musical notation are indicated by bars or measures, the dimensional distances between the dividing lines of the bars being generally unequal inasmuch as they are dependent only upon the number of notes contained therein. In other words, two. successive bars each representing four beats may be one and two inches in length, respectively, where the four beats are represented., for example, by half notes in one case and by sixteenth notes in the other. It is hence often confusing, particularly for the beginner, to comprehend the rhythmic aspect of a sheet of music without making a careful study thereof. It is therefore another object of my invention to provide a system of musical notations wherein the time element, as determined by equal beats, is clearly set forth in equally divided intervals for measures of the same number of beats, thereby facilitating the reading of the score for musical interpretation. r

Other objects,A features and advantages wil appear from the drawing and the description hereinafter given.

Referring to the drawing,

Figure 1 is a fragmentary front View of my invention with a part of the keyboard sheet broken away to show the score therebehind.

Figure 2 is a fragmentary plan view of Figure l.

Figure 3 is a fragmentary section of Figure 1 taken' along line 3 3, the keyboard sheet being shown by dot-dash lines in an upper position.

Figure 4 is a fragmentary View of the score sheet.

Figure 5 is a fragmentary view of the keyboard sheet assembly.

In the drawing, a folder IiiI, constituting a part of my invention in the preferred form, containsthe covers I I and I2 bound together by the flexible middle portion I3. The upper portion of each of said covers contains a horizontally transposed rail I4 and I5, respectively; and slidably mounted upon said rails are the shoes I6 and I7. These shoes preferably embrace the rails only partially, so as to clear the rail-supporting brackets I8 and I9 attached to the covers II and I2, respectively, when the shoes are slidably manipulated. Immovably affixed to the saidl shoes are the preferably transparent keyboard sheets or windows 20 and 2 I, the arrangement beingr such that the sheets can be swung up to the unoperative dot-dash position shown in Figure 3 from their normal operative position in overlying relation to the covers II and I2. The said keyboard sheets 20 and 2| can also be slidably manipulated laterally with respect to said covers IfI and I2, the preferred design being such that the width of each of said sheets 20 and 2l is less than that of covers II and I2. It is preferred that the shoes I6 and I7 be Wider than the gap between the adjacent terminals 22 and 23 of the rails I4 and I5, so that when the folder I0 is fully opened, each of the shoes can be slidably moved from its original position on its rail across the gap to the other rail.

The said keyboard sheets 20 and 2| contain an arrangement of dark andlight stripes 24 and 25, respectively, arranged to correspond with the keyboard of a piano, the light stripes corresponding to the white keys and the dark stripes to the black keys. The stripes however are transparentso as to enable printed or Written subject matter behind sheets 20 or 2I to be visible.

A music score sheet 26 is employed in my invention coactively with the said keyboard sheets 20 and 2|, in a manner to be hereinafter described. The said score sheet 26 contains a plurality of vertical dark and light stripes 21 and 28 corresponding precisely to the stripes on the keyboard sheets and 2|. According to the preferred arrangement and for best operative results, the dark stripes 21 on the score sheet are of the same color intensity and hue as the light stripes 25 on the keyboard sheets, and the light stripes 28 are preferably, although not necessarily, white. For reasons which will hereinafter more clearly appear, the relationship of colors of the stripes on the keyboard sheets 20 and 2| and the score sheet 26 should be such that when the score sheet 26 is placed behind either of the transparent keyboard sheets with the dark stripes 21 of the score sheet in registry with the light stripes 25 of the keyboard sheets, the stripes on the score sheet will become neutralized and completely obliterated from view; and when the dark stripes 21 of the score sheet are in registry with the dark stripes 24 of the keyboard sheets, the stripes on the score sheet will likewise not be discernible.

The score sheet 26 further contains a plurality of horizontal lines 29 and 30 separated from each other by equidistant spaces. Each of these lines represents one beat, lines 29, indicated as heavy lines, representing the beginnings of a new measure, and light lines 30 representing intermediate beats. In the chart illustrated, the score is obviously in two quarter time inasmuch as there are only two spaces between successive lines 29. It is, of course, understood that scores having more beats to the measure than here indicated can be represented in like manner, by increasing the number of intermediate lines 30 between the measure or bar lines 29.

The musical notations or notes may take any predetermined design or form, such as the large black discs 3| representing right-hand melody notes, the small black discs 32 representing righthand harmony notes, the small white circles 33 representing left-hand harmony notes, and similar large white circles (not shown) that may represent left-hand melody notes. These notes are placed on the vertical stripes 21 and 28 to correspond with the tone intervals of the particular melody, and on the horizontal lines 29 and 3U to correspond with the time. In other words, every note or musical marking can be graphically located at a definite spot on the score sheet 26 with reference to two coordinate systems, one representing time intervals and the other representing tone intervals.

The score sheet shown in Figure 4 indicates the above-described system of musical notations as applied to a phrase from Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. The melody notes 3| are played successively by following their positions from the uppermost beat lines downwardly towards the bottom of the sheet. The dotted line 34 may if desired be employed to assist in following out the melody. The words may also appear on the score sheet adjacent the corresponding notes. It will be observed that certain of the beat lines 29 and 30 contain along their lengths more than one note, such as a right-hand harmony note 32 or a left-hand harmony note 33. This merely indicates that at the beat indicated by such a beat line, all the notes appearing thereon must be simultaneously played. It is preferred that notes having the same musical function, such as a succession of harmony notes, be connected by lines such as 35. Where a note is to be held over a span of more than one beat that may be indicated by a line 36 extending downwardly from said note for the required number of beats. It is preferred, although not necessary, that this line be divided into parallel sections, one section i'or each beat, as indicated by the line extending down from note 31, thereby more clearly indicating the duration of such sustained note.

The score sheet 26 is arranged in a definite key, and it can be employed, if desired, as a separate unit without the use of any other portion o1' my device. In this manner the advantages of the system of notations which I employ can be readily utilized for that one particular key. Should it be desired to play the musical score of said sheet on the piano, fingering notations, as indicated in Figure 4, may be employed in a conventional manner. However, the color of these fingering notations should be the same as the color of the light stripes 25 of the keyboard sheets 20 and 2 In this manner, when the score sheet 26 is placed behind the said transparent keyboard sheets for transportation purposes, the fingering will be entirely obliterated from view, which is highly desirable inasmuch as the iingering is employable only with the original key.

Should it be desired to play the music on the score sheet in any transposed key whatsoever, all that need be done is to place said scol'e sheet and keyboard sheet in adjacent facing relation. This is done in the form of my invention illustrated, by placing the score sheet against the folder or backrest |2 behind the keyboard sheets 20 and 2|. It will be observed that the score sheet contains a marking 38 thereon. When this marking is placed in registry with a corresponding marking 38a on each of the sheets 20 and 2|, the music will still appear in the same key as originally set forth on the score sheet. In other words, the notation 38 bears the same relation to the vertical stripes on sheet 26 as each of the other notations 38a bears to the stripes on the keyboard sheets. By shifting the keyboard sheets 20 and 2| on rails |4 and I5, respectively, so that the marking 38a is removed from marking 38 the precise number of intervals necessary to effect the desired transposition, the musical notations 3|, 32 and 33 will noW be seen through sheets 2U and 2| in new positions with respect to stripes 24 and 25. Whereas the original key, for example, of score sheet 26 is in the key of F, the transposed key as seen through the keyboard sheets 20 (see Figure l) is D flat. All the stripes on score sheet 26 are completely neutralized and rendered invisible by the coloring of stripes 24 and 25 so that only the stripes 24 and 25 on the keyboard sheets 20 and 2| are visible to the eye. The notes 3|.

32 and 33, however, are visible through the transparent sheets 20 and 2| and only with respect to the said stripes 24 and 25.

It is thus apparent that merely by shifting the transparent Windows or keyboard sheets 20 and 2| with respect to the score sheet 26, any kind of transposition may be immediately effected. It is obviously just as easy to read the musical notations on score sheet 26 seen through the keyboard sheets as on the naked score sheet, regardless of the key in which it is written, particularly inasmuch as there are no Sharps or iiats to contend with.

Although the vertical stripes 21 and 28 are of considerable utility in employing the score sheet 26 as an independent unit, it is to be understood that these stripes can be eliminated if it is de-` sired to use the score sheet only in conjunction with the keyboard sheet. It is also understood that the notes 3l, 32 and 33 can be of any shape or configuration, and may also be lpunch marks or other markings either mechanically or manually produced.

This vdevice is most conveniently used with two keyboard sheetsv 20 and 2 I each overlying a -page of the score sheets k26. It is also'possible `t0 use this device, however, with only one of said keyboard sheets, inasmuch as each of these sheets can-be slidably moved from one rail to the other. -Inl this manner, after one page of the score sheet 26 has been read or played through, one of the keyboard sheets, such as sheet 20, can then be shifted to the other page and' the yprocess re- Deated.

It is understood that in order to effect a transposition,- there must be a relative movement `between the keyboard and score sheets, this invention contemplating the movement of either of these sheets with respect to the other. It is also within the contemplation of this invention that for transposition purposes, the keyboard and score sheets be placed in adjacent facing relation, either of the sheets overlying the other; and obviously, when the score sheet overlies the keyboard sheet, the score sheet is transparent.

It is of course understood that the embodiment above described and shown in the drawing is merely illustrative of my invention, and that numerous changes and modifications may be made therein within the scope of the appended claims without departing from the spirit of this invention.

What I claim is:

1. In a system of musical notation, a score sheet and a keyboard sheet in adjacent facing relation, one of said sheets being transparent and superposed upon the other, said score sheet containing musical notations representing a selected musical composition, said notations being arranged according to a two coordinate system one representing time intervals and the other tone intervals, the said keyboard sheet containing thereon a plurality of piano keyboard stripes spaced to correspond with the tone intervals on the score sheet, at least one of said sheets being movable with respect to the other whereby the position of said musical notations with respect to the stripes on the keyboard sheet may be altered to effect a transposition of the said composition into any selected key.

2. In a system of musical notation, a score sheet and a keyboard sheet in adjacent facing relation, one of said sheets being transparent and superposed upon the other, said score sheet containing musical notations representing a selected musical composition, said notations being arranged according to a two coordinate system comprising vertical coordinates representing time intervals and horizontals coordinates representing tone intervals, the said keyboard sheet containing thereon a plurality of vertical piano keyboard stripes spaced to correspond with the tone intervals on the score sheet, at' least one of said sheets being movable laterally with respect to the other whereby the position of said musical notations with respect to the stripes on the keyboard sheet may be altered to effect a transposition of the said composition into any selected key.

3. In a system of musical notation, a score sheet and a transparent keyboard sheet superimposed thereon, said score sheet containing musical notations representing a selected musical composition, said notations being arranged according to a two coordinate system one representing timenter-vals and the other tone 4intervals, the said keyboard sheet containing thereon a plurality of piano keyboard stripes spaced 'to correspond with the tone intervals on the score sheet, the keyboard sheet being movable with respect to the score sheet whereby the position of said musical notations with respect to the stripes on the keyboard sheet may be altered to effect a transposition of the said composition into any selected key.

4.`In a system of musical notation, a score sheet anda keyboard sheet in superposed relation, the superposed sheet being transparent, said score sheet containing thereon a plurality of spaced parallel lines to indicate time intervals and ymusical notations representing a selected musical composition, said notations being arranged on said lines andv spaced to correspond withthe time and-tone intervals of said composition, the said keyboard sheet containing thereon a plurality of piano keyboard stripes spaced chromatically to correspond with the chromatic tone intervals on the score sheet, at least one of said sheets being movable with respect to the other whereby the position of said musical notations with respect to the stripes on the keyboard sheet maybe altered to effect Va transposition of the said composition into any selected key.

5. In a system of musical notation, a score sheet and a keyboard sheet in superposed relation, the superposed sheet being transparent, said score sheet containing thereon a plurality of spaced parallel lines to indicate time intervals, a plurality of stripes intersecting said lines and arranged to correspond with a piano keyboard, and musical notations on said lines and stripes in accordance with the time and tone intervals of a selected musical composition, the said keyboard sheet containing thereon a plurality of stripes corresponding in Width and direction with the stripes on the score sheet, at least one of said sheets being movable with respect to the other whereby the stripes on both of said sheets may be brought into registry and the said notations on the score sheet may be viewed with respect to the stripes on the keyboard sheet.

6. In a system of musical notation, a score sheet and a keyboard sheet in superposed relation, the superposed sheet being transparent, said score sheet containing thereon a plurality of dark and light stripes corresponding to a piano keyboard and musical notations representing a selected musical composition, said notations being arranged on said stripes and spaced to correspond with the time and tone interval of said composition, the said keyboard sheet containing thereon a plurality of dark and light stripes corresponding in width and direction with the stripes on the score sheet, the dark stripes on the score sheet being substantially the same color and hue as the light stripes on the keyboard sheet, whereby when the two sheets are in superposed relation the stripes on the score sheet will not be discernible, at least one of said sheets being movable with respect to the other whereby the position of said musicalv notations with respect to the stripes on the keyboard sheet may be altered to effect a transposition of the said composition into any selected key.

7. In a system of musical notation, a score sheet and a transparent keyboard sheet superimposed thereon, said score sheet containing thereon a plurality of spaced horizontal lines to indicate time intervals, a plurality of substantially vertical dark and light stripes corresponding to a piano keyboard, and musical notations on said lines and stripes in accordance with the time and tone intervals of a selected musical composition, the said keyboard sheet containing thereon a plurality of dark and light stripes corresponding in width and direction with the stripes on the score sheet, the dark stripes on the score sheet being substantially the same color and hue as the light stripes on the keyboard sheet, whereby when the two sheets are in superposed relation the stripes on the score sheet will not be discernible, the keyboard sheet being movable laterally with respect to the score sheet whereby the position of said musical notations with respect to the stripes on the keyboard sheet may be altered to effect a transposition of the said composition into any selected key.

8. In a system of musical notation, a score sheet, a transparent keyboard sheet disposed thereover, and supporting means slidably supporting said keyboard sheet, said score sheet containing musical notations representing a selected musical composition, said notations be* ing arranged according to a two coordinate system one representing time intervals and the other tone intervals, the said keyboard sheet containing thereon a plurality of piano keyboard stripes spaced to correspond with the tone intervals ori the score sheet, the keyboard sheet being slidably movable along said supporting means whereby the position of said musical notations with respect to the stripes on the keyboard sheet may be altered to effect a transposition of the said composition into any selected key.

9. In a system of musical notation, a score sheet, a backrest for supporting said sheet, a. transparent keyboard sheet disposed over said score sheet, a rail associated with said backrest, and means slidably connecting said keyboard sheet and said rail, said score sheet containing musical notations representing a selected musical composition, said notations being arranged according to a two coordinate system one representing time intervals and the other tone intervals, the said keyboard sheet containing thereon a plurality of piano keyboard stripes spaced to correspond with the tone intervals on the score sheet, the keyboard sheet being slidably movable along said rail whereby the position of said musical notations with respect to the stripes on the keyboard sheet may be altered to eiect a transposition of the said composition into any selected key.

DOMIN'ICK A. MAFFEI.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2718169 *Jun 26, 1951Sep 20, 1955Philip H BarnesDevice for teaching music
US3247751 *Sep 1, 1964Apr 26, 1966Verna M LeonardMethod of and apparatus for teaching music
US7763790 *Jun 20, 2007Jul 27, 2010Robledo Devra LMethod of representing rhythm in music notation and display therefor
US7767895 *Dec 13, 2007Aug 3, 2010Johnston James SMusic notation system
US7982115 *Jun 18, 2010Jul 19, 2011Johnston James SMusic notation system
US8835737 *May 22, 2013Sep 16, 2014Kevin KingPiano tablature system and method
US20130319207 *May 22, 2013Dec 5, 2013Kevin KingPiano tablature system and method
Classifications
U.S. Classification84/483.1, 84/483.2
International ClassificationG10G1/04
Cooperative ClassificationG10G1/00, G10G1/04
European ClassificationG10G1/04, G10G1/00