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Publication numberUS2780127 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 5, 1957
Filing dateOct 15, 1953
Publication numberUS 2780127 A, US 2780127A, US-A-2780127, US2780127 A, US2780127A
InventorsFrank Hennick
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
US 2780127 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Fe 5, 1957 F. HENNICK 2,780,127

MUSICAL INSTRUMENT 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Oct. 15, 1953 Frank Hem/ck IN VEN TOR.

United States Patent MUSICAL INSTRUMENT Frank Hennick, Berkeley Heights, N. J.

Application October 15, 1953, Serial No. 386,272

2 Claims. (Cl. 84--170) This invention relates generally to musical instruments and pertains more particularly to an instrument primarrly intended for amusement as well as instruction, the instrument being capable of play by anyone having a general knowledge of the typewriter keyboard.

primary object of this invention resides in the provision of a series of tuned elements or members, preferably arranged in the order of the chromatic scale, capable of being set into motion to produce a musical sound by actuation of a set of keys, the keys being arranged generally in the manner of a typewriter keyboard.

Another object of this invention is to provide an im proved form of musical instrument adapted particularly for use by a musical novice so that manipulation of a single key will produce a tuned chord, the arrangement being such that a variety of musical effects may be pro duced by proper manipulation of the keys.

These together with other objects and advantages which will become subsequently apparent reside in the details of construction and operation as more fully hereinafter described and claimed, reference being had to the accompanying drawings forming a part hereof, wherein like numerals refer to like parts throughout, and in which:

Figure l is a plan view of the invention with the cover member thereof removed;

Figure 2 is a vertical section, taken substantially along the plane of section line 2-2 in Figure 1, showing details of the internal construction;

Figure 3 is a horizontal section, taken substantially along the plane of section line 33 in Figure 2, showing detail of the major chord key assemblies; and

Figure 4 is -a vertical section taken substantially along the plane of section line 4-4 in Figure 3, showing further details of the major chord key assemblies.

Referring now more particularly to the drawings, reference numeral indicates the cabinet or housing of the instrument generally, which includes a rear wall 12, spaced-parallel side Walls 14 and 16 and a front wall 18 arranged in the manner shown. A support or partition wall 20 extends diagonally between the side walls 14 and 16 and a further partition wall 22 extends parallel thereto, these walls having a sound bar 24 extending between them in a manner shown most clearly in Figure 1, the purpose of which will be presently apparent.

Abutting the lower edge of the front face of the wall 20 is an anchor member 26 and a similar anchor member 28 is secured in abutting relation to the inner face of the front wall 18. These members are interconnected by a bridge piece 30 which extends between the opposite side walls of the cabinet in the manner shown. Securing the bridge piece between the members 26 and 28 and also providing adjustable securing pegs for the various strings 32 are the peg members .34. It will be noted that there are sixteen of these strings of equal length and that consecutively in groups of four they are adapted for actuation by the key members 36, 38, and 42. A pair of posts 44 and '46 are disposed adjacent opposite 2,780,127 Patented Feb. 5, 1957 ice side walls of the cabinet and a pivot rod 48 is secured between these posts in the manner shown most clearly in Figure 4 to which intermediate portions of the levers 50 constituting a portion of the various key members are secured for pivotal movement thereon. Each lever has a free end portion projecting beyond the plane of the post and a support bar 52 extending between the posts carries a series of spring finger members 54 which abut against the free ends of the levers to hold them normally in a substantially horizontal position, as shown most clearly in Figure 2. Adjacent the other free end of the levers are the hammer or striker bars 56, each of which carries four pick members 58 in depending relation thereto which are adapted, upon downward movement of the levers, to strike an associated one of the various strings 32 such as to cause the strings to vibrate and produce a musical sound. It will be understood that the four strings associated with each of the striker bars 56 and their associated picking elements are arranged in the order of a major chord such as is indicated by the indieia provided on the key plates 60 associated with each of the various levers, as for example, C, C8, and the like. These strings in their associated key assemblies are adapted to produce base sounds to provide the accompaniment for the melody which is played in a manner hereinafter set forth.

A further pivot bar 62 is arranged in vertically spaced relation to the previously mentioned member 48 between the post members 44- and 46 and this member is adapted to pivotally receive intermediate portions of the various levers 64. These levers or key members are provided at their rearward free ends with an enlarged foot 66, the rear faces of which are arranged vertically in opposition to the partition wall 20, previously described. These rear faces are provided with felt pads, or the like, 68 and at their lower portions with projecting rake portions 70 in the manner shown most clearly in Figure 2. A backing strip 72 is secured to the front face of the wall 20 opposite the free end portions of the levers 64 and this strip carries a stepped strip 74, each forward face of which carries a set of three reed members 76 in cantilever relationship, these reed members being secured to the strip 74 as by the vertical pin members 78. The various lever or key members 64, similar to the previously described levers 50, are normally held in substantially horizontal position by the spring fingers 80 carried by the previously mentioned bar 52. Normally, the free ends of the various reeds 76 are in frictional engagement with the felt pads 68 on the key members such that they will be held against vibration.

Referring now more particularly to Figure 1, it will be seen that the key members in the intermediate tier of the keyboard of the instrument terminate at their for ward ends closely adjacent the previously described key plates 66 and that they are provided with indicia 82 arranged substantially in the manner of a typewriter keyboard With certain of the keys 34 being of shorter length and provided with indicia 86 completing the standard letter keyboard of a typewriter. These shorter keys are positioned at the second and sixth notes of a chromatic scale. There are a series of keys 88 corresponding to the number line of a standard typewriter keyboard which provide the half tones and the fourth, ninth and eleventh half tones of the chromatic scale.

The various reeds 76 are arranged to sound three notes of a major chord, the lowermost reed being that note which corresponds to the note in the chromatic scale as indicated by the indicia 90 on the various keys. A further partition wall 22 which is disposed in spacedparallel relation to the previously described wall 20 so as to provide a sound box therebetween, the opposite side Walls 14' audio being provided with openings 92 for allowing the air column to properly resonate. The previously mentioned soundbar 24 is positioned at that point between the walls 20 and 22 such that the most pleasing tonal qualities of the instrument are brought forth. The chamber 94 between the wall 22"a'n'd the wall 12 of the cabinet provides a'further soundboX for the musical instrument; as will be readily apparent. The

instrument maybe provided with a'rernovable cover'meinf ber 96' which is hinged as at 9% to theuppe'r edge of the rear 12' and it is to benoted that the front wall18 is provided with the hinge means liltl so this wall member maybe dropped toa substantially horizontal position when it is desired to" play the instrument, allowing proper manipulation of the variouskey members. Also, loweringthe Wall 18" allows access to the" members 34, which have square heads for manipulation with a suitable wrench, to'ti'ghteri or l-oosenthe's'ame and attainproper ot the instrument.

It will'beappr'eeiated thatone or severalfing'e'rs may ni fa ipmaeona of more of the'various' keys" on the'keyboard otthe'instrument arid that the music denotingihe composition to be played is in the form of a series; of arbithaiiily arranged characters of a typewriter which" are'in'te'rpre ted by the user through the medium of thenovel keyboard assembly of the ins'turmen't' into the proper musicar sounds. A very rapid striking and relea ing of the various keys will enable the'ope'rator' to produce a staccato'sound whereas a slow depression of one of i the keys will produce a strumming sound, the slower the depression, the more space'd'the tonesthat are played the chordsof eachof the seriesof" vertically arranged reed elements. In fact, various efiects can be produced both by the rapidity or slowness of manipulation, as well as the amount of depression, such as the simulation of a mandolin by rapid up and-down manipulation'of one of the ke ys. Obviously, the material used in the reeds is to be selected on the basis of producing the most desirable tonal qualities. Also, their thickness and length will necessarily be dependent upon the tonal 4 qnality 'des'ired, and it' is to be understood th'at-thei angle and disposition of the wall members 20 and 22 may be altered'to produce the most desirable results.

From the foregoing, the construction and operation of the device will be readily understood and further explanation is believed to be unnecessary. However, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction shown and described, and accordingly all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resortedto, falling within the scope of the appended claims.

What is claimed as new is as follows:

1. A musical instrument comprising a cabinet in the form of a miniature piano, said cabinet including a transverse partition wall, a plurality of keys, support means for pivotally mounting said keys, at least some of said keys having free inner end portions providing end faces opposing said wall, a group of vertically spaced reeds associated with each of saidend faces, said 're'eds being secured at one end to said well andextendingtherefroni' intoengagernentwith the end faces of associated keys, each key also having a rake extension underlying its as- I, sociate'd reeds such that depression of a key will set the 25 associated reeds into motion.

2. The combination of claim 1 wherein said end faces of the keys are provided with resilient material for damping'vibration of said reeds.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED' STATES PATENTS

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1234814 *Jun 22, 1916Jul 31, 1917Clarence W StandridgeHarmonic attachment for pianos.
US2584554 *Jun 28, 1950Feb 5, 1952Clayton Everett H WMultipurpose rhythm device
CH184034A * Title not available
DE347303C *Jan 11, 1921Jan 17, 1922Harry Rowe StevensKlavier
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4655117 *Jun 19, 1985Apr 7, 1987Roose Lars DComplete transposable notation and keyboard music system for typists
US5088378 *Nov 19, 1990Feb 18, 1992Delatorre Marcus MMethod of adapting a typewriter keyboard to control the production of music
U.S. Classification84/170, 84/404, 84/423.00R, 84/423.00B
Cooperative ClassificationG10D15/00