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Publication numberUS2858724 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 4, 1958
Filing dateJun 9, 1958
Priority dateJun 9, 1958
Publication numberUS 2858724 A, US 2858724A, US-A-2858724, US2858724 A, US2858724A
InventorsFrederick J Troppe
Original AssigneeFrederick J Troppe
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Multiple-tone drum
US 2858724 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Nov. 4, 1958 F. J. TROPPE MULTIPLE-TONE mum '2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed June 9. 1958 IN V EN TOR. fiPmf/e/ck J [FOP/f ATTORNEV Nov. 4, 1958 F. J. TROPPE MULTIPLE-TONE DRUM 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed June 9, 1958 United States Etent MULTIPLE-TONE DRUM Frederick J. Troppe, Joliet, Ill.

Application June 9, 1958, Serial No. 740,870

6 Claims. (Cl. 84-411) This application relates to a novel musical instrument and, more particularly, it pertains to a drum instrument which produces multi-tone qualities, that is, it will produce three different tonal qualities.

This application is a continuation-in-part of Serial No. 528,618, filed August 16, 1955, now abandoned.

Musical drums have been known for a very long time. Generally, a drum structure comprises a vibratable vellum or parchment skin stretched over the opening of a resonant cavity, such as a cylinder of wood or a bowlshaped metallic vessel. There are various kinds of drums. The bass drum or long drum consists of two heads oppositely disposed. It is held laterally and played on both ends. The bass drum is used principally to mark time and also to augment the fortes. The tone of a bass drum is obtained mainly by constructing a drum of a large head side and of such depth as produces a bass sound. The tonal quality, to a large extent, is governed by the depth of the drum, i. e. long drums produce deep tones, whereas short drums produce sharp tones. Another kind of drum is the side-drum which has two oppositely disposed heads which are generally smaller in diameter than bass drum heads. The upper head is played on by sticks and the lower head occasionally has strings of catgut or wire stretched across its surface. Popularly, such a drum having strings of catgut across its lower face is referred to as a snare drum. Another well known drum is the tom-tom. This drum usually contains a relatively small head and a long cavity in order to simulate the sound of the Indian tom-tom drum.

It is apparent from the foregoing description that various types of drums are well known, and the tone thereof is dependent principally on the head size and the depth of the resonant cavity. Hence, in a band requiring several drum tones it has heretofore been necessary to use several drums for the purpose. When a single player is responsible for playing several types of drums in a band, the location of the drums relative to the player is very important. Various familiar assemblies and arrangements have been suggested for placement of the drums within easy reach of the player, but none of these schemes is entirely satisfactory for one reason or another. Such arrangements often have the disadvantage of either obstructing the players View and/or placing him too close to the drums and thus restricting his movements. Therefore, notwithstanding the various means and methods proposed for accomplishing easy and effective multi-tone drum playing by a single person, there is still a great need for an effective solution to the problem.

An object of this invention is to provide a single musical drum instrument capable of producing three different tonal qualities.

Another object of this invention is to provide a unitary drum structure which is capable of producing the characteristics of a bass drum, a snare drum and a tom-tom drum.

Other objects and advantages of this invention will become apparent from the following description and explanation thereof.

In accordance with this invention a unitary multi-tone musical drum is provided which comprises a vessel containing a resonant cavity and said vessel containing three separate vellums or skins of different sizes and disposed in relationship to each other and the resonant cavity so as to provide at least three different tonal qualities.

In order to provide a fuller understanding of this in= vention reference will be had to the accompanying drawings wherein:

Fig. 1 is a plan view of a specific embodiment;

Fig. 2 is a top view of the embodiment shown in Fig. 1;

Fig. 3 is an isometric view of the drum; and

Figs. 4-6, inclusive are views similar to Figs. 1-3 but illustrating a preferred embodiment.

In the drawings, the main section or vessel 11 is a vertical cylindrical section which provides a resonant cavity for the musical drum. Vessel 11 has a diameter of approximately 15" and a length of approximately 24". In this example, the vessel is constructed of wood. The upper end 12 of vessel 11 forms a drum head which is capable of producing a tom-tom tone, hence it is designated as the tom-tom head. The drum head 12 consists of a rim 13 of suitable diameter to fit over the open end of the drum head 12. Drum head 12 contains a vibratable calf skin or vellum 14 which covers the opening of vessel 11. The thickness and quality of the vellum permits the same to vibrate when struck and the resultant sound resonates within the drum cavity to produce the desired tom-tom quality. The quality of the tone and the duration thereof is also affected by the tautness of the vellum or skin. A tight skin will not vibrate long, whereas a loose skin may not vibrate at all. The desired tightness of the skin is obtained usually by ear adjustmen on the part of the player. The vellum 14 is maintained taut over the opening of drum head 12 by conventional means such as set screws 15 which engage threaded openings, not shown, in lugs 16 and lugs 17. The set screws 15 are arranged to adjust rim 13 up or down in relation to drum head 12. Since the vellum 14 is between the rim and the drum head it is tightened or loosened thereby.

Drum head 18 serves as a bass drum and is positioned at a right angle to the tom-tom head. The bass drum head projects outwardly or laterally from the side of vessel 11 as a frusto conical section having a base diameter of approximately 20". Notwithstanding that bass head 18 is transversely positioned with respect to the tom-tom head, a clear resonant bass tone is obtained. The resonant cavity behind bass head 18 is reduced gradually in cross-sectional area to the diameter or area of opposite drum head 19, thus minimizing interference with sound resonance within the cavity due to differences in crosssectional areas of the sections. Any substantial interference with resonance will result in poor bass tonal quality. At first glance it might appear that the transverse position of the bass drum relative to the tom-tom drum will adversely influence the bass drum performance. Quite unexpectedly it was found that the transverse position is advantageous from the standpoint of bass tone, because it permits the bass sound to resonate within part of the cavity which is used by the tom-tom drum without bad effects. In this example such a result is obtained by reducing the bass drum head diameter to the diameter of the opposite head 19 in order that little or no interference occurs. Hence, the sound which is started by the bass head resonates within the longitudinal cavity or section having the head 19 as its lower end as if the cavity represented by vessel 11 were of the same diameter as head 19. As in the case of head 12, bass head 18 contains a rim 20 and set screws 21 for engagement with threaded openings in lugs 22, which are laterally attached to rim 20, and lugs 23 which are laterally attached to head 18. The rim serves to maintain the vellum properly stretched over head 18.

Oppositely disposed to bass head 18 is snare drum head 19. Bass head 18 and snare head 19 are positioned coaxially. The snare head 19 has a diameter of approximately 14''. As in the case of the other drum heads to maintain proper vellum tension, snare head 19 contains set screws 24 which engage the threaded openings in lugs 25 which are disposed laterally on rim 26. Set screws 24 are also engaged with threaded openings in lugs 27 which are laterally appended to snare head 19.

The bottom 28 of cylinder 11 is closed and this part serves as the base or support for the multi-tone drum. The distance between rim 20 of bass head 18 and rim 26 of snare head 19 is approximately 24". The sound which is initiated by striking the vellum of the snare drum head resonates within approximately the same cavity as the bass drum, with the difference, however, that the zone of sound travel has a cross-sectional area which is roughly equivalent to the diameter of the snare head along the entire length of travel. Consequently, tonal purity is maintained by the arrangement.

The relative positions of the drum heads provide, in addition to superior tonal qualities, a compact unit which is conveniently played. The base 28 of the main cylindrical section serves as the floor or ground support, and all the drum heads are positioned within easy reach of the player.

In regard to the construction of the individual drum sections, it is important that they are positioned, when not opposite each other, at approximately right angles to each other. with the resonance of the sound waves within the drum cavity. Further, when a particular drum head is larger than the opposing drum section, it is important that the cross-sectional area thereof is reduced gradually to the cross-sectional area of either the drum or vessel section at right angles thereto or the opposite drum section.

In regard to the relative positions of the drum sections, while the above specific example contains the intermediate sized tom-tom head at right angles to the bass and snare sections, it should be understood that the bass or snare section can be placed in the position of the tomtom section. It is not economical to place the bass at right angles to the tom-tom and snare, from the standpoint of the quantity of material used in the construction, except where the bass tone is of greatest importance. It the snare section is put in place of the tom-tom in the above example, the effect is to have less cross-sectional area for either the bass or tom-tom sound to resonate within the cavity and there is a greater possibility of interference due to the restriction, with some sacrifice in tonal quality. The thickness of the vellum in the present invention can be varied in the same manner as persons skilled in the art would readily understand.

Another example of my three-headed drum is shown in Figs. 4-6, inclusive, of the accompanying drawings. As in the previous drum, this drum contains a tom-tom head 28, a base head 29 and a snare head 30. The base head 29 is opposite to the snare head 3%, and the tomtom head 28 is positioned between them in a way that the longitudinal axis of the tom-tom head forms right angles with the axis of the other heads. The base head 29 is provided with rims 31 and 32 and clamps 33, which serve to adjust the tension in vellum 34. Likewise, the tom-tom head 28 contains a rim 35 and clamps 36 for adjustment of tension in vellum 37. On the other hand, the snare head 30 departs from the construction of the previously described drum, because it contains two spaced vellums (not shown). The lower vellum (not shown) is associated with rims 38 and 39, whereas the upper vellum or batter head (not shown) is held between rims 40 and In this way there is little or no interference 4 41. Snares or catguts (not shown) are strung across the underside of the lower vellum. The rims are held in position by means of clamps 42. The entire drum is supported on a base or foot 43.

Unexpectedly, it was discovered that the arrangement of three drum heads in accordance with the present invention resulted in obtaining unique or different tonal qualities, thus evidencing that the heads cooperated with one another. The sounds, while ditterent, are remarkably pleasing to the ear. Taking the performance of the drum with its compact unitary structure, it becomes apparent that a long-felt need has been satisfied by the present invention.

Having thus provided a description of the invention with a specific example thereof, it should be understood that no undue limitations or restrictions are to be imposed by reason thereof but that the scope of the invention is defined by the appended claims.

I claim:

1. A musical drum comprising a vessel containing a resonant cavity, said vessel having three openings each of a dilterent size, a vellum covering each opening, two of said vellums being oppositely disposed with respect to each other and the third vellum being positioned perpendicularly to the other two, whereby three different tonal qualities are produced when said vellums are struck.

2. A musical drum comprising a vessel containing a resonant cavity, said vessel having three openings each of a different size, a vellum covering each opening, said vellums being disposed such that a bass vellum is positioned oppositely to a snare vellum and a tom-tom vellum is positioned perpendicularly thereto.

3. A musical drum comprising a vertical cylindrical section having at one end a vibratable skin and having its opposite end sealed, thereby being adapted to produce a tom-tom tone, a frusto conical section intersecting said cylindrical section at a right angle and having its smaller end opening into said cylindrical section, the larger end of said conical section having a vibratable skin and being larger than the said cylindrical section in cross-sectional area, and adapted to produce a bass tone, a relatively short cylindrical section intersecting the aforesaid cylindrical section at a right angle and openly communicating therewith, and coaxially positioned with respect to the said conical section, and said short cylindrical section containing at its distal end a vibratable skin adapted to produce a snare tone.

4. A musical drum comprising a vertical long cylindrical section having one end sealed and the other end containing a vibratable skin adapted to produce a tomtom tone, a frusto-conical section having the smaller end thereof openly communicating at a right angle with the said cylindrical section, said conical section having the larger end thereof containing a vibratable skin adapted to produce a bass sound, the larger end of said conical section being greater in cross-sectional area than the long cylindrical section, a short cylindrical section having one end openly communicating at a right angle with the long cylindrical section and the other end containing a vibratable skin adapted to produce a snare tone, the short cylindrical section having its axis aligned with the axis of the conical section and its cross-sectional area being less than the cross-sectional area of the long cylindrical section.

5. The drum of claim 4 wherein the smaller end of the conical section has a smaller cross-sectional area than the long cylindrical section and the same as the short cylindrical section.

6. The drum of claim 4 wherein the cross-sectional area of the smaller end of the conical section is the same as the long cylindrical section.

(References on following page) References Ciied in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Hackett Nov. 13, 1917 Leedy May 22, 1923 5 Speed Oct. 9, 1928 Peters Nov. 13, 1934 6 Gerlach Mar. 4, 1950 Kmjelians Mar. 27, 1951 FOREIGN PATENTS France Sept, 11, 1855 Great Britain Oct. 25, 1950 UNITED STATES PATENT QFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent Noo 2 ,858,724 November 4, 1958 Frederick J Troppe It is hereby certified that error appears in the printed specification of the above numbered patent requiring correction and that the said Letters Patent should read as corrected below.

Column 1, line 31 for "head side" read head size m Signed and sealed this 3rd day of February 1959 SEAL) ttest:

KARL Ha AXLINE ROBERT c. WATSON Attesting Officer Commissioner of Patents UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No, 2 858,724 I November 4, l958 I Frederick J u Troppe It is hereby certified that error appears in the printed specification of the above numbered patent requiring correction and that the said Letters Patent should read as corrected below.

Column 1, line 31, for "head side" read head size Signed and sealed this 3rd. day of February 1959,

IXSEAL) ttest:

KARL Ea AXLINE ROBERT C. WATSON Attesting Oflicer Commissioner of Patents

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3603194 *Mar 19, 1970Sep 7, 1971North Roger WDrum
US4102236 *Oct 18, 1976Jul 25, 1978North Roger WMolded curved drums and molds therefor
US4184407 *Aug 4, 1978Jan 22, 1980Townshend Patrick CAcoustic drums
US4577541 *May 31, 1985Mar 25, 1986Edge Neil RMusical drum
US5385075 *Mar 22, 1994Jan 31, 1995Carnes; BenPercussion instrument
US6198033 *Nov 12, 1997Mar 6, 2001Ken S. LovelettVariable pitch percussion instruments
US6479741May 17, 2001Nov 12, 2002Mattel, Inc.Musical device having multiple configurations and methods of using the same
US7528312 *Feb 21, 2007May 5, 2009Digiovanni StephenDrum for striking upwardly and method therefor
US8008560 *Feb 24, 2010Aug 30, 2011Swan Percussion, LlcMusical system
US8115088 *Jun 4, 2010Feb 14, 2012Cris HerreraCajon instrument
US8669451 *Jan 18, 2011Mar 11, 2014Kenneth E. TurnerErgonomic marching bass drum
US8735703 *May 21, 2010May 27, 2014Dion DublinPercussion instrument
US20060272475 *May 24, 2006Dec 7, 2006Claude GauthierPercussion instrument having membranes no facing each other
US20110174136 *Jul 21, 2011Turner Kenneth EErgonomic Marching Bass Drum
US20120132058 *May 21, 2010May 31, 2012Dion DublinPercussion Instrument
US20140373699 *Jan 30, 2013Dec 25, 2014Pitch Slap Percussion LlcPercussion instrument with interior porting
U.S. Classification84/411.00R, 984/151, D17/22
International ClassificationG10D13/02
Cooperative ClassificationG10D13/02
European ClassificationG10D13/02