US 3079491 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
ma :3,079,491: *L*
Fel 26, 1963 r.-B. JANSSEN 3,079,491
MUSICAL NsTRUMENT ILLUMINATING SYSTEM Filed Oct. 29, 1959 /7 f1 l 1/ d I l/ f3 l/ l/ l l l t l INVENTOR. 77fo/vms BEA/NE TT dhNssE/v ATTORNEYS.
United States Patent O 3,079,491 MUSICAL INSTRUMENT ILLUMINATING SYSTEM Thomas B. Janssen, 237 E. 23d St., New York, N.Y. Filed Oct. 29, 1959, Ser. No. 849,508 2 Claims. (Cl. 240-4) This invention relates to an illuminating system for musical instruments and more particularly to an integral system for illuminating a music rack on such an instrument.
Musical instruments are frequently played in darkened halls and auditoriums, thus creating the need for illumination. Even when played in the home it is frequently found that available illumination is inadequate. In its earlier forms this illumination was provided by candlelight. Subsequently, desk lamps and similar fixtures appeared. Finally integral lighting was supplied. Some installations have employed overhead spot ligh-ts affixed to or in the ceiling, but these arrangements lack the flexibility of integral lighting in that the instrument location cannot be changed. Although there has been a continuous improvement in illumination techniques for musical instruments, all of these techniques have been afflicted by one or more shortcomings. These include insufficient light intensity, a lack of uniform intensity, reflections and glare from glossy music sheets and instrument surfaces, and the casting of light directly into the players eye from the light source.
While outstanding performances have been rendered by candlelight, it must be remembered that a musical instrument is played by a tyro too, and the diihculties of learning to manipulate the instrument are substantial enough without compounding them through inadequate illumination. It may be observed in this connection that musical notes are substantially more difficult to read than standard type. lt is believed that present lighting arrangements do not properly take these difficulties of a beginner into consideration and are designed more with the professional in mind.
It must also be remembered that the acceptable standard of illumination for mans overall environment has become progressively stringent with general improvements in the illumination art. This change has been carried to the extent that a person conditioned to modern standards would find earlier lighting, with which his predecessor was perfectly satisfied, grossly inadequate. It lis believed in this connection that musical instrument illumination has not kept pace with the lighting standards to which everyone is present-ly accustomed.
Itis accordingly among the objects of the invention to provide an illuminating system for a keyboard instrument such as a piano, in which the level of light intensity projected on the music sheet and its uniformity are superior to presently known arrangements.
It is another object of the invention to provide such a system in which the illumination means are integral with the piano and in which only the area of the music sheet is illuminated, thereby avoiding the projection of any annoying direct light towards the instrument player or audience.
A further object of the invention is to provide such an illumination system in which a maximum light intensity is derived from a given light source and in which the angle of incidence of the light on the music sheet reduces glare and reflections.
These and other objects and advantages of the invention will be set forth in part herein-after and in part will be obvious herefrom, or may be learned by practice with the invention, the same being realized and attained by means of the instrumentalities and combination-s pointed out in the appended claims.
3,(i79,49l Patented Feb. 26, 1963 The invention consists in the novel parts, construc- \,tions, arrangements, combinations and improvements herein shown and described.
Serving as an exemplary embodiment of the invention is the arrangement described in the specification and illustrated in the figures, of which:
FIGURE 1 is a side elevation view, partly in crosssection of the invention in a piano installati-on;
FIGURE 2 is a front elevation view of the instrument of FIGURE 1; and
FIGURE 3 is .a detail view illustrating an exemplary lens.
A piano is illustrated in FIGURE 1 and comprises an arm 5 and keys 6 mounted on a bed (not shown). Along the rear edge of the keys a nameboard 7 is located. Above nameboard 7 is fall board lip 8 the upper edge of which abuts fall board 9. A music deck 10 is mounted above fall board 9 and includes music shelf lip 11 and abutting music shelf 13. A music rest 15 pivotably secured by hinge 14 to music shelf 13 provides partial support for the music sheet (not shown). Rest 15 leans lagainst top 16, both being protected by a cushion 17 secured to the rest.
For illumination of music mounted on rest 15 the invention provides an integral lighting system which includes fluorescent light 18 mounted in fixtures 19 which connect power thereto, each of the latter being mounted in an associated bracket 20. Power is delivered to fixtures 19 from electrical cable 21, via a suitable switch, not shown, the circuit being energized from a convenient outlet also not shown.
Also included in the lighting system is acrylic lens 22 (eg. Lucite) which is disposed between the music sheet on the rest 15 and the fluorescent light source 18. This is accomplished by disposing fthe lens in slot 23 in music shelf 13, the slot communicating with the interior of music deck 10 wherein fluorescent light 18 is loc-ated and with the top surface of music shelf 13. Steps in the ends of slot 23 provide a seat for the lens and a facing for aesthetic reasons is provided by decorative molding 24. The lens 22 extends partially out of slot 23, thus enabling its rear edge to act as a stop for the music sheet.
I-t may be seen from this general arrangement that a highly effective illuminating system lis provided by the cooperation of few and simple components.
A substantial amount of the light energy issuing from fluorescent lamp 18 is generally directed toward lens 22 in slot 23, the polished surface of fall board 9 aiding in this respect, since it acts as a reflector. The lens, being a generally long strip conforming in overall outline to the shape of the fluorescent lamp, receives this ener-gy at surface 25 (FIG. 3) and transmits same through the lens to top surface 26. This latter surface is shaped to control the propagation pattern of the light energy to the end that the sheet is uniformly and entirely illuminated. Thus, as is seen in FIGURE 3, the total surface 26 comprises two component surfaces 26a and 26h, the radius of curvature R of the former bei-ng greater than that, R', of the latter. By this arrangement an asymmetrical beam pattern as outlined by the dot-dash lines in FIG- URES 1 and 3 is obtained. In conjunction with the physical tilting of the lens with respect to the vertical, this pattern is shaped to direct and project a uniform field of light on the music sheet'. This result may be observed in FIGURE l.
It may be seen from the above that illumination is direoted Iand projected in a. uniformly distributed pattern to substantially the entire area of the music rest without reliance on interference effects and haphazard diffusion genera-ted by frosting, corrugating and the like. The lens 22 being clear, maximum illumination per unit of lamp output is attained. This feature is enhanced by the absorption characteristic ofthe acrylic material which is less than glass.
With the entire rest uniformly illuminated, varying sizes of music sheets may be effectively illuminated. It is also evident from the arrangement including the shadowing effect provided by molding 24 as illustrated in FIG- URE 1 that no direct ligh-t is projected to the eyes of the player and further, the mean angle of incidence of the light on the music sheet discourages annoying bright spots which frequently occur when the music sheet has a glossy finish. The use of a uorescent lamp, besides contribu-ting to the above-mentioned features, also serves to preserve the tonal qualities of the instrument since warping of the structure due to heating is minimized.
It has been found that in a system constructed according to the principle of the invention, an improvement in lighting eiciency of 1500% at the top of the music sheet and 500% at the middle of the sheet is realized over prior arrangements such as the one disclosed in the U.S. patent to W. E. Janssen, No. 2,282,135.
By way of facilitating the construction of an exemplary embodiment of the invention a set of data relating to one particular install-ation is provided hereinbelo-w:
Lucite Refractive index 1.49. Radius R 2.17 inches. Radius R 0.375 inch. Length 17 inches. Height (min.) 0.67 inch. Thickness 0.5 inch. Mounting:
Angle C 65 Dimension d 2inches. Beam pattern:
Angle A 90. Angle B 9.7. Lamp: Fluorescent 15 watts.
The invention in itsbroader aspects is not limited to 4the specific mechanisms shown and described but departures may be made therefrom within the scope of the accompanying claims without departing from the principles of the invention and without sacrificing its chief advantages.
What is claimed is: l Y
l. In a keyboard type musical instrument having a generally horizontal music shelf and an ups-tanding music rack to the rear and above said shelf, -a system for illuminating said music rack of said instrument comprising a fluorescent lamp mounted below said shelf so as to lie in front of and below said music rack within the housing of said instrumen-t, a longitudinal slot in said shelf located above and adjacent to said uorescent lam-p and providing communication between the exterior and interior of said instrument, and an optically clear acrylic lens having an upper surface formed from two concave surfaces of unequal radii, said lens being lmounted in said slot with the sides of said lens being substantially masked by said shelf and being angularly tilted with respect to the vertical, said angular tilt and said concave surfaces being arranged such that light propagated from said uorescent lamp is refracted by said lens and confined uniformly to an area corresponding substantially to the area of said music rack.
2. In a keyboard type musical instrument having a generally horizontal music shelf and -an upstanding music rack to the rear and above said shelf, a system for illuminating said music rack of said insnument comprising a fluorescent lamp mounted below said shelf so as to 4e in front of and below said music rack within the housing of said instrument, the longitudinal axis of said lamp being transverse to the keys on said keyboard, a longitudinal slot in said shelf located above and adjacent to said fluorescent lamp and providing communication between the exterior and interior of said instrument, and an acrylic lens having a length approximately equal to the length of said uorescent lamp and including an upper surface formed from two concave surfaces of unequal radii, the lower portion of said lens being mounted in said slot with the sides of said lens being masked by said shelf and the lens being angularly tilted with respect to the vertical, said angular tilt and said concave surfaces being arranged such that light propagated from said fluorescent lamp is refracted by said lens and conned uniformly to an area corresponding substantially to the area of said music rack.
References Cited in the le of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 595,273 Soper Dec. 7, 1897 2,220,192 Zai-ser Nov. 5, 1940 2,282,135 Janssen May 5, 1942 2,480,178 Zinberg Aug. 30, 1949 2,626,345 Caldwell et al. Jan. 20, 1953 2,627,837 Ginten Feb. 10, 1953 2,891,141 Lancucki et al June 16, 1959