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Publication numberUS3163075 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 29, 1964
Filing dateDec 7, 1962
Priority dateDec 7, 1962
Publication numberUS 3163075 A, US 3163075A, US-A-3163075, US3163075 A, US3163075A
InventorsToperzer Jr Frank M
Original AssigneeToperzer Jr Frank M
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Tuning gage for drums
US 3163075 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Dec. 29, 1964 F. M. TOPERZER, JR

TUNING GAGE FOR DRUMS Filed Dec. '7, 1962 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 3a '14 1' $0 o 38 as r 36 4% o O o '16 64 INVENTOR,

Few/(M ra izzae. dz.

BY imw x ATTORNEY 1964 F. M. TOPERZER, JR 3,163,075

TUNING GAGE FOR DRUMS Filed Dec. 7, 1962 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR, FAWN/(M Ta aezae; J2.

ATTORNEY United States Patent Ofiice 3,163,075 Patented Dec. 29, 1964 3,163,075 TUNING GAGE FOR DRUMS Frank M. Toperzer, In, 7106 Clarden Road, Bethesda 14, Md. Filed Dec. 7, 1962, Ser. No. 242,994 9 Claims. (Cl. 84-419) This invention relates generally to musical instruments, and more particularly to an improved tuning gauge mechanism for the tympani or velum of kettle drums.

The different tones of the tympanum are obtained by varying the drum head tension through the medium of a foot pedal actuated drum head tension control mechanism.

The drum is generally tuned manually by hand operated drum head tension control means for orienting the control ring of the instrument.

The experienced musician plays the drum by operating a foot pedal, controlling tension variations on the drum head by means of a vertically displaceable head ring, and a considerable amount of skill and experience is required in order to become proficient in playing drums of this character.

Additionally, although the musician tunes the instrument before a composition is played, due to various reasons, temperature changes in an empty auditorium as compared with one that later fills, for example, the competent musician is constantly tuning or adjusting the drum head tension.

Tuning gages, per se, are not novel; see, for example, U.S. Letters Patent to William F. Ludwig, 2,568,504.

A primary object of the present invention is to provide a novel tuning gage attachment for kettle drums which can be used to readily modify existing kettle drums or comprise initial equipment thereon.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a novel tuning gage attachment of the character mentioned, including means associated with the foot pedal control linkages whereby position changes of the head tension control ring are directly reflected on a tone gage.

A further object of the present invention is to provide a novel tone gage or tuning indicator for tympanum in which means are provided to immediately compensate for tension or tone changes in the tympani of drum head velum of the instrument to maintain a basic tuning note.

A still further object of the present invention is to provide a novel tone or tuning gage which includes readily positionable note identifying elements oriented with respect to an indicator moved in relation to head tension control mechanism.

Other and more specific objects of the present invention will become apparent from a consideration of the FIGURE 4 is an elevation taken substantially from the plane of line 4-4 of FIGURE 2;

FIGURE 5 is a further enlarged, fragmentary top plan view of the indicating portion of the tone gage showing the note identifying lugs and indicator alignable therewith;

FIGURE 6 is a vertical section taken on the plane of line 6-6 of FIGURE 5; and

FIGURE 7 is a view similar to FIGURE 2 showing a modification of the novel tone gage.

Referring to the drawings in detail, and first considering FIGURE 1, a tympanum or kettle drum of any size or shape is indicated generally at 10 and comprises a kettle 12 supported by a stand indicated generally at 14 which includes a pedal control mechanism indicated generally at 16.

The pedal control mechanism 16 includes a vertically extending force transmitting rod 18 which projects through an aperture 20 in the base of the kettle 12. The rod 18 can be maintained in an adjusted vertical position by means of a conventional brake mechanism 22, and a foot pedal lever 24 is connected to the rod 18 by a suitable linkage 26.

The kettle 12 includes at the upper edge thereof an arcuate, inturned conventional flange 28 upon which a drum skin 30 of natural or synthetic material engages. The skin is mounted in a conventional flesh hoop 32 and is engaged by an annularly flanged pressure ring or hoop 34.

The ring 34 has secured in circumferentially spaced relation a plurality of vertically disposed, mounting brackets 36 which include a threaded sleeve receiving therein hand screws 38. The kettle 12 has secured thereon circumferentially spaced brackets 40 beneath each of the screws 38 and upon which are pivotally mounted at 44 bellcrank levers 46. The levers 46 include a transverse shaft 45 into which the lower threaded ends of the screws 38 engage and the levers 46 are pivotally connected at 48 below the shaft 45 to the terminal ends 49 of radial rods 50, the rods extending through suitable slots 52 in the kettle and being connected at their inner ends 54 to the force transmitting rod 18 by a suitable mounting hub 56.

In the absence of additional structure, tension on the drum skin is initially adjusted by the hand screws 38 and is maintained by constant checking and readjusting by the musician. The tone is changed by operation of the foot pedal lever 24 and an adjusted position for a particular tone is maintained by the brake mechanism 22.

The structure and operation just described is of a general character and is conventional, and will be readily recognized by those skilled in the art. However, it will be noted that the movement of the bellcranks 46 are displaced angularly about the pivotal mountings 44 in direct relation to vertical movement of the rod 18 and radial rods 50.

A tone gage attachment is indicated generally at 58 and comprises a sector plate 60 having an outwardly turned, arcuate flange 62 having an undercut lip portion 64. The plate 60 is mounted on the outer surface of the kettle 12 by means of a lower flange 66 and spaced sleeves and screws 68 at the upper ends thereof.

Mounted on a transverse pivot shaft 70 coinciding with the radius of sector plate 61) is an indicator lever 72 which includes a lateral pointed end 74 which overlies the flange 62 of the sector plate 60.

The undercut lip 64 of the sector plate flange 62 has displaceably received thereon note indicating lug elements '76; see FIGURES 5 and 6, including a lock screw 78 extending through the lower edge thereof and engageable with the undersurface of lip 64 to retain the lug elements in a predetermined position. The lug elements 76 may include on the upper surface thereof letters 80 indicating different notes and different colors may be used to permit ready recognition by the musician when adjusting different head tensions for different tones or notes during an arrangement. An indicating line 82 may also be provided on the note lugs 74.

The sector plate will be mounted in the position most convenient on the kettle, i.e.,- so it can be observed with a minimum of head turning with respect to his music stand and the conductor. p

The most convenient bellcrank 46 will have pivotally mounted at one side thereof at 84 an elongated lever 86 which is pivotal about the pivot 44 with the bellcrank 46 upon which it is mounted; see FIGURES 1 and 2.

The bellcrank 46 has extending laterally therefrom a mounting rod 88 which includes an internally threaded transverse aperture adjustably receiving therein an abutment screw 90 which terminally engages the lever 86 at one side of the pivot 84. The screw 90 includes an enlarged head 92; see FIGURE 4, to permit ready manual rotation.

The other end of lever 86 is apertured at 4, and has hired thereto one end of a flexible cable 96 which extends laterally through a slot 98 in the kettle 12; see FIGURES 3 and 4. The kettle has mounted on the inner surface thereof a bracket element 109 which includes an idler sheave 102 over which the cable 96 is entrained; the sheave facilitating changing direction of the cable.

The shaft 70 has fixed on the end Within the kettle 12 a diametrically disposed lever 164 apertured at 1% and having the other end of the cable 96 anchored thereat. The lever 104 is apertured at 108 at the end opposite aperture 106 and has secured thereat one end of a tension spring 110, the other end of the spring being conveniently secured to an anchor screw 112 of the bracket Operation The spring 1 10 normally urges the lever 164 in a clockwise direction as viewed in FIGURE 3, or toward the left hand portion of the sector plate 60 when looking at FIG- URE 2. When the head tension is initially adjusted, i.e., a reference note is determined and a note lug oriented accordingly, the spring 110 will be placed under sufficient tension to move the indicator lever 72 through the entire angular range of the plate flange 62. Other notes of a scale are determined and corresponding lug elements 76 are positioned accordingly. The position of the pedal lever 24 will be such to obtain the desired head tension through the entire scale, and as the rod 18 is raised or lowered, the be'llcranks 46 will be pivoted to cause corresponding movement to the bellcrank 46 upon which the lever 86 is mounted.

In the event the drum head stretches or expands due to temperature or humidity changes, for example, the screw 92 will be rotated, this causing the lever 86 to pivot independently on the bellcrank 46, accordingly causing movement of the lever 72 to pivot on shaft 70 and causing realignment of the indicator portion 74 thereof with respect ot the previously positioned note lugs 76.

It will be observed that although drum head expansion has occurred, which accordingly causes tone changes, this can be readily compensated for on the tone gage without any complicated changes and returning by means of screw 38. With the note lugs properly oriented, the kettle drum can be actually played, i.e., each note can be selected immediately, expeditiously and accurately.

Considering FIGURE 7, a slightly modified embodiment of the tone gage attachment is indicated generally at 58, and reference characters similar to those previously used identify similar parts, and similar primed reference numerals are used to identify similarly functioning parts.

The kettle 12 has mounted thereon on the exterior thereof a sector plate 60" including an upper flange 62' upon which note indicating lug elements 76 are adjustably mounted. The plate 60' is mounted on the exterior of the kettle 12 by upper spacer sleeves and screws 68, and a lower screw 68' and shaft 70'.

Pivotally mounted on shaft 70' is an indicator lever the pper end portion of which (not shown) com- 4 prising a lateral pointed end overlying flange 62 and alignable With note lug elements '76 as in the previously described embodiment.

The bellcrank 46 has pivotally mounted at 84' one end of a lever 86', the other end of the lever being apertured at 94' and having anchored thereto a flexible cable 96. The kettle 12 has fixed to the outer surface thereof a mounting bracket 1% including a sheave 102' around which the cable 96 is entrained. The cable 96' is an chored at 106 to the lower end of lever 72'. The lever 72' includes a second aperture 108 to which one end of a tension spring 110 is anchored, the other end of the spring being conveniently anchored beneath one of the sleeves and screws 68 at the right hand side of FIG- URE 7. p

The lever 86 includes a projection 88 thereon through which an adjustable abutment screw extends, the lower end of the screw 90 being engaged with a lateral flange 46 integral with the bellcrank.

The screw 90' may be rotated to move the lever 86 about the pivot 84- to adjust the indicator lever 72' with respect to the note lugs 76 as in the previously described embodiment.

Each of the described embodiments provide accuracy not heretofore obtained in previous tone gages, i.e., via adjusting screws 90, 90' and levers 86, 86', providing means for accurately compensating for tone changes after the drum has been tuned, provide means for readily adjusting the drum head tension and locating note lugs in relation to a desired scale, and provide means whereby the movement of the note indicator is in direct relation to the movement of the head ring controlling bellcranks which effect difi erent tone changes of the drum.

Although one type of radial force transmitting rod 50 is disclosed in the exemplary embodiment, the novel tuning gage is equally adapted for use on drums in which the rods 59 or the equivalent thereof extend exteriorly of the kettle.

Further, the use of the term bellcrank is to be considered in its broadest context, and it is intended that this term be considered to be the equivalent of other types of lever means affording a similar or equivalent function.

It will be obvious to those skilled in the art that various changes may be made Without departing from the spirit of the invention and, therefore, the invention is not limited to what is shown in the drawings and described in the specification, but only as indicated in the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

1. A tone indicating attachment for use on an adjustable drum head ring for tensioning a drum head, comprising in combination pivotal lever means manually movable to cause drum head ring movement, said pivotal lever means comprising at least one vertically pivotal bell crank element, a sector plate having an upper, arcuate edge, note-idicia means on the upper arcuate edge of said sector plate, an indicator lever pivotally mounted on said sector plate and including an indicating portion aligned with the not'e-indicia means on the upper edge thereof, the improvement comprising force transmitting means connected between said bell crank element and said indicator lever for moving the same in relation to the movement of said pivotal bell crank element, said bell crank element including thereon independently-adjustable lever means, said independently-adjustable lever means being connected between said bell crank element and said force transmitting means for adjusting said indicator lever with respect to said sector plate edge independently of movement of said bell crank element.

2. The structure of claim 1 including spring means connected to said indicator lever urging it through the arc defined by the arcuate edge of said sector plate.

3. The structure of claim 1 in which said force transmitting means comprises a flexible cable connected between said pivotal lever means and eccentrically of the pivot axis of said indicator lever.

4. The structure of claim 3 including spring means connected to said indicator lever in opposition to force applied by said flexible cable.

5. The structure of claim 1 in which said independently adjustable lever means is pivotally mounted on said pivotal bell crank element and comprises a manually adjustable abutment screw for orienting said independentlyadjustable lever means to a predetermined position with respect to said bell crank element.

6. In a drum including an adjustable head, adjustable lever means operatively connected to said head and comprising a plurality of vertically pivotal bell crank elements, the improvement comprising a tone gage including a sector plate mounted on said drum, said plate including a tone indicating means along an arc concentric to the axis thereof, an indicator pivoted on the radius of said plate and including a pointer portion alignable with said tone indicating means, a lever mounted on one of said bell crank elements for simultaneous movement therewith, and a force transmitting element extending between said one bell crank element and said indicator lever for pivoting said lever along said sector plate edge in relation to pivoting of said one bell crank element.

7. The structure of claim 6 including an independent lever pivoted on said one bell crank element, and adjustable abutment rneans engaged with said independent lever for orienting the same with respect to said one bell crank element, said force transmitting element being connected to said independent lever and said indicator lever.

8. The structure of claim 7 in which said force transmitting element comprises a flexible cable.

9. The structure of claim 6 including a spring operatively connected to said indicator lever and normally urging said lever toward one end of the arc of said se'ctor plate.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,568,504 Ludwig Sept. 18, 1951

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2568504 *Mar 2, 1950Sep 18, 1951Ludwig William FTone indicating mechanism for kettledrums
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4056998 *May 24, 1976Nov 8, 1977Rampton Roger HTonal pitch indicator for a kettledrum
US4278003 *Aug 20, 1979Jul 14, 1981Remo Inc.Pedal adjustable drum
US4453448 *Feb 24, 1983Jun 12, 1984Miesak Edward JMethod and apparatus for tuning percussion instruments
US4635524 *Jun 6, 1984Jan 13, 1987Allen Barbara AKettledrum
US4674390 *Nov 1, 1984Jun 23, 1987Allen Barbara AKettledrum
US4730531 *Nov 6, 1986Mar 15, 1988Allen Barbara APercussion instrument
US4831912 *Jun 18, 1987May 23, 1989Allen Barbara AKettledrum
US4856406 *Apr 27, 1987Aug 15, 1989Yamaha CorporationTimpani
US5487320 *Mar 15, 1993Jan 30, 1996De Mowbray; MarcusDrum and drum gauge
US6043421 *Nov 5, 1998Mar 28, 2000Adams Paukenfabriek B.V.Device, having a multi-part pivoting linkage, for setting the tension of a kettledrum skin
US7511210 *Jan 7, 2008Mar 31, 2009May Randall LDrum rim gap or space dimension gauge
US7718877Mar 10, 2009May 18, 2010Adams Paukenfabriek B.V.Device and musical instrument
EP2101314A1Mar 11, 2009Sep 16, 2009Adams Paukenfabriek B.V.Device and musical instrument
U.S. Classification84/419, D17/22, 984/153
International ClassificationG10D13/04, G10D13/00
Cooperative ClassificationG10D13/04
European ClassificationG10D13/04