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Publication numberUS3199396 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 10, 1965
Filing dateApr 29, 1964
Priority dateApr 29, 1964
Publication numberUS 3199396 A, US 3199396A, US-A-3199396, US3199396 A, US3199396A
InventorsDonald J Winch
Original AssigneeDonald J Winch
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Keyboards for musical instruments
US 3199396 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Aug w 1965 D. J. WINCH 3,399,396

KEYBOARDS FOR MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS Filed April 29, 1964 l APHIIIIHIIIIIIIIH" I `/l/{l/ I/ f ll5 ,l W @l i I2 222/22 Ih' In .H I5 ATTORNEY sagesse rrnrnoanns non Musical. rNsrnUMnNrs nenne r. when, 25s w. aan si., New Yori, Nar. rites Api. 2a, i964, ser. No. 363,551 einem. (ci. st aza) This invention relates to a keyboard construction for a musical instrument such as an organ lor an accordion.

As is well understood, the operation of keys in such an instrument uncovers reed slots so that tones are generated as air is forced therethrough.

The construction of a keyboard of the above type has fbeen complex and has further often resulted in repair difficulties. With the foregoing in mind I have devis-ed a keyboard construction of extreme simplicity but with posi-tive and ycontrolled action which is most reliable, and with a minimum of moving parts `so as to minimize later accidental displacement or the like. Further, my invention eliminates the necessity of providing spacers or guide rails between the keys. A fur-ther advantage of my construction is that the musical instrument can be made to be of very light weight.

I achieve the above objectives by cementing all the keys, in properly spaced relationship, on ya relatively thin, rubber mounting strip, the mounting strip being disposed somewhat forwardly under each key so tha-t it makes possible a form of see-saw action, the hammer at the rear end of the key rising as the finger end is depressed, and the hammer becoming automatically restored t-o slot closing position when pressure on the finger end is released.

Accordingly, by the simple expedient of cementing the keys to a sufficiently wide yet thin rubber base, I secure the required action without the necessity of employing any other return spring means or the like, While nevertheless maintaining each key precisely in place without any additional holding or guiding devices.

It will k'also be observed hereinafter that I have simplified the construction `of the keys in that the white keys comprise straight strips with no special configuration as is generally required in keyboards.

The invention will be further understood from the following description and drawings wherein;

FIGURE I is .a top lplan view, partly broken away, of the keyboard of this invention;

FIGURE 2 is ian enlarged cross-sectional view as taken along the line 2-2 of FIGURE l;

FIGURE 3 isa view .similar to FIGURE -2 but illustrating the key action; and

FEGURE 4 is an enlarged cross-sectional View as taken substantially along the lines i-d of FIGURE 1.

The keyboard is mounted on rigid supporting `structure Iii which may be `of wood or the like. Support structure yl@ will normally rest upon a conventional bellows or other air flow generating apparatus. In accordance therewith the structure il@ includes an elongated platform II in which are formed the usual aligned reed slots I2. A number of reeds I5, for example representing a number of octaves, are mounted on the underside of platform Il, all in conventional manner, such mounting not being included in this invention.

The keyboard of this invention is mounted on the supporting structure Iii above the outlet of the reed slots I2. The top surface `of 4structure Iii is provided with :an elongated sponge rubber strip I4, cemented across structure I@ from one side of the instrument to the other. The function of resilient sponge rubber strip I4 is most important to this invention. It serves as a mounting and as a fulcrum for the lever action of the keys as will hereinafter be made clear. Such keys, in one particular form, may be about 7 or almost to scale as representanited States Patent O 3,199,396 Patented Aug. 10, 1965 ECC tive in .FIGURE 3 hereof. In such an embodiment, the width of strip 14 was 1%, and its thickness G. Thus, the width of strip I4 was about 25 percent of t-he length of the keys while its thickness was about 4 percent of its width. As will be shown hereinafter, these dimensions are important to the required action.

The keys l5 are elongated and aligned side-by-side as usual, the number, of course, depending upon the number of reeds and octaves. Such keys may be of wood or of any suitable plastic material. They -comprise narrow bodies approximately 5/32" wide, although this dimension is not of importance. Their mounting to rubber strip 14 is extremely simple yet effective. I simply cement the underside of the keys, in properly spaced relationship to the rubber strip I4. Any conventional type `of cement or glue may be used, I having found that what is cornmonly referred to as instant, contact, rubber-type cement is suitable.

As will be observed in FIGURE 2, the keys are mounted on strip I4 so that the strip I4 is not .precisely in the vcenter of the key but is offset forwardly of such center. In other words, the rear, uncemented end `of the key is `longer than the front uncemented end by about 40 percent. This provides an eicient leverage action as will be hereinafter explained. As for the construction of the keys 15, it will be observed that they are provided with a iat, widened metal base )i6 cemented thereto to effectively for-m a rear hammer end which normally closes the slots IZ. Further, a conventional chamois layer I7 is provided over the reed slot platform I-ll, the chamois having openings corresponding with the slots I2, all as well understood, and to which I make no claim.

Successive keys I5, in proper order as is well understood, are provided with a raised finger portion 2t), which may be integral with the key, as desired. These raised iinger portion keys may be referred to as the black keys. Between such black keys, the finger portions 2t) are omitted and in their .place is substituted a white plastic rectangular strip Zita cemented `on a key at a lower level than finger portion 2t?, these keys constituting the white keys.

Side frames 21 are mounted at the respective side edges of support structure l@ and a hand supporting platform 22 which extends across the entire width of the instrument is mounted on the side frames ZI. Platform 22 may be of smooth plastic and its front edge 23 is turned down .and rests upon the keys at about the center thereof, although this particular resting point is not of importance.

The players hands will rest upon platform 22 as illustrated in FIGURE 3 while his fingers will press on the forward portions of the black keys or the White keys so as to uncover the reed slots.

The basic action of my keyboard is illustrated in FIG- URE 3. It will be observed that as the player depresses the forward portion of key I5 (shown in FIGURE 3 as a white key) the rubber strip I4 will become compressed at its front edge and will correspondingly tend to expand at its rear edge, although this action is somewhat minute and observable only upon careful inspection. A front rubber strip 24 serves asa cushion.

As the key I5 is depressed the rearwardly disposed reed slot IZ is of course uncovered as is wel-l understood, so that air under pressure will flow through the reed slot, causing the reed I3 to vibrate and generate a desired tone. The sponge rubber strip I4 automatically functions as a return device since it will tend to restore itself to the normal uncompressed or unexpanded position shown in FIGURE 2. Thus the key will return t-o a normally planar position where it overiies strip 14 in a parallel relationship.

The above yaction is very simple yet effective. The stated relative width of sponge rubber strip I4 is important in providing a controlled uncovering of the reed slo-ts as well as a precise return action. All this is accompiished by simply cementing the keys in spaced relationship on the sponge rubber strip and without requiring any other apparatus, the keys and the rubber strip being thereby rendered substantially unitary for positive and controlled action without likelihood of accidental displacement.

A further advantage of the foregoing structure is that the white key strips 2do have complet-ely straight sides tand can be very easily produced from continuous ,plastic strips Without requiring the indented coniormations as generally found on the keyboards of accordions and pianos.

Thus the instrument as above described is of pronounced simplicity in manufacture and operation while eing at least las effective as the more complex structures now in use.

I have shown a preferred embodiment of my invention but it is obvious that numerous changes and omissions may be made therein without departing from its spirit.

What is claimed is:

l. In an air operated musical instrument having a series of reed slots which are normally covered, a keyboard therefor, said keyboard comprising a series of elongated keys aligned side-by-side, and a dat key supporting strip disposed under said keys, said strip being of resilient material, all of said keys being directly cemented to said strp so as to be substantially unitary therewith, said strip being disposed substantially forwardly of the center of each key so as to normally urge and bias the forward end of said keys upwardly whereby the rear end of said keys may function to normally cover said reed slots and whereby downward manual pressure on said forward ends will serve 'to uncover said slots.

2.. A musical instrument keyboard according to claim 1 and wherein said strip is of a width approximately 25 percent of .the length of said keys, said keys lying across said strip width with a greater part of said strip width being forward of said key center.

3. A musical instrument keyboard according to claim 2. and wherein the thickness of said strip is approximately 4 percent of the width of said strip, the rear, uncemented end of each key being longer than the front uncemented end thereof by approximately 40 percent, and a rigid support for the underside of said liet strip.

i. A musical instrument keyboard according to claim 3 and wherein each of said keys comprises a narrow body the underside of which is `cemented to the top surface of said ilat strip, a raised iinger portion formed at the top front end of .some of said keys, and flat, straight rectangular strips connected to the rest .of said keys so that the eyboard presents successive and adjoining raised ringer portion keys and flat rectangular strip keys.

e'. A musical instrument keyboard comprising a series of elongated keys aligned side-by-side, a rey supporting strip disposed across said keyboard and under said ke ys, said strip being flat and of sponge rubber, and all of said keys being cemented across the top surface of said strip with the center line across the v idtii of said strip being forward of the center line of the lenUth of each key whereby the resilience of said sponge rubber strip normally lbiases the forward end of said keys upwardly, a rigid support for the underside of said strip, said strip being of a width approximately 25 percent of the length of each key and the normal thickness of said strip being approximately 4 percent of the width or" the strip.

References Cited by the Examiner UNlTED STATES PATENTS 540,288 6/95 Witherel 84-435 748,373 12/03` Hughes 84-433 2,353,890 7/44 Green 84-330 2,466,511 4/49 Swanson 84-434 LEO SMILOW, Primary Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US540288 *Jul 3, 1891Jun 4, 1895 Key for musical instruments
US748378 *Sep 21, 1903Dec 29, 1903Edgar M HughesOrgan-pedal.
US2353890 *Feb 13, 1943Jul 18, 1944Wolverine Supply And Mfg CompaToy organ
US2466511 *Jun 16, 1945Apr 5, 1949Conn Ltd C GKey mounting
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4926734 *Aug 25, 1988May 22, 1990Rickey James CGraphic/tactile musical keyboard and nomographic music notation
U.S. Classification84/423.00R
International ClassificationG10C3/12
Cooperative ClassificationG10C3/12
European ClassificationG10C3/12