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Publication numberUS3311011 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 28, 1967
Filing dateMay 5, 1965
Priority dateMay 5, 1965
Publication numberUS 3311011 A, US 3311011A, US-A-3311011, US3311011 A, US3311011A
InventorsWilliam F Kuehl
Original AssigneeWilliam F Kuehl
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Keyboard for free bass accordian
US 3311011 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

March 28, 1967 w. F. KUEHL 3,311,011

I KEYBOARD FOR FREE BASS ACCORDIAN I Filed May 5, 1965 R REEDS UPPER REEDS LOWE a BOTHREEDS /7 8 @5 NVENTOR LIAM F. KUEHL BYM ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,311,011 KEYBOARD FOR FREE BASS ACCORDIAN William F. Kuehl, 117 Lake Court, Hofiman Estates,

Roselle, Ill. 60172 I Filed May 5, 1965, Ser. No. 453,901 7 Claims. (Cl. 84376) In general, this invention relates to a new and improved keyboard for a free bass accordian and, more particularly, to the provision of a keyboard for a free bass accordian wherein the arrangement of buttons on the keyboard allows a player logically and easily to play any type of musical piece in a simple and easy. manner.

In recent years, accordian players have been presented with a variety of free bass instruments to consider. None of these instruments has achieved widespread acceptance although the concept of a free bass accordian has achieved wide approval. An ideal free bass accordian is one in which the button type bass section is operative in a manner whereby the buttons control only single tones so that by manipulation of the buttons scales may be played and desired chords and chord compositions can be composed at will, and wherein, desirably, the buttons are so arranged that scales and chords in any key may be played with the same button fingering sequence. Further, by providing only single tones controlled by each button, it is desirable to achieve a plurality of octave groups arranged in a manner whereby scales and chords of any key can be played with the same button fingering sequence and without finger-crossing or looping from one button to another.

Although the above-mentioned principles are indeed the object of many of the free bass systems being presently considered, all of the systems fail to achieve these purposes in at least one manner or another so that there is, at present, an outstanding need for a better arranged keyboard for a free bass accordian which can achieve all of the above-mentioned functions. Further, it is desirable to provide a keyboard which can be played in legato or staccato without the need for any change in fingering. The importance of achieving these functions can be understood when it is considered that most of the .violin and cello literature can be played on the lefthand (i.e. the bass keyboard) with little or no assistance from the righ-thand. Further, the bulk of the keyboard music of the Baroque masters such as Bach, Handel, etc., can be played with the lefthand and, additionally, the bulk of the keyboard music of the masters of the Classical Period such as Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, etc., can .be played with a free bass instrument.

In addition, other music such as that from the R0- mantic Period, and Impressionistic and Contemporary.

music can be played with a free bass instrument. Further, with a free bass instrument, jazz can be played in a more stylized manner due to the freedom that the free bass instrument gives to the player.

:In setting up the bass keyboard for a free bass accordian, the following criteria were considered in order to produce a keyboard which is vastly superior to any presently utilized. These criteria are:

(a) The button arrangement has been designed to fit the lefthand of the player;

(b) The basic fingering for scales has been based on sound musical principles;

(c) The alternate fingerings are logical and easy to execute;

(d) The fingering does not change when playing a passage legato and staccato and a staccato passage can be played legato;

(e) The system can be thought out in a simple and easy manner.

Therefore, it can be seen from the foregoing that the 3,31 1, 0 l l Patented Mar. 28, 1967 general object of the present invention is the provision of Another object of this invention is the provision of a new and better bass keyboard for a free bass accordian 7 which is capable of producing a range of at least five octaves.

There is still another object of this invention in the provision of a new and. better keyboard arrangement for a free bass accordian which bases its fingerings upon the tetrachord and chromatic alterations within the tetrachord.

A further object of this invention is the provision of a new and better bass keyboard for a free bass accordian which is simple to learn and avoids looping of the fingers during the play thereof.

Other objects will appear hereinafter.

The drawing shows the bass keyboard of an accordian built in accordance with the principles of the present invention with the notes associated with each button of the keyboard printed thereon. a

The standard keyboard accordian prior to the introduction of the free bass system had the extreme limitation of not completing a single octave. That is, the standard 7 system had six chords with each key on the bass keyboard representing a chord. The only exceptions to this arrangement were in the very large note bass standard accordians wherein the first two rows were single spaced notes still not completing a single octave.

Mario Moschino introduced a free bass system as shown in US. Patent 3,067,645 which attempted to get more octaves and easier fingering over a single bass keyboard. This was accomplished by designing a split =bass keyboard, i.e. the upper half of Moschinos bass keyboard was exactly similar to the lower half thereof and accordingly the player need only to remember four rows of keys to be able to operate the Moschino keyboard. However, when doing an arpeggio it was necessary in the Moschino systern to cross-over or loop the fingers in order to complete the scale as, for example, in moving from the G to C notes. The looping on the Moschino keyboard occurred because of his attempt at simplicity. That is, when shifting chromatically from the lower half of the Moschino bass keyboard to the upper half, it was necessary to loop or move the next finger over the finger being played to press the next higher note. The present system utilizes standard upper and lower tetrachord fingering wherein all four fingers of the lefthand are used in each tetrachord and no finger is required to loop in any way during progression of the scale. Each octave is fingered in exactly the same way in both ascending and descending scales.

In the drawing, an accordian built in accordance with the teaching of the present invention is partially shown and designated by the numeral 10. The accordian 10 has a bass keyboard 12 on the left side of the accordian which is normally secured to a bellows 14. The bass keyboard 12 includes nine transverse rows of buttons at, b, c, d, e, f, g, h, and i extending successively from the free edge of the accordian. The buttons are further disposed in longitudinal rows aligned at an angle of 45 to the transverse rows and designated from left to right as longitudinal rows 1 through 12. There are 99 buttons in all, with each particular but-ton being designatable by its transverse row and longitudinal row designation. For example, the button at the lower left edge of the keyboard namely a button with a designation C thereon is button b1. The bass keyboard 12 can be considered two equal halves, namely button 111-6, c1-6, d1-6, e1-6, 1-6, g1-6, h1-6, and i1-6 noted as half 16 and second half 18 of the keyboard consisting of buttons a7-12, b7-12, c7-12, d7-12, e7-12, 17-12, g7-12, and h7-12. Three additional notes, namely buttons i7, 8, and 9 are also provided.

3 4 The buttons are positioned in octaves between imagidepression of the button 121 or a7 if switch 30 is depressed. nary lines 20, 22, 24, and 26. That is, lines 20 and 22 One octave higher, another C tone 38 will be produced encompass one octave and include buttons a712 and if buttons either 121 or a6 are depressed when upper reed b7-12 in half 18 as well as buttons 111-6 and 01-6 in switch 32 is depressed or, in the alternative, if buttons half 16. It will be noted that a full chromatic scale is. d1 or c7 are pressed when switch 30 is depressed. Addifollowed from buttons a7-12 in order and b7-l2. The tionally, if switch 28 is depressed tones 36 and 38 will intervals between the buttons in the rows a712 and play together. It will be noted that buttons all and c7 b7-12 are in minor seconds (one-half steps). Thus a6 are also capable of playing, when the upper reed switch is the note C, 117 is Cit, a8 is D, a9 is Di, etc. The same 32; is depressed, a C note 4ft) one octave higher than C octave on half 16 starts with bit as note C, [22 as Cit, etc. note 33. From the above, it can be seen that the range Thus, it willbe seen that the two transverse lines of bu-tof the bass keyboard 12. with the lower reed switch 36 tons above imaginary line 20 form a first octave, those depressed is as follows:

above line 22 a second octave, those above line 24 a Wherein, it can be seen that with the lower switch dethird octave, and those above line 26 a fourth octave. 20 pressed, the range of the bass keyboard is four octaves However, it should be noted that notes i7, 8 and 9 are plus two notes. Similarly, the range for the bass keyabove the fourth octave. board when the upper reed switch 32 is depressed is also Each one of the buttons on the bass keyboard 12 con four octaves plus two notes except that the range is trols the passage of air past tone producing reeds for vishifted one octave higher, i.e.:

is a v W a. may.

file) brating the reeds to produce the desired tone or tones When the switch 28 is depressed, the range is maintained controlled by the particular button. as four octaves plus two notes but would be as follows:

Associated with the keyboard 12 and positioned above It thus can be seen that the lefthand of the player can the buttons are three switches 28, 3t), and 32. Each achieve a composite range utilizing the switches 30 and one of the buttons is associated with two reeds whose 32 of five octaves plus two notes as follows:

tones are an octave apart. Depression of switch 28 al- The present system was designed with three basic lows both reeds to be operated simultaneously when a factors in mind, i.-e., (a) logical change of patterns, button is depressed. Depression of switch 30 allows only (b) logical alternate finger patterns, (c) ability to use the lower tone reed of the two associated with that parthe Same g g in a given Passage Whether it Was tioular button to be vibrated by the passage of air past Played legato 0f staccam With p to logical fingflr the reed caused by the depression of the particular but- Patterns, it Should be rstood that for ease in thinkton. Switch 32, conversely, is operative, when depressed, for greatest amount of dextnty We normally to allow air to vibrate only the upper reed. Operation think In terms of five h nghthand' i of Switches 28, 3a, and 32 is eonventional and accord with the bass keyboard of an accordian, we are restricted ingly, a detailed description thereof has not bean deemed to the four nngers on the lefthand, 1t 1s necessary for ease in thinking and dexterity to base our patterns of fingering on a principle which utilizes the four fingers of the lefthand. Thus, the most logical approach we can use in fingering scales is to base our fingering upon the tetranecessary. The range of tones produceable by the bass keyboard 12 can best be seen by the representations in the drawing. That is, button b1, which has the same reeds assoclated therewith as button is Capable of chord and chromatic alterations Within the tetrachord.

Producing the tWO C notes an Octave apart as Shown on A scale as fingered on the bass keyboard 0f the present bass clef 34. Thus 10W C note 36 Will be played by the invention would be as follows;

Lower Upper Tetrachord Tetracherd The numbers below the staff indicate the fingers used to depress the particular buttons, with the fingers numbered in order on the lefthand with the thumb as the first finger. Accordingly, the third finger would play Lower Tetrachord Upper Tetrachord 6 It should be noted that starting on the second finger that the last eight notes have returned the player to the basic fingering pattern discussed previously.

Starting on the fifth finger, one would play as follows:

note C which, in this instance, with switch 32 depressed would be button 07; the second finger would then play note D by depressing button 09; the fifth finger would depress button d5 to produce note E; and, finally, completing the lower tetrachords the fourth finger would depress button e6 to produce the note F. The upper a ,a reaaarasara a tetrachord, namely notes G, A, B, and C would be produced by reason of the second finger, fifth finger, fourth finger, and third finger respectively depressing buttons d8, :24, c5, and e6.

Please note that all four fingers .are used in each tetrachord and that no finger is repeated in a tetrachord thus giving us the upmost ease in thinking and in dexterity. If the above scale is extended for several more octaves, it is clearly seen how the fingering is duplicated in every octave. Because this finger is duplicated exactly in every octave, it can be considered basic fingering. This basic fingering is as follows:

Lower Please not-e that the last eight notes have returned the player to the basic fingering. The above two discussions, it should be noted, have been presented with the upper reed switch 32 depressed. This is also the case with the final example shown below wherein the player has started with the fourth finger, as follows:

.2. a e a .2. a v a a .r a .a a v 3 Here again, the basic fingering has been returned to on the last eight notes.

The acid test of the bass keyboard of the present invention is whether it is possible to obtain the fingerings based on the tetrachord when tones are altered Within the scale. Presented below are all of the major scales which contain the tone C beginning on C. Please note that the fingering remains the same for both the basic fingering and for the alternate fingering.

- The minor and chromatic scales, whether melodic or harmonic can also be played with alternate fingering.

Lower pp pp Lowe-r Upper T Tetrachord Tet: aoigg Teglachord ae t lgfi Tet acrd chogl m a.

Please note also that all examples above notated in the key of C or beginning on C are fingered the same in all keys. Thus, all keys are fingered in exactly the same manner;

It is necessary at times to begin a scale with a fingering other than the basic fingering. These alternate fingerings must use the four fingers of the lefthand and also be based on the tetrachord. In the present system, one can play scales with ease starting on the second, fifth or fourth finger, as well as starting with the third as in the basic fingering pattern for a scale.

Lower Tetrachord With respect to double note scales, the following is true with respect to the subject keyboard:

(a) The top notes of double note scales as well as the bottom notes retain the same basic principles of fingering as set forth for single note scales.

(b) The fingering is the same in the two tetrachords comprising an octave scale.

(0) Notes within the scale can be altered without changing the fingering.

(d) When the notes of double note scales are played v a a 5 i s a a J a .r a r 9 separately or, in what is called broken thirds, sixths, or tenths, the fingering remains the same thus: Lower Upper Lower Upper Tetracbord Tetrach od Tetrachord Tetrachord etc Lower Upper Lower Upp er Teeraehord Teemehord Tetrachord Tetraenord a, ge m. etc

With respect to chords, there are presented below only as the C Major Triad all arpeggios are fingered with a few examples of chords, arpeggios and chords in broken four fingers in use. harmony. However, the following statements can be (h) Broken chords are fingered using all four fingers. made: 30 (0) Alternate fingering can be used in fingering cords,

(a) Except in the case of the three-note chords such broken chords, and arpeggios.

Thus, the objects of the present invention have been achieved by the provision of a new and better bass keyboard for a free bass accordian, which can be played legato or staccato without any change in the fingering. This is extremely important as, in some of the other free bass systems presently in use, that which is played with a staccato touch cannot be played legato] Further, the button arrangement set forth has the advantage of being arranged to fit the left hand of the player without nee for looping and, further, alternate fingerings are possible without the necessity for special memorization on the pit of the player.

The present invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from the spirit or essential attributes thereof and, accordingly, reference should be made to the appended claims rather than to the foregoing specification as indicating t e scope of the invention.

I claim as my invention:

1. The bass keyboard for an accordian comprising a plurality of buttons each adapted to control at least one single tone producing reed, each of said buttons being operative to allow air to vibrate its associated reed by reason of depression of said button, said buttons being arranged in transverse rows extending from an edge of the accordian adapted to be held by the lefthand of the player toward the bellows of the accordian, said rows being arranged to form keyboard halves, a first half of the keyboard having at least two rows of six buttons, said buttons in a first row of said first half being arranged with the interval between tones produced by the reeds controlled by the buttons being in minor seconds, the two rows of buttons being operative to control their associated reeds to produce a full octave, said second half of the keyboard having at least two rows of six buttons, said buttons in the first row of said second 'half being aligned with the buttons in the second row of said first half and being arranged with minor seconds intervals between tones produced by the reeds controlled by the buttonsin said first row of said second half, the two rows of 7 buttons in said second half operatively controlling reeds within the same full octave as are controlled by the buttons in the first and second rows of said first half, the rows of buttons extending, in numerical order, from said free edge of said accordian. I

2. The bass keyboard for an accordian as set forth in claim 1 wherein each button is adapted to control two single tone producing reeds one octave apart, and switch means on said keyboard for controlling the particular reeds which will'be vibrated by the depression of said buttons.

3. The bass keyboard ofclaim 1i wherein said first half of the keyboard includes a third and fourth row of buttons similar in arrangement to said first and second row fill of buttons of said first half with the reeds associated with said third and fourth row of buttons being exactly one octave higher in tone than the reeds associated with first and second row-of buttons, said second half also having a third and fourth row of buttons substantially similar to the first and second row of buttons of said second half except that the reeds associated with said third and fourth row of buttons of said second half are exactly one octave higher in tone than the reeds associated with said first and second rows of buttons of said second half.

4. The bass keyboard of claim 3 wherein the first buttons in the third row of buttons in said first and second half of said keyboard has a reed associated therewith for the note C, the first buttons of said first rows or" said first and second halves of said keyboard also having reeds associated therewith to produce the note C one octave "below the C note produced by depression of said first buttons of said third row of buttons.

5. The bass keyboard of an accordian comprising a plurality of buttons arranged in twelve longitudinal rows and a plurality of transverse rows, each of said buttons being adapted to control at least one tone producing reed, each of said buttons being operative to allow air to vibrate its associated reed by reason of the depression of said button, the intervals between the tones produced by depression of the buttons in the transverse rows being in minor seconds, said keyboard being divided to form two halves consisting of the first six longitudinal rows of buttons and the second six longitudinal rows of buttons, each two successive transverse rows of buttons within each half of tltte keyboard forming an octave group of buttons, the first transverse row in said first octave group being aligned with the second transverse row said second half of said keyboard, the first octave group of said first half of said keyboard being similar to the first octave group of said second half of the keyboard.

6. The bass keyboard of claim 5 wherein said longitudinal rows are arranged at an angle of 45 to the trans verse rows of buttons.

'7. Thebass keyboard of claim 5 wherein the tones produced by depression of said buttons are chromatically related in each octave group in a manner whereby the first row in each octave group starts with the note C and each button differs by one-half step in the first row until the sixth button corresponds with the note F, the second row in each octave group ranging in tones between Fit and B with the button in the same longitudinal group as that associated with the note Fit and the last button in the second row of the octave group corresponding to the note B, which last mentioned button is in the same longitudinal row as the button associated with the note F.

No references cited.

RICHARD B. WILKINSQN, Primary Examiner.

Non-Patent Citations
Reference
1 *None
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4159664 *Feb 3, 1978Jul 3, 1979Mastronardi Enrico MKeyboard assembly for an accordion
US8614384 *Apr 12, 2010Dec 24, 2013Julien HotriqueKeyboard for musical instrument, and instrument comprising such a keyboard
US20080127810 *Jan 31, 2007Jun 5, 2008Mark Patrick EganMorpheus music notation devices and system
US20080295670 *Jan 31, 2007Dec 4, 2008Mark Patrick EganMorpheus music notation devices and system
US20120031254 *Apr 12, 2010Feb 9, 2012Julien HotriqueKeyboard for musical instrument, and instrument comprising such a keyboard
WO2000039785A2 *Dec 24, 1999Jul 6, 2000Frece Prevoz In Prodaja NaftniDiatonic accordion with additional keys
WO2009035171A1 *Aug 20, 2008Mar 19, 2009Chun CheLeft hand harmony-switching system for an accordion
Classifications
U.S. Classification84/376.00K, 84/376.00R
International ClassificationG10D11/02
Cooperative ClassificationG10D11/02
European ClassificationG10D11/02