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Publication numberUS3358070 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 12, 1967
Filing dateDec 3, 1964
Priority dateDec 3, 1964
Publication numberUS 3358070 A, US 3358070A, US-A-3358070, US3358070 A, US3358070A
InventorsYoung Alan C
Original AssigneeHammond Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Electronic organ arpeggio effect device
US 3358070 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Dec. 12, 1967 i A. c. YOUNG 3,358,070

ELECTRONIC ORGAN ARPEGGIO EFFECT DEVICE Filed Dec. 5, 1964 f2 Wi fZ g United States Patent Ofiice 3,358,070 Patented Dec. 12, 1967 3,358,070 ELECTRONIC ORGAN ARPEGGIO EFFECT DEVICE ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE An arpeggio effect device for an electronic organ employing the conventional keyboard and an arpeggio keyboard is disclosed. The device includes tone generators coupled through keyer circuits to an audio amplifier. These keyer circuits are controlled by the arpeggio keyboard switches and the conventional keyboard switches in such a manner that only when both the arpeggio keyboard switch and a corresponding conventional keyboard switch are closed will the keyer connect a particular tone generator to the audio amplifier. The switches and the generators are so related by the circuitry that only tones unitary or octavely harmonically related to those played on the main keyboard can be supplied to the audio amplifier, allowing the arpeggio effect to be obtained by even those with little organ playing skill.

A modification of the device is also disclosed in which the arpeggio manual is a continuous strip of flexible material overlying a plurality of switches rather than separate keys. One or more of the switches are closed by depressing a segment of the strip. Thus, different tones are produced by depressing different areas of the strip.

This invention relates to electrical musical instruments of the keyboard type, organs for instance. More particularly it relates to an organization within or adapted to be used in conjunction with an electric organ for the purpose of producing an arpeggio effect so easily as to be substantially automatic, although still under the precise control of the organist.

One of the objects of the invention is to provide a novel and comparatively simple mechanism and organization within an electric organ for the purpose of simplifying the playing of arpeggios.

Another object is to provide a novel arpeggio device which permits the playing of rapid arpeggios while at the same time eliminating the possibility of error.

Still another object is to provide a novel device of this character which permits the playing of various types of arpeggios without difiiculty.

Other objects and advantages will become apparent from the following description of a preferred embodiment of this invention.

Arpeggios are normally played by a rapid right hand manipulation of the playing keys so as to-sound notes in succession which will harmonize with the chord being held by the left hand, and usually this is accomplished with the organ arranged to give a percussive response. Although other effects can of course be achieved, a typi cal arpeggio is produced when there is a rapid playing with the right hand of notes in succession which are the same notes as those forming the chord being held by the left lgnd, although the octave of the response may be different such that the arpeggio may in fact run over two or three octaves, the organ being so conditioned that the notes being played in the arpeggio will have a harp or hell effect. Playing of such arpeggios is difiicult for most people because false notes may be struck, and there is a limit to the speed at which the arpeggio can be played, and, for some organists at least, the preferred playing speed exceeds their skill.

The present invention permits the playing of an arpeggio as described, without requiring any particular skill, and furthermore, an arpeggio can be played extremely rapidly.

In the drawings, in which similar characters of refer ence refer to similar elements throughout the several views:

FIG. 1 is a diagrammatic representation of the two basic keyboards of an organ as seen from the end of the keyboards, with the playing or keyboard portion of the arpeggio device shown in one position it may assume, the hands of the musician being indicated so as to show one manner of playing;

FIG. 2 is a diagrammatic representation of similar to FIG. 1 except that it shows an alternative position for the arpeggio keyboard;

FIG. 3 is a diagrammatic representation similar to FIGS. 1 and 2, but showing still another location for the arpeggio keyboard;

FIG. 4 is a diagrammatic top view of the upper keyboard of an organ with the arpeggio device shown in place according to the organization as illustrated in FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is a fractional perspective view showing a detail of the arpeggio device keyboard;

FIG. 6 is a vertical transverse sectional view through the arpeggio keyboard and may be considered as taken substantially along the line 6-6 of FIG. 5 in the direction indicated by the arrows;

FIG. 7 is a diagram of the electrical circuitry involved;

FIG. 8, is a schematic representation of an alternative chime system incorporating the invention; and

FIG. 9 is a diagrammatic transverse section illustrating an alternative for the keyboard of FIGS. 5 and 6.

In an organ it is common practice to supply a signal generating system in one form or another such that the generators act as sources to provide electrical equivalents of tone signals for all of the notes to be played upon an organ of any particular design. Such a generating system, therefore, needs no special description, since it may be typical, and it is simply indicated in FIG. 7 of the drawings by the rectangular strip 10. The outputs for the various tone signal electrical equivalents provided by the generator system are indicated by the leads 12, and each of these leads has a connected keyer, they being indicated collectively by the strip 14. These keyers also need no particular description, since their construction and use is well understood, and many types are available. In generall, a keyer may be any arrangement interposed between a generator output lead 12 and the organ output system, a portion of which is indicated at 16, which normally has the effect of initially interrupting the connection between the generator and the output. When supplied with a DC. potential, however, any particular keyer so energized will establish a connection between its generator and the organ output, and will provide an appropriate attack and decay character to the signal so as to give the desired percussive effect. Thus, when a keyer is energized, the result is to sound its note abruptly at a comparatively high level, and subsequently to cause the intensity of the signal to decay. The eifect, therefore, is much like a bell being sharply struck and ringing on a bit, with a gradual intensity decline. As mentioned previously, the outputs from the group of keyers is collected and connected to the output system indicated generally by the box 16 and the speaker 18. This output system will contain the necessary amplifiers, together with any desired tone controls, formant circuits, volume level control, and the like, the particular selection being largely an option of the designer.

As a starting point, therefore, it is assumed without special description that the construction and operation of signal generator-s, keyers, and output systems are understood, and the detail description which follows is therefore concerned with the manner of energizing the DC. keyers so that they produce a percussive response of a harp or bell-like quality.

Re erring o FI 4 f. he awin s, he upperkeyboard of an organ is shown at 26, and directly in front of t liS keyboard is mounted the arpeggio device keyboard 22 which will be di us e n grea er d t pr t As shown in FIG. 1, this arpeggio keyboard 22 is arranged above and at the back of the lower keyboard 24 s ha a ny p t ular m hile he owe key ar is being played by the left hand 26, the right hand 28 can play upon the upper keyboard 20 and still the musician can touch the arpeggio keyboard 22 with the thumb of the right hand 28 in a convenient manner. In FIG. 2 much the same arrangement is achieved except that the arpeggio keyboard 30; has been placed upon the fall board between the upper and lower keyboards, still within reach of the right thumb. In FIG. 3 the arpeggio keyboard 32 has been placed behind the keys of the upper keyboard where it can be reached by one of the fingers of the right hand. In any event, these various locations for the arpeggio keyboard are simply suggestions. Probably the preference will be for the arrangement of FIG. 1, and this figure therefore forms the basis for FIGS. 4, 5, and 6.

Since it may be. desired to have the arpeggio keyboard in different positions along the main keyboard, depending upon where the right hand is playing, the keyboard 22 can be made to slide along the keyboard, for instance, to the position shown in dotted lines in FIG. 1, this dotted line position being indicated by the numeral 34. If desired, of course, two arpeggio keyboards may be used in end-.to-end relationship and fixed in position, the two keyboards being identical and simply wired in parallel so that either one serves the full function of the other.

The arpeggio keyboard indicated by the numeral 22 consists in the embodiment shown of a long, generally triangular, case 36' which may be attached at its back to a rail 38 in a convenient location in such manner that the interengaging connections 40 and 42 between the case and the rail permit the case to be slid along the organ keyboard 20 to a desired position. The connections, however, prevent any other relative movement between these elements. The case has a longitudinally extending rod 44 which serves to pivot a plurality of playing keys 46 in side-by-side relationship. These keys are lightly urged upwardly at their front ends by springs 45 or equivalent means. They are the counterparts of the keys of the main keyboard, and they may be colored to so indicate, although they may be all ofone color if desired. These arpeggio keys, unlike the ordinary organ playing keys, are very small; that is, in a typical example, the arpeggio playing keys may be about /2 long and about A wide and spaced on centers of or so; enough to provide clearance between them. The edges of the keys are heavily rounded so that a finger canbe slid along the keyboard to depress keys in succession without difficulty.

The case 36 also contains twelve parallel bus bars 4.8 which extend longitudinally of the case from end-to-end. A contact member 50 is carried by each of the playing keys 46, and these contacts on successive keys are arranged in order such that when one key is depressed, its contact 50 will, for instance, engage the. topmost bus bar 48. The e successive k y contact 50 nga es he next su cessi e bus bar, and so on. After the twelfth key, the series repeats with the thirteenth engaging the first bar 48, as. seen in FIG. 7,. Other arrangements coul b used, but the one suggested c n nient Th o al rave of. h key h u d be small, but preferably the contacts 50. should be slightly sp l gy r so t n ac ion to g ve s m cv tra l of he keys after contact has been made between elements 50 and In addition to the arpeggio keyboard just described, the main organ lower keyboard toward the left hand or bass and has an additional contact for each of the organ playing keys, these additional contacts being indicated at 52 and covering a compass of three octaves in the illustrated example. These contacts all operate in conjunction with a grounded bus bar 54. Thus when any one of the playing keys toward the left hand end of the lower keyboard, for a matter of three octaves, is depressed, this act will ground the particular playing keys contact 52.

The contacts 5.2 are connected to the bus bars 48 as shown, such that, beginning at a particular point on the keyboard, a contact 52 is connected to one of the bus bars 48. The next adjacent contact 52 is connected to the next adjacent bus bar 48, and so on, until twelve of the contacts 52 in succession have been connected to the twelve bus bars in succession. The next adjacent key contact 52- that is, the 13th-is connected to the first of the bus bars mentioned, and the series repeats. If the contacts 52 are provided for three octaves of keys as shown, all three of the C keys, for instance, will be connected to the same bus bar 48, and all three Cit contacts 52 to the next adjacent bar 48, and so on, so that playing any one of the C keys within the three octave range of the contacts 52 will have the effect of grounding the same bus bar 48. If, for instance, the chord C-E-G is held, the three bars 48 representing the notes CE-G will be grounded regardless of what particular combination of keys producing (LE-G is played upon the lower keyboard by the left hand.

The contacts 50. of the arpeggio keysv 46 are connected individually as shown in series to the keyers 14, the other side of the control circuit for the keyers being represented by the terminal 56. These connections are such that three C keys in the arpeggio keyboard have contacts 50 which g g a mutu bus bar 3 which. is c nected to the hre n ac s 2 at, in t r ar c u ed y h hree C y f h rgan. low r m ua n s n- Fr r the above t w ll be se n. that if any ower m a C key ithin. th ree oct ve rang s play d. with th left hand, ll. th e of the C keys in h rp ggio device. will hav th ir bus bar 8 gro nded- If ne of th C key f the rpeggio de ice is. new playe h appropria e one of the C kcy s w ll a t supply it pe c s i e note to the ou p system. On the other hand, if while the same C key is being held by the left hand a diiferent one of the C keys fv he arpcggio keyboard s playe a d f eren n will b suppl ed o h utp yst m Th s h arn ggiq k yb s mpl ly inert, xc pt ha it is on ti n d to play C in three different octaves, depending, upon which of h arpeggio k y oard C key s p ayed-" er the ndi ons a finger be sw p r p dly alo g he a p sg c keyboard o as t depres a v f t e rpcggio key in ic cessicn. and the re p se at. e u pu is mp y three octavely related C ch me tones,

If, instead of the simple example given above, it is ssu ed hat the l f h nd s holding chcrd flE G f ins ance t en he C E G bus ba s 8 w ll; be g nded with the result that as a finger is swept the full length al ng the arp ss o keyboa d f om le t o r ght,v t ha p l sound .=G' O=E.= E G Pro re siv cale, a d. noth ng els I .1 a o be appr ciated hat sin e h a p gg okeysare only bo t W W d a. shor w p t he fi ge il ha the ef ect of produ ng harp o h ll, or ike n te s se ec ed, n xtr mely rapid su sicn- Fur her e, since he scys are o. nar ow, hen a um r finge s pr d upon h a pesgie keyboard; it will a h eli ct o pre ng, o n e er l keys s multaneously, since, the thumbv or finger flattens against the keys and also because the flexible contact springs 50; permit s me c cr cl. he resu f is a i a, chor s being held by the left hand and the thumb merely taps the arpeggio keyboard, it is certain that at least one'harp or hell note will sound, and no matter how careless the player is in positioning his thumb upon the arpeggio key? board, the tone sounded will fit the chord being held by the left hand. As an example, as the chord Q-B-G is being held, placing the thumb on the arpeggio keyboard and simply pressing downwardly will have the effect of producing a harp or bell tone, and the only tones that can thus be produced are C or E or G in one of three octaves.

The important thing, therefore, is that no matter which direction the arpeggio keyboard is swept, or whether it is swept slow or fast, or repeatedly in one direction, or back and forth, or whether it is merely tapped, there will be some tonal response, and the response will always fit the chord being held by the left hand. It is, therefore, not possible to get a false response from the arpeggio keyboard so long as the chord being held by the left hand is something that is appropriate to the music. Even a small child can play upon the arpeggio keyboard along with a person who is-playing the organ and add to the musical response without the possibility of a mistake.

For convenience, in the arpeggio keyboard, the electrical leads connected to the bus bars 48 and to the contacts 50 are cabled, as at 58, and pass through a slot 60 in the panel 38 so that they do not interfere with limited longitudinal movement of the arpeggio keyboard.

The drawings show three octaves of arpeggio keys 46 and three octaves of control keys 24 having contacts 52, but of course more or less of either can be provided at the option of the designer. It will also be appreciated that although harp or bell type tones have been used as an example in the above description, the invention is not limited to such a tonal response, since tones having different harmonic content and different envelopes may be substituted.

In fact, although generators and keyers have been suggested as the source of the chime tones, and are preferred, the familiar chime mechanism which strikes any of several metal bars when appropriate electromagnets are energized may be substituted. In this case, as is shown in FIG. 8, the chime bar 60 is struck by a plunger 62 when an electromagnet 64 is energized, the plunger then being returned by a spring 66. The electromagnet 64 is energized from the source 68 by way of contact 50, bus 48, contact 52, and bus 54 in series as illustrated in FIG. 7.

If desired, of course, generator tones can be connected to the output system with this arpeggio arrangement by contacts instead of by keyers as shown, although, as a rule, they are not as musically effective as the percussion tones suggested above.

The miniature keys used for the arpeggio keyboard, much as shown in FIGS. and 6, are probably preferable, but other arrangements may be used. For instance, in FIG. 9 a very simple low-cost scheme is shown. Here a plastic tray 70 contains a strip of pliable foam plastic 72 which is thicker at one side to form a step. This strip runs longitudinally and has sets of contact blades arranged transversely on the steps so that blade 74 is below blade 7 6 for instance. A set of these contacts is provide-d for each arpeggio key. They are on about Ms" centers and are the counterparts of contacts 48 and 50 of FIG. 7. The contacts are covered by a strip of flexible, smooth, heavy plastic film 78, and thus, as a finger is run along the top surface of the film 78, the contacts 76 are pressed downwardly progressively to engage contacts 74. After the finger passes, the contacts are separated by the sponge cushion 72. Because of the resilient cushion 72, it is possible to close several sets of these contacts simultaneously as the finger makes a rounded depression in the plastic film 78 and cushion 72.

In the arpeggio system as described above, the use of a miniature keyboard or close together control contacts has been suggested, since such an arrangement is believed to be preferable for reasons which have been given. The arpeggio keyboard can, of course, be of any convenient size and in any convenient location. As an example, it can be provided at or near floor level where it can be actuated by the right foot of the musician if this seems convenient. In any case, the basic arrangement is the same in that only the keys in the arpeggio keyboard which correspond to notes being held in a main keyboard will play, the other keys being dead.

From the above description it will be appreciated that variations can be made in the structures and circuits without departing from the spirit or scope of the invention, and that the scope of the invention is to be measured from the scope of the following claims.

I claim:

1. In an electrical musical instrument, an output system, a plurality of signal sources for supplying tone signals of the musical scale over a range of more than one octave, and means adapted when actuated for selectively connecting the sources to the output system, said connecting means comprising: a first keyboard of more than one octave having a key therein for each of said sources, a main keyboard of more than one octave having play ing keys of substantially standard size, and circuit means including contacts actuated by keys of the first said keyboard and contacts actuated by said standard size keys and connected for actuating a signal source connecting means when the corresponding key of the first said keyboard for the source is actuated and contemporaneously the corresponding unison key or an octavely related key in the main keyboard is actuated, with said first and said main keyboards being positioned so that both may be easily played contemporaneously by an average player.

2. The combination called for in claim 1 in which the keys of the said first keyboard have a width of not substantially more than one-eighth inch.

3. In an electrical organ, an output system, a plurality of signal sources for supplying tone signals of the musical scale over a range of more than one octave, and means adapted when actuated for selectively connecting the sources to the output system, said connecting means comprising: a side-by-side arrangement of manually actuatable contacts, one for each source, covering a range of more than one octave, other manually actuatable means for selecting a chord to be played, and circuit means including said contacts and said other actuatable means and connected for actuating a signal source connecting means when the corresponding first said contact for the source .is actuated and contemporaneously the other actuatable means is actuated to play a unison tone or an octavely related tone, with said side-by-side arrangement of manually actuatable contacts and said other manually actuatable means being disposed so as to be simultaneously and easily actuatable by a single average player.

4. The combination called for in claim 3 in which the side-by-side contacts are spaced on centers not substantially greater than one-eighth inch.

5. In an electrical organ, percussive sound producing mechanism adapted to produce individual percussive sounds over a range of more than one octave of the musical scale when individual elements thereof are selec tively activated, and means adapted when actuated for selectively activating said elements, said means comprising, a miniature keyboard of more than one octave having a miniature key therein for each of said elements, a main keyboard of more than one octave having playing keys of substantially standard size, and circuit means including contacts actuated by said miniature keys and contacts actuated by said standard size keys and connected for activating a selected element When the corresponding miniature key is actuated and contemporaneously the corresponding unison key or an octavely related key in the main keyboard is actuated, but not otherwise, and with said miniature keyboard and said main keyboard being positioned so as to be easily contemporaneously actuated by a single average player.

6. The combination called for in claim 5 in which the keys of the miniature keyboard have a width of not substantially more than one-eighth inch.

7. In an electrical organ, an output system, a plurality of signal sources for supplying tone signals of the musical scale, and means adapted when actuated for selectively connecting the sources to the output system, said connecting means comprising: a side-by-side arrangement of close together manually actuatable contacts, one for each source, a main keyboard having playing keys of substantially standard size, one for each source, and circuit means including said contacts and contacts actuated by said standard size keys and connected for actuating a signal source connecting means when the corresponding first said contact for the source is actuated and contemporaneously the corresponding key in the main keyboard is actuated, said side-by-side arrangement of close together manually actuatable contacts and said main keyboard being positioned so that one player may manually play both contemporaneously.

8. The combination called for in claim 7 in which the side-by-side contacts are spaced on centers not substantially greater than one-eighth inch.

9'. In an electrical organ, sound producing mechanism adapted to produce individual tones of the musical scale when elements thereof are selectively activated, and means adapted when actuated for selectively activating said elements, said means comprising, a side-by-side arrangement of close together manually actuatable contacts, one for each of said elements, a main keyboard having playing keys of substantially standard size, and circuit means ineluding said contacts and contacts actuated by said standard size keys and connected for activating selected ele ments only when the corresponding first said contact is actuated and contemporaneously corresponding keys in the main keyboard are actuated, said side-by-side arrangement of close together manually actuatable contacts and said main keyboard both being positioned so that both may be contemporaneously manually actuated .by a player.

10. The combination called for in claim 9 in which the side-by-side contacts are spaced on centers not substantially greater than one-eighth inch.

11. In an electrical organ, percussive sound producing mechanism adapted to produce individual percussive tones or" the musical scale when individual elements thereof are selectively activated, and means adapted when actuated for selectively activating said elements, said means comprising, a miniature keyboard having a miniature key therein for each of said elements, a main keyboard having playing keys of substantially standard size, and circuit means including contacts actuated by said miniature keys and contacts actuated by said standard size keys and connected for activating a selected element only when the corresponding miniature key is actuated and contemporaneously a corresponding key in the main keyboard is actuated, said miniature keyboard and said main keyboard being positioned so that both may be contemporaneously manually actuated by a player.

12. The combination called for in claim 11 in which the keys of the miniature keyboard have a width of not substantially more than one-eighth inch.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,054,318 9/1962 Koehl 841.17 3,227,027 1/1966 Von Gunten 84-.1.17 X

ARTHUR GAUSS, Primary Examiner. DONALD D. FORRER, Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3054318 *Oct 10, 1960Sep 18, 1962James A KoehlElectrical musical instruments
US3227027 *Nov 12, 1963Jan 4, 1966Seeburg CorpPiano having electrically controlled note sustaining means
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3617602 *May 25, 1970Nov 2, 1971Chicago Musical Instr CoMusical instrument having automatic arpeggio circuitry
US3651729 *Aug 26, 1970Mar 28, 1972Nippon Musical Instruments MfgCircuit for rapid note passage in electronic musical instrument
US3718748 *Aug 16, 1971Feb 27, 1973Baldwin Co D HMulti-tone arpeggio system for electronic organ
US3725562 *Aug 16, 1971Apr 3, 1973Baldwin Co D HArpeggio system for electronic organ
US3780203 *Jan 16, 1973Dec 18, 1973Hammond CorpOrgan system for automatically producing runs of various character
US3842182 *Oct 17, 1972Oct 15, 1974Baldwin Co D HArpeggio system
US3854366 *Apr 26, 1974Dec 17, 1974Nippon Musical Instruments MfgAutomatic arpeggio
US3967520 *Nov 18, 1974Jul 6, 1976Drydyk Lawrence AGuitar chording device for keyboard instruments
US4106385 *Oct 6, 1975Aug 15, 1978Thomas International CorporationDigital arpeggio generating device
US4156379 *Jun 21, 1977May 29, 1979D. H. Baldwin CompanyDigital arpeggio system
US4170916 *Jun 23, 1977Oct 16, 1979D. H. Baldwin CompanyTouch operated capacitive switch for electronic musical instruments
US4704940 *Sep 5, 1984Nov 10, 1987Cummings Darold BComputer keyboard adaptor
US4915002 *Feb 28, 1989Apr 10, 1990John DornesMusic synthesizer adjunct
US4966053 *Mar 20, 1989Oct 30, 1990John DornesMusic synthesizer with multiple movable bars
US5726374 *Nov 21, 1995Mar 10, 1998Vandervoort; Paul B.Keyboard electronic musical instrument with guitar emulation function
US7420114Jun 11, 2005Sep 2, 2008Vandervoort Paul BMethod for producing real-time rhythm guitar performance with keyboard
DE2165654A1 *Dec 30, 1971Jul 13, 1972Baldwin Co D HTitle not available
WO1988010488A1 *Jun 27, 1988Dec 29, 1988John DornesImproved music synthesizer adjunct
Classifications
U.S. Classification84/678, 84/424, 984/345, 84/719
International ClassificationG10H1/34, G10H1/32
Cooperative ClassificationG10H1/34, G10H1/32
European ClassificationG10H1/32, G10H1/34
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Sep 25, 1989ASAssignment
Owner name: MARMON COMPANY
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:HAMMOND CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:005262/0045
Effective date: 19890920