US 3444772 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
y 0, 1969 s. P. MARTIN $444,772
MUSICAL INSTRUMENT Fned Feb. 6, .1967 Sheet of 2 12a- .30 2 \\m\ H I I I 2a 3 17g- INVENTOR. (3Q- 30 2 35 Sg EPP- IEN E MARTIN ATTORNEYS- May 20, 1969 s. P. MARTIN MUSICAL INSTRUMENT Sheet 2 orz Filed Feb. 6, 1967 INVENTOR. STEPHEN E MARTIN BY WM Jw M} A TTDRNEYS.
United States Patent 3,444,772 MUSICAL INSTRUMENT Stephen P. Martin, 28 Yorktown Circle, Trumbull, Conn. 06611 Filed Feb. 6, 1967, Ser. No. 614,074 Int. Cl. G01d 13/08 US. Cl. 84-402 4 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE Musical playing spoons having a pair of opposed spoon elements, each comprising a bowl and a springy handle, with the convex sides of the bowls facing each other in spaced relation, and with the springy handles converging rearwardly toward each other and connected at their gripping end portions by bridging means to establish the springing point of the handles forwardly of the gripping end portions and to provide a resonant vibration conducting tone control bridge between the handles.
Summary of the invention The present invention relates to a musical instrument, particularly of the clacking type, wherein opposed resonant elements are brought into contact with each other in rapid sequence to produce musical rhythms consisting of a sequence of sharp clacking sounds. Heretofore such musical rhythms have been produced by castanets, by socalled bones, consisting of a pair of bars of bone, hard wood, ivory or the like, as well as by manipulating a pair of spoons gripped by one hand of the player at their handle portions with a finger of the gripping hand interposed between the handles to space them so that the bowl portions of the spoons could be spaced apart and brought into contact by hitting one of the spoons upon the hand, knee, or other suitable surface. This manner of manipulating a pair of spoons to produce a musical rhythm sound is both awkward, and requires a high degree of skill to maintain the spoons in a proper relationship to co-operate with each other, and due to the placing of a finger between the spoons to space them vibrations are absorbed and the sound produced is mufi led and lacks sharpness. It is an object of the invention to provide a musical instrument in the form of a pair of spoons provided with a bridging means fixedly connecting'the gripping ends'of v the spoon handles whereby the spoons are positioned in a predetermined relationship and a resonant bridge is proyided between the gripping end portions of the handles to permit springing of the handle portions and to transmit vibrations between the handles to thus enhance the clacking sound produced when the bowls are brought together.
It is a furtherobject to provide means for adjusting the spaced relationship between thebowl portions of the spoons.
Brief description of the drawings FIG. 1 is a side view .of a musical instrument according to the invention; b FIG. 2 isa top plan view; 7 FIG. 3 is a transverse sectional view, on an enlarged scale, taken along line 33 of FIG. 1; FIG. 4 is a fragmentary perspective view showing the gripping ends of the spoon elements in separated relation; v FIG, 5 is a side view of a modified form of the invention;
FIG. 6 is a transverse sectional view, .on, an enlarged scale, taken along the line 6-6 of FIG. 5;
FIG. 7 is a sectional view similar to FIG. 6 showing a modified form of bridge; FIG. 8 is a side viewof another modified form of the invention;
FIG. 9 is a transverse sectional view of an enlarged scale taken along the line of 99 of FIG. 8;
FIG. 10 is a side view of a further modified form of the invention;
FIG. 11 is a top plan view thereof; and
FIG. 12 is a perspective view showing the handle ends and the gripper element of FIGS. 10 and 11 in separated relation.
Description of the preferred embodiments Referring to the drawings, and more particularly to FIGS. 1-4, the musical instrument according to the embodiment of the invention illustrated therein comprises a pair of spoon elements 10-10 which may be formed of any suitable hard, resonant, springy material, for example, cast or die-formed metal, molded plastic material, wood, bone, ivory, etc. In this embodiment of the invention the spoon elements are of identical form, and are assembled in opposed relation with one spoon element inverted with respect to the other. Thus great economy in manufacturing is realized, as the two elements forming the instrument may be produced from the same mold or die.
Each spoon element 10 comprises a bowl portion 11, concave at one side and convex at the other side, a springy handle portion 12, a half bridge portion 13 integrally formed upon the under side of the gripping end of the handle portion, an internally threaded boss 14 integrally formed upon the under side of the handle portion forwardly of the-bridge portion, and an interlock portion 15 integrally formed upon the outer end of the handle portion.
In the assembled relation of the pair of spoon elements the bowl portions have their convex sides facing each other in opposed and spaced relation, the handle portions are curved outwardly and rearwardly from the bowl portions as at 16 and converge rearwardly toward each other. To this end the fiat faces 17 of the half bridge portions 13 are at an inclined angle to the handle portions 12 and meet in the central plane of the instrument. In order to position the half bridge portions in their assembled relation each such portion is provided with a projecting semispherical boss 18 and a matching recess 19 in transverse alignment therewith, so that when the spoon elements are assembled the boss 18 of one spoon element will engage the recess 19 of-the other, as clearly shown in FIG. 3.
The interlock formations 15 are adapted to rigidly interlock the convergent rearward ends of the handle portions and, as. clearly shown in. FIG. 4, each such portion comprises a flat transversely extending face 20disposed in the plane of the face 17 of the half bridge portion 13, a forwardly and upwardly inclined rearwardly facing surfacing surface 21 extending across one half of the rearward edge of the face 20, and forwardly and downwardly inclined forwardly facing surface 22 extending across the other half of the rearward edge of the face 20, the surface 22 constituting the forward side of a rearwardly projecting hook portion 23. The inclined surface 21 is provided with a groove 24 and the inclined surface 22 is provided with a rib 25 so that in the interengaged relation of the two spoon elements the rib 25 of one element 7 engages the groove 24' of the other element. The interlocking formations of the pair of spoon elements are shown in separated relation in FIG. 4, from which position they are adapted to be hooked into interlocking relation as seen in FIGS. 1 and 2. In this relation the faces 17 of the two half bridge portions are interengaged with the boss 18 of one engaging the recess 19 of the other.
The spoon elements are secured in their assembled relation by a thumb screw comprising a central wheel portion 26 and a pair of oppositely extending and reverse threaded stud portions 2727, which are respectively screwed into the threaded bosses 14 of the pair of spoon elements to bring the half bridge portions 13 into tight contact with each other at their meeting faces 17 to form a solid unitary bridge and to normally space the opposed bowl portions 11 a predetermined maximum distance apart. In practice this maximum distance may, for example, be three sixteenths A of an inch. By a slight turning of the thumb screw the handle portions forwardly of the bridge portions 13 may be drawn toward each other to decrease this distance as desired.
The thumb screw and its connection with the threaded bosses 14, together with the bridge portions 13, constitute bridging means between the convergent end portions of the spoon elements which provide a rigidly connected structure rearwardly of the thumb screw, and which constitutes the gripping end of the instrument to be gripped by the fingers of one hand of the player. This rigid bridge structure also establishes the position of the springing points of the handle portions forwardly and contiguously adjacent the thumb screw, and about which points the bowl portions have vibratory movement into and out of clacking contact with each other, their movement being generated "by hitting the outer side or the end of one spoon element against a suitable surface, for example, the fingers of one hand of the player, while the gripping end of the instrument is firmly held by the other hand. The bridging means serves to transmit vibrations between the handle portions of the two spoon elements to thus enhance and control the tone produced when the bowl portions are brought into contact with each other.
In FIGS. 5 and 6 there is ilustrated a modification of the invention substantially similar to the form of the invention shown in FIGS. 1-4, except that the bridging means does not include a space adjusting part. The musical instrument 10a comprises a pair of opposed spoon elements each having a bowl portion 11a, a handle portion 12a, and a half bridge portion 13a provided with a flat lower face 17a, the forward end of the handle portion being outwardly and rearwardly curved as at 16a. The flat faces 17a of the half bridge portions 13a meet 'in the central plane of the instrument and are secured together by ,a layer of cement 28, being positioned against shifting movement by a dowel pin 29 engaged in opposed pockets 30- 30 in thehalf bridge portions. The convergent ends of the handle portions are provided with flat faces 20a secured together by a layer of cement 31.
In 'FIG. .7 there is illustrated a modification in which the bridging means comprises a separate bridge member '32, corresponding in shape to the combined half bridge portions.13a of the embodiment illustratedin FIGS. 5 and 6, and secured to the under sides of the handle portions 12a by layers of cement 33-33.
In .FIGS. 8 and 9 there is illustrated another modification in which the musical instrument 10b comprises a pair of spoon elements substantially similar in their arrangement to "the foregoing embodiments, and each comprising a bowl portion 11b, and a handle portion 1217 connected at its forward end to the bowl portion by an outwardly and rearwardly curved portion 16b. The rearward ends of the handle portions are integrally connected by a bend or bight 34 which may be formed, particularly in the case ofdie'formed metal, following the formation of the pair of spoon elements in extended end to end relation.
The bridging means comprises an adjusting thumb screw 35 rotatably engaged in a longitudinally extended slot opening 36 in one handle portion and having its threaded shank 37 engaged in a lug portion 38 blanked from the opposed handle portion and bent downwardly and forwardly therefrom into substantially parallel relation to the handle portion carrying the thumb screw, the lug being provided with a threaded hole 39 engaged by the screw shank 37. The thumb screw has swivel engagement in the slot 36 and to this end its thumb wheel 40 is engaged with the outer side of the handle portion, its shank portion 41 is engaged for longitudinal sliding movement in the slot opening 36, and a spring lock washer 42 of generally C-shape is snapped in a groove 43 in the shank portion 41 and engages the inner side of the handle portion. In addition to forming a resonant bridging means between the two handle portions, the thumb screw 35 and the lug portion 38, which normally position the bowl portions 11b in their maximum spaced apart position, permits adjustment by slight turning of the thumb screw to decrease the maximum spacing of the bowl portions as desired.
In FIGS. 10-12 there is illustrated a still further modification, generally similar in the arrangement of the spoon elements and the bridging means to the foregoing embodiments, wherein the musical instrument 10c comprises a pair of spoon elements each consisting of a bowl portion 11c and a handle portion 12c outwardly and rearwardly curved at its forward end as at 16c. The side edges of the handle portion at their rearward gripping end portions are parallel, as at 44, and converge forwardly therefrom, as at 45, to the bowl portion.
The bridging means comprises a wedge-shaped bridge and gripping member 46 having rearwardly converging slots 4747 therein in which the gripping ends of the handle portions of the spoon elements are inserted and retained by a snug frictional fit. By varying the degree of insertion of the handle portions in the slots 47 the spacing of the bowl portions may be adjusted as desired. .Serations or ribs 48 may be provided in the finger engaging surfaces of the bridge and gripping member 46 for non-slipping gripping engagement b the fingers of the player. The bridging gripping member is preferably formed of suitable molded plastic material of suflicient hardness to provide the desired resonance and sufficiently soft to permit a snug frictional fit of the handle portions therein.
As this invention may be embodied in several forms without departing from the spirit or essential characteristics thereof, the present embodiments are therefore illustrative and not restrictive, and since the scope of the invention is defined by the appended claims, all changes that fall within the metes and bounds of the claims or that form their functional as well as conjointly cooperative equivalents are therefore intended to be embraced by .those claims.
What is claimed is:
1. A musical instrument comprising a pair of spoon elements, each comprising a bowl portion having a convex side and a springy handle portion extending rearwardly from said bowl portion, said spoon elements being disposed in opposed relation with the convex sides of said bowl portions facing each other in normally spaced relation and with said handle portions converging rearwardly toward each other, and bridging means rearwardly spaced from said bowl portions disposed between and connecting said handle portions adjacent their rearward endsto con stitute a substantially rigid gripping end portion and to place the springing point of said handle portions forwardly of said bridging means, said bridging means comprising adjustable means connected to and extending between the opposed sides of said handle portions arranged to vary the spacing between said bowl portions.
2. A musical instrument as defined in claim 1, wherein said adjustable means comprises a thumb screw including a central wheel part and reverse thread screw shank parts having threaded engagement with the opposed sides of said :handle portions.
3. A musical instrument as defined in claim 1, wherein said adjustable means comprises a thumb screw having rotatable engagement in one handle portion and threaded engagement in the other handle portion.
4. A musicalinstrument as defined in claim 1, wherein said bridging means comprises a rigid bridge member connected to and extending between the opposed sides of said handle portions, and adjustable means forwardly of said bridge member connected to and extending between the opposed sides of said handle portions arranged to vary the spacing between said bowl portions.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,616,218 11/1952 Brown 46191 2,848,839 8/1958 Haines 415-191 RICHARD B. WILKINSON, Primary Examiner. G. M. POLUMBUS, Assistant Emaminar.
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