US 3499361 A
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March 10, 1970 P. D. HARLEMAN RHYTHM INSTRUMENT Filed July 2, 1968 m RNM E w; w m 7 m MA w mm 3,499,361 RHYTHM INSTRUMENT Paul D. Harleman, 729 South St., Long Beach, Calif. 90805 Filed July 2, 1968, Ser. No. 741,937 Int. Cl. Gd 13/06 U.S. Cl. 84-402 8 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A rhythm instrument comprising a pair of elements having concave walls defining the interiors and rims percussively interengageable to produce a sound, the wall of each element including an opening to acoustically modify the sound.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Field of the invention The invention relates to rhythm instruments of the type which employ a pair of elements percusslvely engageable to produce a sound.
Description of the prior art An analogous form of rhythm instrument is the castanet, which consists of a pair of shells which are adapted to be fastened to the thumb of the player and tapped together with the middle finger. A sharp clickings ound is produced. However, the complemental elements of the castanet are not adapted for coextensive engagement during the percussive contact between them. Instead, the element margins opposite the card attaching the elements tend to engage obliquely. Consequently, the tone produced is essentially dependent upon the mass and character of the material of the castanet. Moreover, even if the castanet were capable of coextensive engagement of the elements about their complemental peripheries, no provision is made for venting the interiors of the elements to facilitate percussive interengagement and to acoustically modify the resulting sound.
SUMMARY According to the present invention, a rhythm instrument is provided which comprises a pair of elements having concave inner surfaces terminating in continuous rims which are percussively and coextensively engageable to produce a sound. The interiors of the elements are vented by a hole or holes in the walls of the elements to facilitate percussive interengagement of the rims and to acoustically modify the resulting sound. The resulting sound is highly distinctive and unlike any known percussive instrument.
The present instrument is adapted to mount loops so that it may be worn on the fingers or thumb and finger. Also, the two elements can be resiliently mounted on a handle to allow one or both of the instrument elements to be harmonically moved, the handle insuring repetitive percussing with minimum player effort. If desired, a plurality of different sizes of such instruments could be mounted side by side on a suitable frame for percussing with a rubber hammer to provide different tones.
Regardless of the embodiment utilized, the instrument produces a unique sound and is relatively inexpensive so that it can be mass produced for wide distribution. The finger models are particularly adapted for popular use, enabling anyone to rhythmically tap time to music, for example.
Other objects and features of the invention will become apparent from consideration of the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings.
' United States Patent 3,499,361 Patented Mar. 10, 1970 ice BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of the rhythm instrument, illustrating its use with loops for mounting the instrument on the thumb and middle finger;
FIG. 2 is a plan view of the interior of one of the elements of the instrument of FIG. 1, but without the mounting loop;
FIG. 3 is a view taken along the line 33 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a side elevational view of a second embodiment of the present rhythm instrument, illustrating the complemental elements thereof mounted to a handle;
FIG. 5 is a view taken along the line 55 of FIG. 4;
FIG. 6 is a view taken along the line 66 of FIG. 4;
FIG. 7 is a plan view of a third embodiment of the present rhythm instrument; and
FIG. 8 is a view taken along line 8-8 of FIG. 7.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring now to the drawing, and particularly to FIGS. 1 through 3 thereof, there is illustrated a rhythm instrument 10 comprising a pair of identical, complemental, dished elements 12 wihch are defined by a wall having a concave inner surface 14 which terminates in a peripheral flange or continuous rim 16.
The elements 12 are preferably made of a suitable impact resistant plastic material or the like, and the rims 16 of the elements 12 are adapted to engage in closefitting, coextensive relation. Percussing of the elements 12 against one another produces sound waves within the hollow interiors of the elements 12.
The sound waves are acoustically modified and the coextensive engagement of the rims 16 is facilitated by the provision of one or more openings 18 in the walls of the elements 12. However, two of the openings 18 illustrated in FIG. 2 are provided to accommodate a finger member or loop 20 of elastic cord for mounting the associated element 12 to the finger or thumb of the player, as seen in FIG. 1.
For an element 12 measuring 2.75 inches in length, 2 inches in width, and inch in depth, it has been found that the venting openings 18 operate satisfactorily when made approximately 0.10 inch in diameter. That is, this size of opening produced a venting of the interiors of the elements 12 suflicient to facilitate their interengagement and sufficient to acoustically modify the sound in the manner desired.
Referring to FIGS. 4 through 6, there is illustrated a handle-operated rhythm instrument 22. The instrument 22 includes a pair of the elements 12, and also includes an elongated frame 24 which mounts the elements 12 and enables them to be moved abruptly back and forth to achieve a rapid, repetitive percussing.
The frame 24 includes an elongated element having one extremity constituting a handle 26, and an opposite extremity interposed between the elements 12 and provided with opposite, coplanar, and flat faces 28 coextensive with the rims 16 of the elements 12 for percussive engagement with such rims 16. The handle extremity also includes an opening 30 in communication with the interiors of the adjacent elements 12.
The elements 12 are mounted upon the handle 26 by a pair of elongated mounting brackets 32, the elements 12 being thereby precisely oriented for percussive engagement of their rims 16 with the confronting faces 28 of the handle 26. One end of each bracket 32 is secured by screws or rivets or the like to the handle 26 below the supported element 12. From that point the bracket 32 is formed into a right angular configuration which spaces or offsets the other extremity of the bracket outwardly of the handle 26. This offset enables the brackets 32 to be attached to the elements 12 by suitable fasteners so as to orient the elements 12 in confronting relation, as illustrated.
The brackets 32 are made of a spring-like or resilient metal or plastic material so that rapid movement of the handle 26 back and forth harmonically moves the elements 12 for repetitive percussive engagement of their rims 16.
If desired, a microphone 34 or similar transducer means responsive to sound waves in the element interiors can be mounted within the opening 30 to pick up the percussive sounds for transmission through a lead 36 to any suitable amplification or recording apparatus (not shown). One suitable means for mounting the microphone 34 within the opening 30 comprises an elongated tube 38 carried within a suitable bore in the handle 26, the microphone 34 being attached to the upper extremity of the tube 38. The lead 36 is disposed through the tube 38 and through a suitable elongated passage provided in the handle 26 of the frame 24.
If desired, one of the elements 12 can be fixed to the i frame 24, and a resilient mounting bracket 32 used for mounting the other element 12, as will be seen in connection with a description of the embodiment of FIG. 8. Also, the microphone 34 or other pick-up device could be mounted to the interior surface of one of the elements 12 if desired, as also shown in FIG. 8.
Referring now to FIGS 7 and 8, there is illustrated a rhythm instrument 40 which includes a plurality of the pairs of elements 12, but of successively greater sizes. The instrument 40 includes a frame 42 having a plurality of frame elements 44, each of which includes an opening within which one of the elements 12 of each pair is suitably secured. Preferably a microphone 34 or like pick-up is adhered or otherwise fixed to the interior surface of this element 12, the lead 36 coming out of one of the openings 18 and extending along the underside of the associated frame element 44 in any suitable manner. A plurality of such microphones 34 are employed, one for each pair of the elements 12.
The pairs of elements 12 are arranged in side-by-side relation for percussing by a rubber hammer (not shown) or the like, the microphones 34 carrying the resulting sounds to suitable amplification or recording-apparatus (not shown).
The foregoing embodiments of the present invention thus comprise a finger mounted instrument 10, a handle operated instrument 22, and a console or plural arrange ment 40, each of such instruments being characterized by one or more pairs of the elements 12 to provide the unique rhythmic sound resulting from the structure disclosed.
1. A rhythm instrument comprising:
a pair of elements, each defined by a wall having a concave inner surface and a continuous rim, the rims of said elements being adapted for percussive 4 coextensive engagement to produce a sound, each said wall including an opening therethrough to vent the interior of the associated one of said elements and thereby acoustically modify said sound.
2. A rhythm instrument according to claim 1 wherein said walls each mount an arcuately configured finger member for mounting the elements to the fingers of the player.
,3. A rhythm instrument according to claim 1 and including transducer means mounted to said interior of one of said elements and responsive to sound waves therein.
4. A rhythm instrument according to claim 1 and including frame means mounting said elements and including resilient means supporting at least one of said elements whereby said one of said elements tends to move harmonically toward and away from the other of said elements after such percussive engagement.
5. A rhythm instrument according to claim 4 wherein said frame means includes an elongated element having one extremity constituting a handle and an opposite extremity interposed between said elements and provided with opposite faces coextensive with said rims of said elements for percussive engagement therewith, said opposite extremity having an opening in communication with the interiors of said elements, said resilient means supporting both said elements upon said handle.
6. A rhythm instrument according to claim 5 and including transducer means mounted to said opposite extremity of said handle in said opening thereof and responsive to sound waves in the interiors of said elements.
7. A rhythm instrument according to claim 4 including a plurality of pairs of diiferent sizes of said elements; including a corresponding plurality of said resilient means for said pairs of said elements; wherein said frame means mount said pairs in side by side relation for percussing by a hammer; and further including transducer means responsive to sound waves resulting from said percussing.
8. A rhythm instrument according to claim 7 wherein said transducer means includes a separate transducer mounted adjacent each of said pairs of said elements.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,643,553 9/1927 Gladstone 84-402 STEPHEN J. TOMSKY, Primary Examiner L. R. FRANKLIN, Assistant Examiner- U.S. Cl. X.R. 46-191