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Publication numberUS3553336 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 5, 1971
Filing dateJun 20, 1968
Priority dateJun 20, 1968
Publication numberUS 3553336 A, US 3553336A, US-A-3553336, US3553336 A, US3553336A
InventorsGriffith Errol R, Markowitz Jerome
Original AssigneeAllen Organ Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Accenter touch bar for electronic musical instrument
US 3553336 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Inventors Jerome Markowitz Allentown; Errol R. Griifith, Topton, Pa. Appl. No. 738,537 Filed June 20, 1968 Patented Jan. 5, 1971 Assignee Allen Organ Company Macungie, Pa. a corporation of Pennsylvania ACCENTER TOUCH BAR FOR ELECTRONIC MUSICAL INSTRUMENT 5 Claims, 7 Drawing Figs.

0.8. CI. 84/ 1.09, 84/1.l7, 84/l.24, 84/l.27 Int. Cl GlOh 3/00, GlOh 3/06,G10h 1/02 Field of Search 84/l.01,

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,201 ,232 5/1940 l-lelberger 84/1.27 3,223,771 12/1965 Hopping 84/1 .26 3,227,027 l/l966 VonGunten... 84/1 .24(UX) 3,247,311 4/1966 Jenny 84/1.25X 3,257,494 6/1966 Starck 84/1.27X 3,288,909 11/1966 Volodin 84/1 .25X

Primary Examiner-Herman Karl Saalbach Assistant Examiner-Tim Vezeau Attorney-Seidel and Gonda ABSTRACT: A touch bar is located closely adjacent the keyboard of an electronic musical instrument and forms part of a switch. The switch is connected in the instrument circuit so that when it is closed (or opened) the tonal quality of the audio output of the instrument is changed. The change may affect the intensity, pitch and/0r timbre of the audio output. The touch bar is located so that it may be facilely struck by the player to produce varying musical effects.


SHEET 2 OF 2 IN ME N T 035' JEROME MA R/(OW/ T Z ERROL 1?. GR/FF/ TH ATTORNEYS v ACCENTER TOUCH BAR FOR ELECTRONIC MUSICAL INSTRUMENT This invention relates to anaccenter. touch bar for an electronic musical instrumenL'More particularly, this invention relates to a touch bar positioned adjacentthe keyboard of an electronic musical instrument wherebythe player may modify the normal audio tonal output of the instrument by striking the touch. bar with the fingers of either hand while simultaneously playing the instrument.

Conventional pianos provide complicated actions interposed between the keys and the hammers which strikesthe strings. These actions permit the player to accurately control theforce and rate at which the piano. string is struck. In addition, the conventional piano also provides foot pedals for further modifying the tonal qualities of the instrument by decreasing the amplitude, increasing the amplitude, or

. sustaining'a note that has beenstruck. Electronic musical insti'uments, such as organs, do not have actions, except in some specialized cases. A key'is normally depressed to close a switch andthe associated note sounds as long as the key is depressed. The player does not have ready control over the intensity, pitch' or timbre of the note in 'thernanner of a piano although most modern electronic organs have sustain circuits. Strikingthe key of an electronic organ'with more strength does not increase the intensity of the output. This must be ac- I complished 1 through volume controls which are normally preset before a player begins the piece. Pitch and timbre can be varied but these also require that special preset switches be depressed prior to playing a particular note or series of notes. 1 .The present invention seeks to overcome the foregoing difficulties in electronic musical instruments by providing a touchbar adjacent the keyboard. The touch bar is preferably yrectangular in shape and positioned so'that it may be facilely struck bythe player. The touch baris resiliently mounted so thatpressing it'cause's aswitch to close (or open) until it is released by the player. The touch barswitch is connected in electronic circuitry which may change the volume level,

change the pitch, or modify the timbre of the audio output of the instrument. Generally, itis intended that the touch bar be struck during'the playing of'a rhythmic pattern to add emphasis by momentary accents which may take the form of a change in sound intensity, pitch or timbre. However, an

'bari n relation to the keyboards and'the stop tabs.

FIG. 2 is a partial transverse sectional view of the keyboard illustrated in FIG. 1 taken along the line 2-2.

FIG. 3 is a partial transverse sectional view of the accenter bar taken along the line 3-3 in FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is an exploded perspective view of the accenter touch bar.

and 16 are sometimes referred to asthe manual; The upper" keyboard may be the solo keyboard and the lower keyboard the accompaniment keyboard.

As best shown in FIGS. 2, 3 and 4, the white key 20 is resiliently mounted to pivot about the pin 22 which is fixed to r to the keys and either opening or closing such switches to cause associated electronic circuitry to generate an appropriate electronic signal that is transduced by an audio system into audio frequency sounds having a predetermined tone quality. The keys 20 and 26 are representative of all of the keys on the keyboards 14 and l6.'Moreover, the elec-- tronic circuitry and switching mechanisms arewell described in the literature, both patent and otherwise, and hence need not be described in detail. I

Mounted to the frame 24 and extending at an angle upwardly and away from the keyboards 1.4 and-16 is a chassis 28 which'supports the stop tabs 18 and the accenter touch bar 12. One of the stop tabs 30 is shown pivotally mounted on a pin 32 in an opening 34 in the chassis 28. The tab 30 is conventionally mounted so as to form the toggle of a two position switch (not shown). The stop tabs in an electronic musical instrument are normally used as presets for controlling the timbre of the instrument. For example, the tabs may be used to set in the voices of the instrument such as flute, diapison, and

ensemble. In addition, they may be used to set in special effect other words, the stop tabs 18, of which 30 is but one example, add and subtract electronic circuitry from the instrument for the purpose of varying the tonal quality of the instrument prior to playing a particular piece. Since they are conventional, the v switches and associated electronic circuitry for the stop tabs 18 are not shown.

The accenter touch bar 12 comprises an elongated lightweight bar 36 made of plastic or wood. The bar 36 is preferably rectangular and mounted to extend transversely of the keys in keyboard 14. However, the bar 36 could very well be round or oval shaped as desired. The, purpose in providing an elongated bar mounted with its longitudinal axis mounted transversely the keys is to position for the bar so that it may be facilely operated by the player. Thus, the bar 36 is-mounted immediately above the keyboard 12 and well within reach of both hands'of the player. In one embodiment of this invention its length is approximately 19 and 13/32 by l and 5/32 by /9 inches. This represents approximately one-half the length of a conventional solo keyboard 14. By positioning the bar 36 intermediate the ends of the keyboard, it is possible for a player to reach it from any position. It should be understood, however, that while this forms a preferred embodiment of this invention, it is entirely within the scope of this invention that the accenter touch bar 12 be placed in other locations adjacent accenter touch bar 12 is to have a limited tonal modifying FIG. 5 is a schematic block diagram showing the accenter touch bar being used as an amplitude control.

FIG. 6 is a schematic block diagram showing the accenter touch bar being used as a timbre control.

FIG. 7 is a schematic block diagram showing the accenter touch bar being used as a pitch control.

Referring now to the drawings in detail, wherein like numerals indicate like elements, there is shown in FIG. 1 a partial plan view of a two-keyboard musical instrument 10 with an accenter touch bar 12 positioned above and intermediate the ends of the upper keyboard 14. The keyboard 16 sits just below and outwardly of the keyboard 14 in a conventional manner. A row of stop tabs 18 is-positioned immediately above the accenter touch bar 12.The keyboards l4 and 16, together with the stop tabs l8 are conventional for electronic musical instruments such as organs and therefore need not be described in detail. As applied to organs, the keyboards 14 function associated with only a particular group of keys.

The bar 36 is resiliently mounted by three like spring hinges 38. Each resilient hinge consists of two L-shaped spring steel members 52 and 53 riveted together back-to-back by the rivets 44 and 46 so as to form a resilient Z shaped hinge. The

eyelet-typerivets 48 and 50 retain one- L shaped member 52 of the spring hinges to the bar 36. The rivets 48 and 50 are recessed below the surface of the bar 36 in openings 54 and 56 provided for that purpose. The other member 53 of the hinges 38 is fixed by a screw fastener 58 or some other means to a plate 60 extending across fixed to the bottom of an opening 62 in the chassis 28. The section 53 is provided with an open ended slot 64 so that the bar 36 may be adjusted and aligned within the blind recess 66 in the chassis 28.

A felt strip 68 extends across the upper edgeof the recess 66 so as to deaden any noisewhich may be caused by the bar '36 hitting the walls or bottom of the recess 66. In a like manner, a felt strip 70 is mounted on and extends across the i switch 74. The leaf switch 74 includes a rod 76 fixed to the bar 36 by a fiathead screw fastener and extending through an opening 78 in the chassis 28. The diameter of opening 78 is much larger than the diameter of rod 76 to permit it to swing therein without interference by the sidewalls. A screw fastener 80 fixes a actuator finger 82 to the distal end of rod 76. Actuator finger 82 extends from the rod 76 along the bottom of chassis 28. The actuator finger 82 is preferably made of a spring steel and may be curved as shown to provide the appropriate arcuate motion when the accenter touch bar is depressed. A felt pad 84 is mounted on the distal end of actua tor finger 82 to dampen the noise which may be caused by the finger striking the leaves of the switch. The contacts for the leaf switch 74 comprise a pair of spaced leaves 86 and 88 mounted on an insulating block 90 in' the conventional manner. The leaves 86 and 88 are preferably made of a good conductive material such as copper which has been alloyed to provide good resiliency. The spacing between the leaves 86 and 88 is such that when the accenter touch bar 12 depressed, the arcuate movement of the rod 76 and actuator finger 82 is sufficient to bring the contacts 91 and 92 into engagement and thereby close an electrical circuit.

The accenter touch bar 12 has been shown and described as being capable of closing the leaf switch 74. It is within the concept of this invention to mount the leaf switch 74 so that it may also be actuated by the stop tab 30. Thus, the tonal change sought by depressing the accenter touch bar 12 can be permanently set into the instrument by depressing the stop tab 30 to close the leaf switch 74. Alternatively, the tab 30 can be mounted to close a parallel connected switch in the same cir-' cuit as the leaf switch 74.

, The leaf switch 74 is connected in circuit by means of conductive leads 94 and 96. The closing of leaf switch 74 by actuating accenter touch bar 12 can be used to provide a variety of effects. These effects may take the form of changes in amplitude, timbre or pitch. Circuitry for accomplishing the foregoing is shown in FIGS. 5, 6 and 7.

The amplitude control shown in FIG. consists of a keying system 110 which is representative of the keyboards l4 and 16, and their associated switches as well as the stop tabs 18. The keying system 110 is connected to a signal source 112 which consists primarily of power supplies, frequency generators, and circuitry for modifying the frequency generator outputs to produce a signal having a desired wave shape. The signal source 112 is connected to the accenter touch bar and volume control 114 which in turn is connected to an audio system 116. The touch bar and volume control consists of the accenter touch bar 12 and leaf switch 74 connected to a volume control circuit. The volume control circuit is arranged so that it is normally bypassed when the leaf switch 74 is open. When the accenter touch bar 12 is depressed and leaf switch 74 closed, the volume control is connected into the circuit and frequency tones. The circuitry for the various sections of the amplitude control shown in FIG. 5 is well known and hence need not be described in detail;

HO. 6 illustrates a block diagram wherein the accenter touch bar 12 may be used as a timbre control. The keying system 110 is connected to the signal source 112 in the system 116. The tone circuitry 118 may be considered part of the signal source as in FIG. 5 but for purposes of describing the timbre control, it has shown separately. The tone circuitry may serve many and various functions such as provided either a flute or diapison sound. This isaccomplished by'selecting one of the stops such as stop Number 1 or stop Number 2. Of course there are a great many more stops in any conventional electronic musical instrument and the blocks shown are chosen to represent any two of them. The accenter touch bar 12 is connected to the tone circuitry so" as to permit alternation between stop Nuinber 1 and stop Number 2. For example. stop Number 1 could be the normal condition of the instrument when keying system is operated. However. depressing touch bar 12 will shift the tone circuitry so as to produce a timbre that is normally associated with stop Number 2. The timbre associated with stop Number 2 lasts only as long as touch bar 12 is depressed. The circuitry for accomplishing the foregoing involves only the direct application of switches, mechanical or electronic, and hence need not be described in detail.

HO. 7 illustrates a pitchcontrol circuit incorporating the accenter touch bar 12. Accenter touch bar 12 is connected to the signal source 112 which energizes the audio system 116. In this embodiment, the touch bar and switch 74 is used to change the signal source from one, frequency and another, thus varying the pitch. A pitch change can be effected by arranging the switch 74 so that it changes the instrument from octave to another. Other types of pitch changes could be effected without difficulty. Again,'-the circuitry for switching from one pitch to another in the keying system would be obvious to those skilled in the art and need not be described in detail. Y 1

Although three separate circuits have been shown for amplitude, timbre and pitch control, it should be understood that it is not necessary to provide three separate accenter touch bars 12. Any one of these modes of operation could be selected and used with one permanently positioned touch bar 12 by including a selector switch that would allow a selection of one of the three modes. The basic similarity of the three circuits illustrated in FIGS. 5, 6 and 7 permits'the ready incorforms 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 the scope of the invention. 1

We claim: v

1. In' an electronic musical instrument of the keyboard type comprising at least'one manual keyboard, said keyboard having a bank of keys arranged in a row, said keys being connected to electrical switch means responsive to the physical operation of said keys, said switch means being connected to an electric circuit to control the energization of an audio system for an electronic signal source, electric circuit means for modifying the electronic signal for energizing said audio system whereby the tonal qualities of said audio system may be modified, and manually operable switch means for-selectively controlling said electronic circuit means, said manual switch means including a base supporting an elongated push bar, said push bar being positioned adjacent said keyboard with its longitudinal axis extending generally transversely of said keys so that it .may be facil'ely struck by a performer,

resilient mounting means-for said push bar so that it may be 'dieplaced relative to said base, and'switch contact means responsive to the displacement of said push bar, said contact means being connected in electric circuit with said electronic I circuit for modifying the electronic signal, whereby changes in a said signal may be-rapidly effected.

2, An electronic musical instrument in accordance with claim vl wherein said electronic circuit means includes means for changing the amplitude of the'electronic signal.

An electronic musical instrument in accordance with claim I wherein electronic circuit means includes means for modifying the timbre of the electronic signal.

4. An electronic musical instrument in accordance with claim 1 wherein said electronic circuit means includes means for modifying the pitch of the electronic signal.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2201232 *Apr 21, 1938May 21, 1940Helberger BrunoElectrical musical instrument
US3223771 *Feb 23, 1962Dec 14, 1965Alvin S HoppingElectronic musical instrument employing finger-pressure means to sequentially energize oscillator means and amplifier means
US3227027 *Nov 12, 1963Jan 4, 1966Seeburg CorpPiano having electrically controlled note sustaining means
US3247311 *Jul 13, 1961Apr 19, 1966Georges JennyElectronic musical instrument
US3257494 *Aug 1, 1963Jun 21, 1966Starck Piano CoVolume control means for musical instruments comprising hand operator roller bar
US3288909 *Nov 21, 1960Nov 29, 1966Alexandrovich Volodin AndreyKeyboard electric musical instrument
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3651729 *Aug 26, 1970Mar 28, 1972Nippon Musical Instruments MfgCircuit for rapid note passage in electronic musical instrument
US3681507 *Jan 6, 1971Aug 1, 1972Kimball Piano & Organ CoElectronic organ voicing control mounted on voice tab
US3694559 *Nov 4, 1970Sep 26, 1972Nippon Musical Instruments MfgElectronic musical instrument employing variable resistor fingerboards
US3776087 *Dec 7, 1971Dec 4, 1973Nippon Musical Instruments MfgElectronic musical instrument with variable impedance playboard providing portamento
US3808344 *Feb 29, 1972Apr 30, 1974Wurlitzer CoElectronic musical synthesizer
US3965789 *Feb 1, 1974Jun 29, 1976Arp Instruments, Inc.Electronic musical instrument effects control
US4058045 *Feb 5, 1976Nov 15, 1977SolosonicPiano with sound-enhancing system
US4170916 *Jun 23, 1977Oct 16, 1979D. H. Baldwin CompanyTouch operated capacitive switch for electronic musical instruments
US4580479 *Dec 13, 1983Apr 8, 1986Octave-Plateau Electronics Inc.For an electronic music synthesizer
US4915002 *Feb 28, 1989Apr 10, 1990John DornesMusic synthesizer adjunct
U.S. Classification84/720, 984/345, 84/692
International ClassificationG10H1/34
Cooperative ClassificationG10H1/34
European ClassificationG10H1/34
Legal Events
Sep 5, 2006ASAssignment
Effective date: 20060901