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Publication numberUS3750524 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 7, 1973
Filing dateJan 3, 1972
Priority dateJan 3, 1972
Publication numberUS 3750524 A, US 3750524A, US-A-3750524, US3750524 A, US3750524A
InventorsA Lee, J Yoder
Original AssigneeA Lee, J Yoder
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Musical game puzzle
US 3750524 A
Abstract
An improved game puzzle is provided which has particular utility for the instruction of children, and beginner adults, in the fundamentals of the musical rhythmic notation. The game includes a game board with parallel transverse channels formed in its upper surface. Each channel is separated by transverse partitions into lengths representative of various musical measures, so that different musical meters may be represented by each channel. The game puzzle consists in fitting different sized blocks into the measures in the various channels, and in order to complete the game all of the blocks must be correctly fitted into all of the measures. The blocks have different sizes representative of different types of musical notes and rests. The musical staff is inscribed at the bottom of each channel. In addition, removable transparent plastic strips are provided, which are marked with actual beats, and which may be inserted into the different channels.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 1 Lee et al.

[451 Aug. 7, 1973 MUSICAL GAME PUZZLE [76] Inventors: Ayleen lto Lee, 38 Erstwild Ct., Palo Alto, Calif. 94303; Jean Marie Yoder, 4262 Los Palos PL, Palo Alto, Calif. 94306 [22] Filed: Jan. 3, 1972 [21] Appl. No.2 214,780

[52] U.S. Cl. 84/476 [51] Int. Cl. G091) 15/02 [58] Field of Search. 84/472, 476

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,039,347 9/1912 Wolf 84/476 2,327,907 8/1943 Knox 1,212,356 1/1917 Irwin 84/476 FOREIGN PATENTS ORAPPL-ICATIONS 410,575 5/1910 France....l 84/472 5,902 3/1898 Great Britain".. 84/476- Primary Examiner--Richard B. Wilkinson Assistant Examiner-John F. Gonzales Att0mey-Keith D. Beecher 57 ABSTRACT An improved game puzzle is provided which has particular utility for the instruction of children, and beginner adults, in the fundamentals of the musical rhythmic notation. The game includes a game board with parallel transverse channels formed in its upper surface. Each channel is separated by" transverse partitions into lengths representative of various musical measures, so that different musical meters may be, represented by each channel. The game puzzle consists in fitting different sized blocks into the measures in the various channels, and in order to complete the game all of the blocks must be correctlyfitted into all of the measures. The blocks have different'sizes representative of different types of musical notes and rests. The musical staff is inscribed at the bottom of each channel. In addition, removable transparent plastic strips are provided,

which are marked with actual beats, and which may be inserted into the different channels.

5 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures MUSICAL GAME PUZZLE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The game puzzle of the present invention, as mentioned above, provides a simple and fascinating means for instructing children, and even adults, as to the basics of rhythmic notation in music. Specifically, the game puzzle of the invention instructs in the rules and symbols which make up the notation, and which must be comprehended by the student before he can read music.

To assist'the child in grasping the fundamentals of rhythmic notation, and as mentioned above, the grand staff is inscribed on the bottom of each channel for each of the different meters. This permits the child to appreciate the different rhythmic patterns which can be used simultaneously, for example, when the right hand plays the treble clef notes and the left hand plays the bass clef notes. 7

In the particular embodiment to be described, only the four most common meters are represented, so as to avoid confusing and overwhelming the small child, or other beginner. These four most common meters are, namely, 2/4, 3/4, 4/4 and 6/8. The relationship of the meters to one another becomes immediately and readily apparent as the game puzzle of the invention is played. For example, a measure in 4/4 time is represented on the game board by a channel compartment four inches long; a measure in 2/4 time is represented on the game board by a channel compartment two inches long, which is readily observable as being half the length of the previous measure; and so on.

The game puzzle of the invention, A as will be described, is self-teaching and self-correcting. The child in playing the game is able to discover for himself how to manipulate the different kinds of notes within the measures of the different meters. Since the compartments in the individual channels of the game board are of a fixed length, the various measures are permanently delineated, so that the game puzzle of the invention can be used directly by the child, without advance preparation of the game, and without supervision.

Transparent plastic strips, which are marked with the actual beats or counts, are also provided and these may be fitted into the compartments of the various channels of the game board. When so fitted, the strips illustrate to the student the relationship of each note, as represented by the individual blocks, and the actual beats in the particular measure. For example, whenever the student places a particular block into a particular measure compartment in a selected channeLand as the block is placed over the insert in that measure, the student can see immediately which beat the corresponding note falls on, or whether it falls in the middle of a beat.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a top plan view of the game puzzle of one embodiment of the invention, showing the game board, and also showing the associated blocks inserted into the channels in the game board so as to complete the puzzle;

FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the game board of FIG. 1, but with the blocks removed;

FIG. 3 shows the transparent strips which may be inserted into the various channels in the game board of FIG. 2 to represent the musical beats;

FIG. 4 is a representation of the various types of blocks which make up the game puzzle, each such block having a particular note exhibited on one or more faces thereof; and the size of the individual blocks corresponding to the rhythmic value of the particular notes exhibited thereon;

FIG. 5 is a representation of the blocks of FIG. 4, and showing corresponding musical rests which are designated on at least one face of the individual blocks; and

FIG. 6 is a representation of a supplementary set of blocks which may be used in the game puzzle for more advance instruction.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE ILLUSTRATED EMBODIMENTS The illustrated embodiment of the invention is designed specifically for use by young children, although the concept of the invention has general application. The game puzzle includes a game board 10 which, in the illustrated embodiment has the configuration of a grand piano, so as to constitute a familiar, pleasing and attractive design. The game board 10 has a plurality of channels extending transversely across its top surface, as designated, for example, l2, l4, l6 and 18 in FIG. 2. Each channel incorporates partitions 19 which extend across the individual channels, so as to divide the channels into separate compartments. Each compartment of the individual channels represents a corresponding measure of music, so that each channel represents, for example, a different meter. In the illustrated embodiment, four of the most common meters, namely 2/4, 3/4, 4/4 and 6/8, have been used, in order to avoid confusing the beginner, or overwhelming the young child. Instead of the partitions 19, the channels themselves may be discontinuous with the board itself forming the partitions, so as to facililate the manufacture of the puzzle.

As also shown in FIG. 2, treble and bass staff lines are inscribed at the bottomof each channel, so that the layout of the game board approximates real piano music. Also, the treble and bass symbols are provided directly on the board, and to the left of each of the channels, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, as well as the designation of the meter. In this way, the child can visualize and appreciate the different rhythmic patterns which an be used simultaneously, for example, when the right hand plays the treble notes and when the left hand plays the bass notes. The relationship of the meters represented, for example, by the channels 12, 14,16 and 18 is immediately and readily apparent. For example, a measure in 4/4 time, represented by one of the compartments of the channel 18, is twice as long as a measure" in 2/4 time, as represented by a compartment of the channel 16. i

As shown in FIG. 3, for example, a plurality of transparent plastic strips designated 20, 22, 24 and 26 are provided, and these strips are marked with cross-bars to represent the actual beats or counts. The strips 20, 22, 24 and 26 can be fitted into the corresponding measures of the channels l2, l4, l6 and 18 to show the relationship of a puzzle .block, which will be described, to the actual beats in the measure. For example, if a student places a dotted quarter block, such as shown in FIG. 4C, over one of the inserts such as 22, 24 or 26 in the corresponding measures, he can see immediately that he is using" one entire beat plus half the following beat. Generally, when the various blocks are placed over the inserts, the student can see which beat a note actually falls on, or whether it falls in the middle of a beat.

The blocks used in conjunction with the game board are shown as inserted into the various measures in FIG. 1, and are shown in FIGS. 4 and 5. The blocks have various sizes, so as to represent the different notes and rests. For example, the block 30 shown in FIG. 4A has a width and depth to fit into the channels 12, 14, 16 and 18, and it has a selected length. The corresponding A; note symbol is inscribed on one or more faces of the block 30, and the corresponding A rest symbol is inscribed on at least one of the other faces of the block. The quarter note is represented by the block 32 of FIG. 4B, which has the same width and depth as the block 30, but twice its length. The block 32 may have the form of a cube, for example. The symbol for the note is represented on one or more faces of the block 32, as shown in FIG. 4, and the symbol for the quarter rest is shown on one or more of the faces of the block 32, as shown in FIG. 5.

The dotted quarter note is represented by the block 34 of FIGS. 4C and 5C, and the block has the same dimensions as the blocks 30 and 32, except that the block 34 is proportionally longer than the block 32. The symbol for the dotted quarter note is inscribed on one or more faces of the block 34, and the symbols for the corresponding rests is inscribed on one or more faces, as shown in FIG. 5.

Likewise, the half note is represented by the block 36 of FIGS. 4D and 5D, the block 36 having the same dimensions as the block 32, but having a length which is twice as long as the block 32. It should be noted that the blocks are not shown to scale in FIGS. 4 and 5 in order to conserve space. The symbol for the half note is shown on one or more faces of the block 36, and the corresponding rest symbol is shown on one or more faces, as shown respectively in FIGS. 4 and 5.

The dotted half note is represented by the block 38 in FIGS. 4 and 5, the block 38 having a length which is twice the length of the block 34. The note symbol is shown on one or more faces of the blocks 38,- and the corresponding rest symbol is shown on one or more of the faces, as shown respectively in FIGS. 4 and 5.

Finally, the whole note is represented by the block 40 of FIGS. 4F and SF, the block 40'having twice the length of the block 36. The whole note symbol is shown on one or more faces of the block 40, as shown in FIG. 4F, and the corresponding rest symbol is shown on one or more of the faces as shown in FIG. 5F.

In the illustrated embodiment of the invention, 45 different blocks are used, representative of notes, such as shown in FIG. 1. The successful completion of the puzzle, in the illustrated embodiment, requires the accurate insertion of all the blocks within the measures. Every one of the 45 blocks must be used in order to complete the puzzle. The child is forced to make judgments as to equivalents in order to utilize all the blocks. For example, if he ends up with one long block but two short spaces to fill, he will have to redistribute the blocks.

As mentioned above, the illustrated embodiment of the invention was specifically designed for use by young children, and the blocks may have selected sizes which are easy for small fingers to remove and place in position. For example, the quarter note block may be a I inch cube, and the other blocks proportioned thereto, as described above. Also, the spatial relationships are easy to visualize and to interpret. The recessed construction of the game board enables the game to be propped up on a music rack, next to actual music, if so desired, without having the blocks fall out.

A set of supplementary blocks showing more advanced rhythm patterns are shown in FIG. 6. These latter blocks may all, for example, be one inch cubes, and show, for example, 17 most common ways of subdividing a single beat. These latter blocks may be used in conjunction with the blocks of FIGS. 4 and 5, in a more complex embodiment of the game puzzle.

The game puzzle of the invention is advantageous in that it is self-teaching and self-correcting. The young child, for example, can discover for himself, by playing the game, how to manipulate the different kinds of notes and tests within the measures of different meters. The meters are set up so that the puzzle can be used by the child without supervision or advance preparation.

While particular embodiments of the game puzzle of the invention have been shown and described, modifications may be made. It is intended to cover in the following claims all modifications which come within the spirit and scope of the invention.

What is claimed is:.

l. A game puzzle for the instruction of rhythmic notation of music, including: a game board having a plurality of transverse channels therein extending across the top surfacedhereof in spaced and parallel relationship with partitions formed integral with the board and extending across respective ones of the aforesaid channels and dividing each channel into compartments of different lengths representative of different musical measures, so that each such channel represents a particular musical meter; and a plurality of blocks of different sizes proportionally representative of different musical note values for insertion into the aforesaid channels, the number and size of the blocks being such that all the blocks must be fitted into the aforesaid channels to complete the game.

2. The game puzzle defined in claim 1, in which the aforesaid blocks also represent musical rests corresponding to the musical note values respectively represented thereby.

3. The game puzzle defined in claim 1, and which includes means exhibiting the musical staff mounted at the bottom of each of said channels.

4. The game puzzle defined in claim 3, and which includes a plurality of transparent strips marked with musical beats for insertion into the aforesaid channels over the aforesaid staffs.

5. The game puzzle defined in claim 1, in which said blocks proportionally represent combined musical note values and musical rests.

* I i I i

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1039347 *Jun 7, 1910Sep 24, 1912Wolf S Music Time Blocks LtdMusical blocks.
US1212356 *Dec 29, 1915Jan 16, 1917Theodore J IrwinMusical instruction.
US2327907 *Apr 6, 1942Aug 24, 1943Knox Jr RalphApparatus for musical instruction
FR410575A * Title not available
GB189805902A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US6018117 *Jun 4, 1998Jan 25, 2000Joymas Inc.Device for familiarizing a child with a musical instrument
US7306226Nov 2, 2005Dec 11, 2007Lise GagnonMusical game
US8188356May 13, 2010May 29, 2012Rose Anita SSystem to teach music notation and composition
US20100015587 *Sep 11, 2009Jan 21, 2010Cashatt Camille MInstruction Apparatus and Instruction Methods
DE4032786A1 *Oct 16, 1990Apr 30, 1992Volker MikullaVisual display of lengths of musical notes - by using board divided to illustrate values of range of notes
WO1990003628A1 *Sep 22, 1989Apr 5, 1990Bente Bergve BrantsaeterNote teaching aid in the form of a game
WO1997023854A1 *May 22, 1996Jul 3, 1997Pavlova Inga AlbertovnaMethod of teaching musical notion
Classifications
U.S. Classification84/476, 273/157.00R
International ClassificationG09B15/02
Cooperative ClassificationG09B15/026
European ClassificationG09B15/02C