US 3822628 A
A violin is constructed with its sounding box formed with a concave bottom surface to fit against the shoulder of the violinist and with a hook on its top surface that can be attached to a band around the violinist's body. In addition, the violin is formed in a pear shape with a longer neck section than in the classical violin. Thereby, the violinist can play the instrument without supporting it under the chin, and achieve full range of fingering without interference from the front edge of the sounding box.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1191 Quemore, Sr. July 9, 1974  VIOLIN 1,199,685 9/1916 Gaylord 84/280 1,208,077 12 1916  Inventor: William J. Quemore, Sr., 149 E. 1,807,746 651931 Church 511., Blackwood, NJ. 08012 2457 29 12/194  Filed: Apr. 16,1973 P E La R F kr rzmary xammerwrence ran 1n  Appl- 351571 Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Mort0n C. Jacobs  US. Cl 84/275, 84/280, 84/281,  ABSTRACT l t Cl Z A violin is constructedwith its sounding box formed 58] d 280 281 with a concave bottom surface to fit against the shoul- 0 are i der of the violinist and with a hook on its top surface t that can be attached to a band around the violinists body. in addition, the violin is formed in a pear shape  References cued with a longer neck section than in the classical violin. UNITED STATES PATENTS Thereby, the violinist can play the instrument without 9,723 5/1853 C0bum.... 84/275 supporting it under the chin, and achieve full range of 413,807 10/1889 LOCSBI et a1. 84/281 fingering without interference from the front edge of 491,372 2/1893 Narberti 84/280 the Sounding 492,884 3/1393 Boyer 84/280 1 950,873 3/1910 H 6 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures Smithm, 84/280 1 VIOLIN BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION hundreds of years old, and famous for beauty of its tone and design, makes heavy demands on the player. The violin must be retained under the chin and so held that the left hand is sufficiently free to move back and forth along the neck of the instrument with corresponding placement of the fingers along the fingering board. This holding of the violin between the chin and shoulder is not only fatiguing, but may be so painful that it is impossible for the elderly and extremely discouraging to the young. The fingering at the highest notes is extremely difficult to reach, and effectively impossible for many of the young and old, due to the width of the forward edge of the sounding box at the neck. The classical violin has the central symmetrical cut-away parts to enable bowing, which results in a weakening of the sounding box in the vicinity of the bridge where the tensioned strings are supported. Attempts to solve .these problems (eg US. Pat. Nos. 3,136,197 and 1,303,466) without substantial changes in the design of the violin have not been successful.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Accordingly, it is among the objects of this invention to provide a new and improved violin.
Another object is to provide an improved violin which need not be held under the chin during playing.
Another object is to provide an improved violin which is easier to finger.
Another object is to provide an improved violin constructed for the anatomy of the user.
Another object is to provide an improved violin which is suitable for use comfortably by young and old.
Another object is to provide an improved violin which can be manufactured conveniently and at moderate cost.
In accordance with one embodiment of this invention, a sounding box is constructed to have a concave bottom surface to nest against the convex surfaces of the players shoulder. The violin body is fitted with a connector to which a flexible band is connected, which band is attached around the players body. Thereby, the violin maybe held against the players body, similar to the familiar fiddlers position, but firmly retained so that the full fingering is enabled. The sounding box is formed in a general pear shape, narrow at the neck and wider at the tail, and with a longer neck, whereby full and comfortable access to the fingering board for the highest notes is achieved. The top of the sounding box is arched, with a curvature which is sufficient to permit all bowing without cutouts in the sides of the box, and with sufficient strength to support the bridge without bracing by a sound post.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING The foregoing and other objects of this invention, the various features thereof, as well asthe invention itself, will be more readily understood from the following description, when read together with the accompanying drawing, in which:
FIG. 1 is a plan view of a violin embodying this invention;
FIG. 2 is an end view of the tail end of the violin of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a side view of the violin of FIG. 1; and
FIG. 4 illustrates the manner of holding the violin of FIG. 1 while being played.
In the drawing, corresponding parts are referenced throughout by similar numerals.
DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT The violin of this invention includes a hollow sounding box 10 which has similarly shaped upper and lower thin wooden members 12 and 14, the shape of which is generally pear-shaped as viewed in plan view such as that of FIG. 1.
The edge of the violin that connects between the top and bottom faces 12 and 14 is formed as two thin pieces of wood 16 and 18 extending from the neck end of the sounding box to the tail end, with a joint 20 at the tail end, and a front joint at the attachment to the neck 34. The top and bottom faces 12 and 14 of the sounding box are both shaped in a similar fashion to provide generally parallel arched surfaces with a similar radius of curvature, whereby they both can be made from flat sheets of wood on the same form for ease of manufacture. The arching of these two surfaces is such that the same radius is employed and the edge surfaces 16 and'18 extend at right angles to the tangent plane at the top of the arch of surface 12. Thus the strip 16 is slightly narrower at the center of the arch near the joint 20, and wider at the sides.
In various respects the violin is generally conventional. That is, a conventional scroll 20 carries the pegs 22 for tightening the usual strings 24 that extend over the nut 26 to the bridge 28 and terminate at the tail 30, which itself is attached by means of a conventional button 32 to the tail end of the sounding box at the center thereof. The neck 34 of the violin is a conventional one and supports the fingering board 36 and is connected to the throat end of the sounding box. Conventional fholes 38 are provided in the upper face 12 of the sounding box.
A pin 40 in the shape of a hook is threaded into the top face 12 of the sounding box to the right of the tail piece 30, and also screws into a block 42 (shown in broken lines in FIG. 1) which is conventionally available in violins and which is secured in the box at the tail end of the box. This block 42 is the conventional backing body which is used for suitable pressure backing and support between faces 12 and 14 which would otherwise not be available from the /is inch edge stripping 16 and 18 that extends around the side of the box. A conventional glue block (not shown) is also provided at the throat end of the sounding box, inside and backing up the side stripping l6 and 18. The throat end of the sounding box is constructed in a conventional fash- 3 inches. This radius is not critical, though a substantial radius is desired in order to provide a generally cylindrical arched surface which enables the violinist to perform the bowing at the bridge (even though about 50% wider at bridge than the classical violin) and to engage the e-string and the g-string without interference from the other two strings and without touching the sounding box itself with the bow. This arching in a cylindrical shape is relatively inexpensive to achieve, and at the same time is'extremely sturdy so that the bridge 28 may rest on the top surface 12 in the conventional fashion and the arch takes all of the forces supplied by the strings 24 without impairment of the sounding box and without requiring a sound post or sound bar. That is, such a post and bar may be used if desired, but it has been found to be unnecessary to provide the additional support of these elements which is normally required in the conventional, classical violin construction.
With the hook 40, the violin is attached to a strap 44 or other band which is connected around the body of the violinist, and preferably over the left shoulder and under the right arm. As shown in FIG. 4, the hook 40 engages under and against the strap 44. In this arrangement, the violin is firmly secured and rests, by reason of the concave undersurface 14 of the violin, against the left shoulder of the violinist. The violin is pressed firmly against the shoulder and chest by the band 44, so that conventional fingering in all seven positions of the left hand-of the violinist may be engaged in, without the violin being under or engaged by the chin of the user. Thus the .violin is played with the sounding box resting against the left shoulder and left chest of the user, and in a position completely relaxed and easily accessible to the bowing action of the right arm. The violin is securely held so that the fingering over the strings may be achieved with a firmly positioned and retained violin. No shoulder pads are needed, and no connection to the neck or chin of the user is required.
The.pear-shaped sounding box 10 shown in FIG. 1 provides a single sounding chamber unlike the dual sounding chambers of the classical Stradivarius violin. Thus, unlike the classical violin, there is no requirement of synchronizing or dimensioning sounding chambers to insure proper interaction. The shape of the sounding box is achieved, in one form of the invention, by a large circular segment of more than a semi-circle having a radius of curvature of about 4 inches at the tail end, and a small segment of a circle with a radius of about 3 inches at the throat end. The two circular segments thus formed are connected by straight, approximately tangent sides 50. The strips are about 1% inches wide, and the overall length of the box is about 13 /2 inches. By this construction, a very simple shape of sounding box which is easy to manufacture is achieved, and in addition to the resulting violin is relatively easy to finger. That is, in the position of the left hand fingers for the high notes on the e-string, which position is generally known as the 7th position, the violinist is able to bring his small left finger easily to the required position for the highest notes, since there is no interference with the movement of the hand and wrist by reason of the narrow shaped sounding box at the throat end. As a consequence, both young and older persons, who by reason of size or stiffness of joints would have extreme diffi'culty in fingering the ordinary classical violin, are able to achieve with ease the desired fingering. The high note fingering is achieved without twisting of arm,
hand and fingers but with the configurations thereof as in the lower positions. Moreover, this is achieved without cutting off a portion of the violin and without interfering with a completely balanced, symmetrically shaped sounding box. Though the box is widened at bridge and tail ends to accommodate approximately the same volume as the classical violin, the arching is sufficient to avoid interference with bowing.
This violin has been found to be relatively easy to manufacture by reason of its simple shape and the absence of cutouts. The hook 40 may be formed of the simplest hardware. Due to the same curvature for arching top and bottom walls 12 and 14, similar jigs and forming tools may be used. However, these curvatures are not critical and different curvatures may be employed as may be suitable.
The violin of this invention has substantially the same air volume as the standard violin. Moreover, its weight is about the same, as well, due to its dimensions. However, with the differences in dimensions of the pear shape, the length of the box or chamber 10 is less than that of the standard violin. From scroll 21 to each end of the tailpiece 30, the length of this violin is the same as that of the standard violin. Thereby, the neck portion of the fingering board which extends or projects beyond the chamber is longer in this violin than in the standard violin. As a consequence of the shorter chamber 10 and its narrower dimension at the throat of the chamber adjacent to the fingering board, this violin can be fingered for the high notes much more easily than the conventional violin.
From the nut or top end of the fingering board to the bridge, the standard dimension of 13 inches is maintained. Thereby, the standard fingering is maintained consistent with the traditional fingering of the classical violin. No new learning of fingering is required in the handling of this violin, Rather, the disability of a strained, stretched left hand for fingering is eliminated, as wellas the problem of supporting the violin with the left hand at the same time that the fingering is going on, and also the problem of holding the violin with the chin against the chin rest. Consequently, older people who lose the flexibility of their hands can continue to play the violin notwithstanding the changes in muscle and joint coming with age. Likewise, a youngster who first approaches the violin is not presented with unnatural constraints on his hands, arms, chin and neck which lead to the discouragements of violinists cramp and other discomforts.
Thus a new and improved violin construction is provided which need not be held under the chin during playing, which is easier to finger and generally constructed for the anatomy of the user so that it can be used by either the very young or the old. This violin can be constructed economically and with available manufacturing techniques. The invention is not restricted to the particular forms thereof described above, and modifications will be readily apparent to those skilled in the .art. For example, a relatively small radius of curvature i.e. less than 8 inches) is suitable for the top surface 12, and the radius may be selected over a substantial range of values. The concave cylindrical bottom surface 14 of the same radius as the top surface is especially suitable for economical manufacture, but other concave shapes suitable to fit against the shoulder of the violinist may be used. Other modifications of dimensions and shapes of this violin will be apparent from the above illustrative examples.
What is claimed is: 1. In a violin having a hollow resounding body, and string-fingering board, the improvement comprising:
said body having a bottom surface shaped for nesting against the front of the players body, said stringfingering board being substantially free of said body and accessible to fingering for the highest notes with the same general hand and arm position as for the lower notes, and hook means fixed on the top surface of said violin body near the rear end thereof for connecting said body to a band attached around the player over the left shoulder and across the chest so that said body is firmly pressed down against the front of the players body in a fiddlers position, whereby the violin may be played with a full range of fingering without being clamped under the players chin.
2. The violin of claim 1, wherein said body has a convex top surface to enable bowing without cutouts in the sides of said body.
3. The violin of claim 2 wherein said body has a concave bottom surface for nesting against the players shoulder.
4. The violin of claim 3, wherein said convex and concave surfaces are generally parallel.
5. The violin of claim 1, wherein said body is substantially narrower at the neck and than at the tail end to enable fingering for the highest notes with the same general position of the hand and arm as for the lower notes.
6. The violin of claim 5, wherein said body is formed with a small circular segment at the throat end, a large circular segment at the tail end and of radius greater than that at the throat end, and substantially straight connecting sides.