|Publication number||US3896694 A|
|Publication date||Jul 29, 1975|
|Filing date||Jul 29, 1974|
|Priority date||Jul 29, 1974|
|Also published as||DE2511466A1, DE2511466B2, DE2511466C3, DE7508303U|
|Publication number||US 3896694 A, US 3896694A, US-A-3896694, US3896694 A, US3896694A|
|Original Assignee||Richard Goldner|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (3), Referenced by (13), Classifications (9)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
United States Patent 91 Goldner SHOULDER SUPPORT FOR VIOLIN AND VIOLA  Inventor: Richard Goldner, 1420 Centre Ave.,
Pittsburgh, Pa. 15219  Filed: July 29, 1974  Appl. No.: 492,685
 U.S. Cl. 84/280; 224/5 P; 248/226 R; 297/DlG. 3  Int. Cl. G10C 3/18  Field of Search 224/5 P, 5 R, 25 R, 26 R; 297/DIG. 3, 453, 452, 252, 250; 248/205 R,
226 R; 5/348; 206/478, 479, DlG. 805',
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,444,157 2/1923 Lee 224/5 P 1,631,694 6/1927 Rick 224/5 P UX 2,747,452 5/1956 Goldberg 84/280 [4 1 July 29,1975
Primary ExaminerRobert J. Spar Assistant Examiner-Jerald M. Forsberg Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Thomas C. Wettach; Arland T. Stein  ABSTRACT An improved shoulder support for musical instruments such as a violin and viola. The shoulder support comprises a pliable, inflatable member adapted for selective positioning between the performers shoulder and the instrument and includes an air inlet and exhaust means for inflation. The inflatable member includes means for slidably mounting thereto a pliable, elongatably resilient attachment strap employed to securely attach the support to the instrument. The elongatable attachment strap includes at each of its ends an angular engagement member adapted to securely engage the sidewalls of the musical instrument.
2 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures PATENTED JUL 2 9 I975 SHEET Fig. 4
SHOULDER SUPPORT FOR VIOLIN AND VIOLA BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Devices to provide support between a violin or a viola and a performers shoulder have been known and used for many years. These devices have been and are available in numerous forms and configurations ranging from simple resilient pad arrangements to complicated rigid bars that are mounted across the back of the instrument and which include padding around the bar. More recently, scaffold like supporting devices having a heavy rubber band have been tried. Notwithstanding the numerous devices either attempted or available, none has been found generally satisfactory.
The wide variety of support devices results from the fact that there are considerably differences in the anatomy and idiosyncrasies of the performers using the devices. For example, physical differences in neck length, collarbone and chin size, and the like require accommodations not found in each of the devices. Moreover, there are disadvantages found to exist in many of the support devices such as their added weight, undesirable sound dampening or absorption by the support, a lack of sensitivity to pressure changes during playing, support attachment means that are either insecure during use or mar the finish of the instrument and the like.
Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a shoulder support device for violin and viola that is universally suitable for all performers and includes height adjustment, transverse and longitudinal adjustments as well as radial adjustment, and is extremely light in weight. A further object of the invention is to provide a device that securely attaches to the instrument without causing any damage thereto and enhances the qualities rather than dampens or absorbs the sound.
Accordingly, the present invention overcomes the limitations and disadvantages inherent in prior art shoulder support devices. In addition to overcoming the disadvantages of prior art devices, the shoulder support is comfortable to use, provides accurate positioning of the instrument for virtually all users, and is self adjusting during playing conforming to pressure changes and shifting pressure points.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION flating the member to the selected degree. While the inflatable member may be of any desired shape, such as toroidal, it is preferably oblong or eliptical so as to transversely extend across a large portion of the back of the instrument and provide support therefor on the shoulder. collarbone and surrounding areas of the performer. In the preferred configuration, the central portion is sealed against inflation to provide a mounting means comprising at least one mounting surface having at least two slots therethrough to slidably receive an attachment strap.
A pliable longitudinally expandable resilient attachment strap is slidably mounted through the mounting slots of the mounting means. Preferably, the attachment strap. in its unexpanded state, is of a length slightly less than the shortest transverse dimension of the instrument in the area between the bridge and the button. The attachment strap includes at each of its ends an angular rigid engagement means adapted to securely engage the sidewalls (ribs) of the instrument. The engagement means preferably include a rigid reinforcing element having a resilient covering such as rubber or sponge rubber to provide frictional engagement without marring the finish of the instrument.
Other advantages of the present invention will become apparent from a' perusal of the following detailed description of a presently preferred embodiment taken in connection with the accompanying drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a plan view of the resilient inflatable member of the shoulder support device of the invention;
FIG. 2 is an elevation of the resilient inflatable member partially inflated;
FIG. 3 is an elevation, in partial section, of the expandable strap and engagement means;
FIG. 4 is a plan view of the support device attached to the back of a violin;
FIG. 5 is another embodiment of the inflatable member; and
FIG. 6 is a further alternative embodiment of the inflatable member.
PREFERRED EMBODIMENT With reference to FIGS. 1 and 2, shoulder support device 10 of the present invention comprises a pliable, inflatable member 11 preferably formed of first and second surfaces 12 and 13. First and second surfaces are preferably of an oblong configuration wherein end 14 has a radius slightly greater than the radius of end 16.
First and second surfaces 12 and 13 are preferably made of a pliable polyvinylchloride having a suede-like finish or from a rubber or rubberized cloth material. The outer faces of the surfaces are preferably of a nonslip finish to prevent undesirable movement on the shoulder of the performer. The outer peripheries of the surfaces are electronically welded or heat pressed together to form air tight seal 17. Air valve 18 is sealed to first surface 12 and extends inwardly thereof to pro vide a continuous outer surface. A second inner seal 19 is provided to define at least one mounting surface 21 formed by first and second surfaces 12 and 13 that are abutted within the area defined by seal 19. A plurality of slots 22 are formed through the mounting surface to receive attachment strap 24. Alternative seal 19 may be omitted, and the peripheries of slots 22 sealed (as shown in FIG. 1) to provide their own mounting surfaces. Slots 22 are preferably of a length only slightly greater than the width of attachment strap 24. Mounting surface 21 and slots 22 cooperate to define the means for slidably mounting attachment strap 24.
Referring to FIG. 3, attachment strap 24 includes at each of its ends an angular engagement member 25. Strap 24 is preferably made of an expandable material such as an elastic or rubber band. Engagement member 25 includes rigid angular reinforcing element 26 that may be made of metal or a rigid plastic that is bonded or otherwise secured to the ends of strap 24. Each angular engagement member 25 is provided with a covering 27 of soft rubber, plastic or sponge rubber or the like to afford a high coefficient of friction for secure engagement with the instrument. Additionally, cover- 3 ing 27 provides protection against marring of the sidewalls of the instrument.
Preferably, strap 24 is of a length less than the shortest transverse dimension of the instrument between the bridge and button. By expanding strap 24 to the transverse dimension of the instrument, the tension inherent therein will provide sufficient force for secure engagement by engagement members 25 with the sides or ribs of the instrument.
With reference to FIG. 4, shoulder support device of the present invention is shown attached to a violin 28. As can be seen from FIG. 4, support 10 is readily adaptable to transverse, longitudinal and radial adjustment. Since attachment strap 24 is slidably mounted to inflatable member 11, the inflatable member may be transversely moved along strap 24. Furthermore, radial or longitudinal adjustment may be made by relatively positioning one or both engagement members 25 of strap 24 along the sidewalls of instrument 28. Adjustment in height is controlled by the degree of inflation.
With respect to the inflation of member 11, it is preferred that less than full inflation be used to achieve the best results. When used with less than full inflation, air is displaced from the area between which pressure is applied, for example, by the chin and collarbone, to those areas where normally no pressure is applied, such as at the outer edge of the instrument. Since no support is normally required at the points where pressure is applied, the displacement of air from therebetween to areas of lesser pressure provides support at these locations where it is most desired. Thus, during playing pressure points may change but the displacement of air within inflatable member 11 automatically maintains the support where it is required.
Referring to FIGS. 5 and 6, alternative configurations of inflatable members 11a and llhare respectively shown. In FIG. 5, mounting surface 21a and slots 22a are positioned externally of inflatable member lla whereas in FIG. 6 a circular configuration is employed with mounting surface 21b and slots 22b positioned internally of member 11b. Additionally. mounting surface 21 may be eliminated and a series of loops or sleeves or a continuous sleeve (not shown) may be substitutcd for slots 22 as the mounting means. The loops may be positioned on either the first or second surfaces.
While presently preferred embodiments of the invention have been shown and described in particularity, it may be otherwise embodied within the scope of the appended claims.
What is claimed is: v
1. A shoulder support for violin and violas comprising a pliable, inflatable member having an air inlet and exhaust means first and second expandable surfaces sealed together about their outer periphery and including at least two slots extending through said surfaces, said slots being sealed about their peripheries, and a pliable, elongatably resilient attachment strap slidably positioned through said slots and including at each of its ends an angular engagement member adapted to engage the sidewalls of the violin or viola to secure said shoulder support thereto and to retain said engagement by resilent tension of said attachment strap.
2. A shoulder support as set forth in claim 1 wherein said elongatable strap is dimensioned less than the shortest transverse distance of the violin or viola be-' tween itsbridge and button and wherein each of said angular engagement members includes a rigid reinforcing element having a pliable covering thereover.
|Cited Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US1444157 *||Sep 7, 1920||Feb 6, 1923||Lee Frederick L||Pneumatic load carrier|
|US1631694 *||Sep 3, 1925||Jun 7, 1927||Spalding & Bros Ag||Shoulder pad|
|US2747452 *||Dec 9, 1952||May 29, 1956||Meir Goldberger Erno||Shoulder rest for violins|
|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US4506582 *||May 30, 1984||Mar 26, 1985||Shar Products Company||Shoulder support for violin or viola|
|US5377573 *||Mar 2, 1994||Jan 3, 1995||Tretick; Stephanie||Shoulder pad for violin and viola|
|US7368645||Mar 8, 2006||May 6, 2008||The Portabene Company, Llc||Instrument support|
|US7531727||Dec 29, 2006||May 12, 2009||Buttemer Evan D||Chin rest for musical instrument|
|US7659463 *||Jan 3, 2007||Feb 9, 2010||Twu Hwei-Ming||Viola/violin shoulder rest|
|US8132699 *||Dec 19, 2007||Mar 13, 2012||Three Point Ventures Llc||Shoulder strap for bag|
|US8957290||Jun 14, 2013||Feb 17, 2015||Wittner Gmbh & Co. Kg||Shoulder support for a musical instrument|
|US9117424 *||Dec 30, 2013||Aug 25, 2015||Albert Ivan Stern||Multilayer article that provides cushioning|
|US20060207405 *||Mar 8, 2006||Sep 21, 2006||Joe Armstrong||Instrument support|
|USD737893 *||Feb 27, 2014||Sep 1, 2015||Albert Ivan Stern||Musical instrument pad|
|DE102010063175A1||Dec 15, 2010||Jun 21, 2012||Wittner Gmbh & Co.Kg||Schulterstützenvorrichtung für ein Musikinstrument|
|WO2012080342A1||Dec 14, 2011||Jun 21, 2012||Wittner Gmbh & Co. Kg||Shoulder support for a musical instrument|
|WO2013087228A1||Mar 21, 2012||Jun 20, 2013||Wittner Gmbh & Co. Kg||Shoulder rest device for a musical instrument|
|U.S. Classification||84/280, 248/230.8, 984/124, 297/DIG.300|
|International Classification||G10D3/00, G10D3/18|
|Cooperative Classification||G10D3/18, Y10S297/03|