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Publication numberUS877603 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 28, 1908
Filing dateJul 30, 1904
Priority dateJul 30, 1904
Publication numberUS 877603 A, US 877603A, US-A-877603, US877603 A, US877603A
InventorsIrving B Smith
Original AssigneeStokes & Smith Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Pianissimo device for musical instruments.
US 877603 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

PTENTED JAN. 28, 1908.v I, B, SMITH.

No. 877,603.A






PATENTBD JAN. 28, 1908.




@n vente:

A @Henna-1j UNITED sTArEs PATENT oEErcE.



Specification of Letters Patent.

Patented Jan. as, i908.

Application i'iled July 30. 1904. Serial No. 218,731,

other stringed musical instruments, and is'l y especially adapted for use in connection with automatically operated pianos.

The main purpose of the invention is to provide improvements in the class of mui"- iers that are constructed and arranged to be interposed at will between the hammers and the strings of the musical instrument in such manner that the musical tones may be muf D as the performer may desire.

A further and important object of the in vention, is to provide an improved muiiier of the apron type, adapted to be interposed between *he hammers and strings of the piano, the construction and arrangement of the a ron and its mounting being such that some o the musical tones may be muffled independently of and diiierently from others.

A still further purpose of the invention, is to rovide a muffler of the apron type by which some of Athe musical tones may be muflied to a greater or less degree than' others, whereby a. note or group of notes at any point along the key-board may be accented while others are subdued.

The invent-ion has in view other important objects which will hereafter appear in the detailed description which is to follow this statement.

Briefly and generally stated, the invention comprises tone muifling means interposed between the hammers and the strings of the musical instrument, said means consisting of a plurality of members each comprising secfled to a greater or less degree, accordingly,

tions of material which diner from one another in their energy-transmitting or absorb ing properties, and mechanism connected to the said members for moving them either independently or unitedly to cause them, or either of them to assume various positions obliquely to the line ofjhammers, whereby some of the musical tones will be, sounded louder than others.

In'order to enable. others `,to understand,

make and use my said invention, I will now proceed to describe the same in detail, reference being had for this purpose, to the accompanying drawings, in which- Figure 1, is a vertical sectional view of a portion of an upright piano, showing my improved mufiier applied thereto; Fig. 2, is an enlarged detail sectional view of one form of muler apron constructed according to my invention Fig. 3, is a similar view of a slightly modified form of muffler apron; Figs. 4 and A5, are similar views of other forms of muther aprons within the spirit and scope of the invention; Fig. 6, is a erspective view ofone form of mechanism :or operating the muffler; and Figs, 7, 8, 9, 1() and 11 are views showing some of the various positions the muffler may be caused to assume in order to produce different musical tone effects: I will first describe one form of mechanism for mounting and operating the muffler and will then describe the construction'of the muffler itself, together with the manner of obtaining the various musical effects by shifting the position thereof relatively to the hammers.

In the lannexed drawing, Fig. 1, the reference numeral 1, designates the strings of a piano and 2, the actuating hammers, these elements being of the usual construction. Secured to and projecting outward from the piano frame, are four brackets 3, 4, 5 and 6, said brackets being preferably located above the hammers 2, as more'clearly shown in Fig. 6. Journaled in the outer ends of the brackets 3 and fl, is a horizontal shaft 7, hava rearwardly extending arm 8, and a forwardly extending arm 9. A sleeve 10, is iitted to turn freely on the inner end of the shaft 7, said sleeve having its bearing in the bracket 4.. This sleeve also carries a rearwardly extending arm 12, and a forwardly extending arm 13, the latter preferably overhanging the arm l), as shown in Fig. 6. A shaft 14, is journaled in the brackets 5 and ,6, and this shaft has secured thereto at itsopposite ends, a rearwardly extending arm l5, and a forwardly extending arm 16, as shown. The shafts 7 and 14, andthe sleeve 10, are in substantial horizontal alinement as will be seen, andthe same is true of the rearwardly .extending arms 8, 12 and 15.

To each of the'forwardly extending arms 9, 13. and 16, is respectively secured a deing secured to its opposite ends respectively,`

pending rod 17, 18 and 19,' the rod 17, being .connected at its lower end to alever 20, pivoted at 21; the rod 18, being connected at its lowerend to a lever 22, pivoted at 23, and the rod 19, being co free end with a finger key 26, said keys being '.marked respectively with lthe letters B, M and T, indicating the bass, middle and treble,-

strings of the piano, all for a purpose preseiitlyV to be explained. The forward ends of the pivoted levers are normally held upward by sui-table means, shown in the present instanceas consisting of lat blade springs 27. It willbe bbvious that other forms of springs the hand or foot of the performer.

'1 he foregoing description relates to one form of ymechanism for o erating my improvedmiuiler which I l now proceed to y. ends of the arms'8 and 12, is one member 28,V


Secured to and depending from the rear of an apron muliier, andsecured to and depending from the' rear ends of the arms' 12 and 15, is another niember'29, of theapron muffler.

These two members of the mufller normally lie in horizontal alinement above so as tobe interposed between' the hammers 'and the strings.

In Fig. 2, I have illustrated one form of.

the hammers 2, and either or both members q 29, ofthe mufflerare secured to and depend may be lowered at the will of the performer, in a novelmanner presently yto be explained,

. muffler constructed in accordancev with this invention. As shown4 iiiv this `iigi1re, the muiiler members each consists of a single stri ofv felt or other similar material- 30,'

we ge shape in cross-sectiomor' having one straight face 31, and an inclined face 32.

In 1 Fig. 3, a somewhat similar form of.

' muier apron is shown, but instead of making the apron members from single pieces of material, they are each constructed of a plu'- rality of strips 33, graduallyv decreasing in lerigth so as to provide on one side a series of gitudinal edges as at 35.

. vIn Fig. el, I show another way of constructing the apron. to produce the desired result. .In this instance the members of .the apron are made up of a strip 36, having longitudinally extending portions, or sections, of gradually varying density, said portions or sections being indicated by the letters a, b, c

and d. I also show in Fig. 5, still4 another way of forming the apron. In this case each o o ected at its lower end' vto 'a lever 2 4, pivo ed at 25. Each of thev levers 20, 22 and 24, is provided at its outer' The three operating lar part ofthe. muffler-they strike.

stepped faces 34,' as shown against which the- In each form shownit will be seen that the-v apron contains portions or longitudinal sedtions, of gradually varying resistance, formed either by the different thicknesses of the materialof the apron, the difference in the density ofthe material or by the nature of thel material employed. Itv will thus be seen if,some

of the hammers aie caused to strike their strings through the interposition of one section or portion of the apron, while' others are caused to fact u on their stringsthrough the interposition o another or different section or portion of the apron, that'the resultant musical tones will vary g those struck through the pplrtioiis or sections of greater density or ess being softer than. those struck' through the sections orpvortionsV of lesser density or thickness. 'By constructing the mufflei"- apron'in this manner, it will be apparent that fine gradations in tone vvolume canwbel secured by shifting the position ofthe apron relatively to the hammers. This is accomplished'by the operatingmechanism first de scribed and the manner of securing some of the various gradations'will now be described.

As before stated, the two members 28 and from the arms 8, 12 and 15, and it will be apparent then if the key 4lettered Bis depressed, that the arm' 8 will be lowered and with it the vouter end ofthe apron member 28, but the opposite end of 'the section 28 will remain Xed. This depression *of the key lettered B, lwill,therefore', move the apron member 28, .on an inclined line relatively tp the hammers as shown in Fig. 8,' so that some of them willl strike along one portion' of the apron while others will'strike along' other portions, andthe resultant musical tones in the bass will vary gradually depending on the particu-v Should the key lettered T, be de ressed, then the arm'j 1,5, and'outer end of t e apron member 29, would be lowered on an. inclined line, as

- showninFig. 9,v the same as described with respect.- to the key B, 'and arm' 8, and the treble strings would then be correspondingly affected.

By simultaneously depressing the.. two

4outer keylevers lettered B and T, the 'outer ends of the muffler members 28 and 12S-)will be moved downward. to cause said members to assume positions oblique tothe line of liamo range-outward, if the hammers were successive y y actuated accordingly. By depressing the middle key lettered M, the adjacent' ends of .the members 2S and 29, willvbe lowered to cause sai'd members to assume the position oblique to the line of hammers as indicated in Fig.v11, and in this case crescendo effects would be produced in both the treble and 'the,bass from the middle range outward, if

the hammers were actuated successively in this order. By simultaneously operating all thee key levers B, M and "I, both members 2S. and 29 ofthe mufilr may be'moved up or down as desired, the extent of movement being governed ofcourse by the amount of de-v 'pression iven the keys. 'It is obviousthat dierent ey combinations will produce dit'-4 -ferent and varied musical effects.

Bythe muffler means herein described it 'y made. up of two members, as I may emp oy-a greater or less numberof members as fsired, without departing from the spirit land .scope of theinvention as eiqres'sedv intheappended claims. Liljrewise, do not-wish to' be understood as llmiting myself to the l precise form of apron o era'ting'rnechanism' ereln'shown anddescri ed, foriit-ls obvious gest" themse v es.

,What I claim' iszv 1. A'pianohaving' tone that other o erating means will readilr sugmailling means 4interposed between the hammers and the strings, said means consisting of a plurality of members each comprising sections' of material which differ from one another in their energy-transmitting properties, and mechanism connected to the said members for moving them independently of each other to cause either section to assume various positions oblique to the line of hammers.

2. A piano having tone muiiiing means interposed between thel hammers l andthe strings, said means consisting of a plurality of aprons each comprising sections of material which diiier from one another in their energy-transmitting properties, and mechanism connected'to said 'aprons for moving them independently of one another tocause either apron to assume a position oblique to the'line of hammers.

j 3. A piano having tone muiiling means interposed between the hammers and rthe; strings, said means consisting of an comprising sections of material which from oneanother in their energy transmitting properties, .and mechanism connected to said' apron for liexing it intermediate its apron lffer ends to cause different portions thereof to i' assume lpositions oblique to' the line of hammers.

of members, each comprising sections of material which differ from one another in their energy transmitting properties, and mech- `anismv connected to the said members to 4. A piano having tone-muling means interposed. between 'the' hammers and vtheA strings, said means consisting of a plurality g cause them to assume positions oblique to the line of hammers.

In testimony whereof I 'have hereunto set my hand in presence oi two subscribing witnesses,

IRVINGv B. SMITH. Witnesses:


Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2727420 *Jun 19, 1953Dec 20, 1955Welsh Norman WSilencer for use in practicing on an upright piano
US6162980 *Apr 25, 1996Dec 19, 2000Kabushiki Kaisha Kawai Gakki SeisakushoElectronic upright piano and a method of manufacture thereof
DE10300552B4 *Jan 9, 2003Sep 22, 2005Yamaha Corp., HamamatsuTastenmusikinstrument
DE19680329B4 *Apr 25, 1996Mar 15, 2007Kabushiki Kaisha Kawai Gakki Seisakusho, HamamatsuElektronisches Klavier und Herstellungsverfahren dafür
Cooperative ClassificationG10C3/26