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Publication numberUS1104282 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication date21 Jul 1914
Filing date25 Feb 1910
Priority date25 Feb 1910
Publication numberUS 1104282 A, US 1104282A, US-A-1104282, US1104282 A, US1104282A
InventorsMelvin L Severy, George B Sinclair
Original AssigneeMelvin L Severy, George B Sinclair
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Electromechanical action for musical instruments.
US 1104282 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)


APPLICATION FILED FEB, 25, 1910. 1,104,282, Patented July 21, 1914. v

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Specification of Tetters Patent. i

Patented July 21, 1914.

Application filed February 25, 1910. Serial No. 545,961.

To all whom tt 'may concern:

Be it known that we, MELVIN L. SEvnRY, of Arlington Heights, in the county of Middlesex and Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and GEORGE B. SINCLAIR, of Medford, in said county and Commonwealth, both citizens of the United States, have invented certain new and useful Improvements in Electromechanical Actions for Musical Instruments, of which the following is a specification.

This invention relates to that class of musical instruments wherein tuned sonorous bodies are vibrated by electromagnets having suitably timed electric pulsations delivered thereto; and our improvements pertain to means controlling both the mechanical and electrical vibration of said sonorous bodies, such means comprising both the ini tiating and terminating of the vibrations of said bodies.-

In certain copending applications we have shown, described and claimed, in some instances broadly and in others more specifically, features which are illustrated and described in the present application, but which are not herein claimed only in the specific construction or combination expressed; In other copending applications we have broadly claimed the art of producing musical tones, which art is involved but is not claimed in the present application. All matters set forth and claimed in copending applications filed in our joint names, or in thename, of either of us, and

not definitely expressed in the claims hereof, are expressly saved and reserved for one or another of said copending applications,in which such matters are claimed or intended Serial No. 563,437,

- rial No. 573,135, filed July 21,

to be claimed. Among these copending applications may be noted the following o1nt applications: Serial No. 273,199, filed August 7, 1905; Serial No. 273,202, filed August 7, 1905; Serial No. 379,714, filed June 19, 1907; Serial No. 380,987, filed June 26, 1907; Serial No. 384,872, filed July 22,1907; Serial No. 531,589, filed December 6, 1909; Serial No. 537,257, filed January 10, 1910; Serial No. 545,962, filed February 25, 1910; Serial No. 545,963, filed February 25, 1910; filed May 25, 1910; Se.-

No. 745,400, filed January 31, 1913; Serial or are here claimed armature.

1910; Serial No. 753,013, filed March 8, 1913; Serial No. 753,014, filed March 8, 1913; Serial No. 7 57 ,87 2, filed March 31, 1913; and Serial No. 793,481, renewahOct. 4, 1913. v

The figure shown in the drawing forming A part of th1s specification is a side sectional elevation of the upper part of a musical instrument made in accordance with our invention, showing other connected parts in diagram.

: The musical instrumentjto which we illustrate our improvements as applied is of the type which we term our multiple instru' ment; the same comprising two complete sets of strings 1, each set preferablyembracing several octaves and located back to back one behindthe other. Each of these strings 1s vibrated by an electromagnet 2; the front strings being in addition adapted to be percussively vibrated by hammers 3 of substantially the ordinary construction. The hammer action is much the same as in the ordinary upright piano, with the exception that the stickers 4 by which the elevation of the inner ends of the keys5 is communicated to the wippens 6, and thence to the hammers, are adapted to be at will disengaged from said parts 6, and the hammers thereby separated from their'keys. In such case, the front strings as well as the back strings must be undamped electrically alone. We therefore locate below the tail of each damper 7 a pivoted lever 8 carrying a spoon 9 engaging such tail, in such a manner that a downward pull given to such levers causes the dampers to be withdrawn from their respective strings. To thus pull the levers 8, a pivotally supported'armature 10 is provided for each thereof, and a stationary electromagnet 11 is placed beneath each A wire link 12 bein to each lever 8 and to its associated armature 10, an energizing current transm'tted to said electromagnets immediately causes them to withdraw theda-mpers from their strings.

,For insurin'g that the electric actuation of any string will release its damper-therefrom at once, the following construction made, referring first to the front electromag-. nets: The current" from the source 13 through the common lead wire 14 'tothe brushes 15,-as any-onexof attached a the said brushes iselevated by the action ofits associated key into touch with its associated contact 16, is taken therefrom through a wire 17 to the proper electromagnet' 2. Simultaneously with this, current passes from said contact through the wire 18 to the associated electromagnet 11, and from thence by the common wire 19 back to the source 13. Both the electromagnets 2 and 11 being thus simult-aneously energized, a damper is withdrawn from its string the instant the latter is caused to vibrate.

The portion of the circuit-section from each said front electromagnet 2 back to its source 13 comprises a wire 20, harmonic controller 21, :rpression control 22, pulsation device 28, and wire 24; while the circuit-section to the back electromagnets 2- starting from said source 13, comprises the said wire 241-, pulsation device 23, pedal rheostat 25, harmonic controller 26, wire 27, to said back electromagnets 2; thence through the wire 28, harmonic switch 29, wire 30,

contact 31, brush 32 controlled by a key 33 of the upper bank of keys which we prefer to employ, and finally by the common wire at back to said source. Inasmuch as we wish to control the vibration of the back strings by the lower bank of keys 5 as well as by said upper bank, the current from the harmonic switch 29 may pass therefrom through the cut-out 35, and thence by the wire 36 to the contact 37, and then to the brush 38 which is carried by the same lever extension 89 as moves said brush15, and finally by the common wire 14: back to the source. If it is wished to energize the back electromagnets by the upper bank of keys 33 alone, the cut-out 35 is shifted to open all the circuits between the wires 36 and the harmonic switch 29. The said contacts 37 are designed to be located in the same plane as the contacts 16, but are represented as in diiferent planes in order to more clearly show the same. V y

The electromagnets 11 of the back dampers 7 are each joined by a wire 40 to a wire '28 and by a wire 41 to the common wire 19,

- so that the instant a back electromagnet 2 is energized, -a portion of the unpulsated current from the source 13- will traverse the windings of the associated electromagnet 11 and thereby cause the undamping of its string.

We prefer to arrange the electromagnets in two rows one above the other for both the front and back set for the reason that this plan efi'eets an economy of room and permits the use of larger electromagnets. Consequently, they are preferably put in two rows, with the magnet 11- controlling one damper in the upper row; the magnet 11 controlling the next damper in the lower row; the magnet 11 controlling the third dam er in the upper row, and so on.

- en the stickers 4 are permitted to 're-[ main with their upper ends close beneath the boss 42 of wippens 6, the hammers 3 will be operated in the usual way, and the dampers 7 of the front strings will be withdrawn in the following manner: As already stated, the levers 8 are pivoted to the wippens 6, but the pivotal arrangement is such that while the said levers are not prevented thereby from swinging downward while the wippens 6 remain stationary, when said wippens are raised for operating the hammers, such raising of each hammer will force its associated lever 8 downward and thereby cause its spoon to withdraw its damper 7 Our preferred means for swinging the stickers 1 into and out of engagement with wippens 6 consists of a rocker-shaft 4:3 actuated by any suitable means, as a lever-arm 44 and a connection 415 to a pedal or knee swell, and of arms 4-6 rising from said shaft to the bar %7 from which links l-S extend to said stickers. A partial turn given to said rocker shaft causes said bar to move forward or backward and to carry said stickers into and out of engagement with the wippens.

The octave coupler 50 is not described nor claimed in this application because comprising the subject matter of our companion case Serial No. 757,872.

Each contact 16 is coupled with another contact 51 immediately below it so that the brushes 15 shall traverse the latter contacts before reaching the said contacts 16; and between each pair of contacts 16, 51 is a resistance element 52. When a brush 15 .reaches its associated contact 51, said resistance allows some current to flow, but not until the nextcontact 16 is reached by the brush is the maximum of current permitted topass. By thus requiring each brush 15 to break through a resistance 52 on its way from the contact 16 associated therewith to the insulation, its sparking is diminished to nearly nothing. This elimination of sparking at the brushes 15 is accomplished not alone for the pulsatory currents delivered to the electromagnets but also for the direct currents delivered through the same brushes to the damper operating electromagnets 11.

It sometimes occurs that this musical instrument is to be operated by hammers alone, and while the electric current is still in circuit. A switch 53 is consequently provided in the lead wires 19 to permit the circuit to the damper magnets 11 to be opened. A switch 53 opens the circuit to the back magnets 11.

' What we claim as our invention and for which we desire Letters Patent is as follows, to wit;-

1. The combination of a sonorous body, percussive and electromagnetic means for its actuation, a damper therefor, electromagnetic and mechanical means for actuating saiddamper, and means operative at will to determine which of said vibrating and damping means shall be effective.

2. The combination of a sonorous body, an electromagnet for its actuation, a damper for said body, an electromagnet controlling said damper, means for producing currentfor both said electromagnets, circui t connections between said means and first-named electromagnet, clrcuit connections between said means and the second-named electroby said electromagnet, means connected with said armature and also connected with said hammer actuating means for undamping said body, the means connected with said armature being operative independently of the hammer actuating undamping means.

4:. The combination of a sonorous body,

means for non-percussively actuating said sonorous body, a hammerfor the actuation thereof, an action including a pivoted wlppen for operating said hammer, a damper f r said body, an arm pivoted to said wlppen and adapted to be depressed by the elevation of said'wippen, a spoon rigid with said arm engaging the tail of said damper, and electromagnetic means for-depressing said arm.

5. The combination with a sonorous body, means for non-percussively actuating said body, and a key, of a sticker rising from said key, a pivoted member controlling the nonper'cussive means and p. otally connected with the lower part of said sticker, a link pivotally connected with the upper part of said sticker, a laterally movable bar p votally carrying said link, a Wippen havlng a boss projecting from beneath its free end into the path of the upper end of saidsticker, and a pen for percussively actuating said body.

6. A musical instrument comprising-two sets of sonorous bodies tuned to the musical scale, electromagnetic means for actuating each body of said sets, a damper for each of said bodies, two sets of keys, and circuit connections whereby one set of keys controls one set ofibodies and their dampers, and the other set of keys controls both sets of bodies and their dampers.

In testimony that we claim the foregoing invention, we have hereunto set our hands this 29th day of January, 1910.




hammer operated by said'wip-

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US5022302 *20 Feb 199011 Jun 1991Vincent GuyonDamper mechanism for upright piano
US61946432 Sep 199927 Feb 2001David MeiselKey actuation systems for keyboard instruments
US644488521 Dec 20003 Sep 2002David MeiselKey actuation systems for keyboard instruments
US678104630 Jan 200124 Aug 2004David MeiselKey actuation systems for keyboard instruments
US688805224 May 20023 May 2005David MeiselKey actuation systems for keyboard instruments
US743942615 Feb 200621 Oct 2008David MeiselActuation system for keyboard pedal lyre
US7485798 *20 Jul 20063 Feb 2009Yamaha CorporationKeyboard apparatus
US20010017075 *30 Jan 200130 Aug 2001David MeiselKey actuation systems for keyboard instruments
US20060179997 *15 Feb 200617 Aug 2006David MeiselActuation system for keyboard pedal lyre
US20060272469 *28 Mar 20067 Dec 2006David MeiselKey actuation systems for keyboard instruments
US20070017342 *20 Jul 200625 Jan 2007Yamaha CorporationKeyboard apparatus
U.S. Classification84/20, 318/134, 340/392.1, 340/388.1, 84/217, 84/175
Cooperative ClassificationG10F1/02