Title:
Chromatic harmonicon
United States Patent 2461806


Abstract:
The subject matter of this invention is a harmonicon of the known kind wherein small reed pipes are arranged within a generally rectangular casing which is slid on one's lips and sounded by one's breath like a panpipe. As known, a chromatic harmonicon most frequently comprises two rows of...



Inventors:
Andre, Borel
Application Number:
US64922646A
Publication Date:
02/15/1949
Filing Date:
02/21/1946
Assignee:
Andre, Borel
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
984/137
International Classes:
G10D7/12
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
1698958Musical instrument1929-01-15
0894778N/A1908-07-28
0894437N/A1908-07-28
0708805N/A1902-09-09



Foreign References:
GB189211637A
Description:

The subject matter of this invention is a harmonicon of the known kind wherein small reed pipes are arranged within a generally rectangular casing which is slid on one's lips and sounded by one's breath like a panpipe.

As known, a chromatic harmonicon most frequently comprises two rows of parallel holes, one for the whole steps and the other for the half steps; consequently, it is not possible on such an instrument to sound chromatic chords or to play rapid passages, and one must satisfy one's self with playing comparatively simple melodies.

Indeed, it is known to control the passage of the air through the reeds by means of a keyboard acting upon outside valves arranged below the sound-generating reeds in the manner oif an accordion keyboard; such an arrangement makes it possible to sound any desired chord, but the instrument becomes bulky and uneasy to manipulate as a mouth instrument.

This invention is concerned with a harmonicon of usual size although it allows to obtain the same chromatic chords as an accordion and to play the most elaborate variations; the keyboard of this harmonicon can be designed for various fingering systems.

For that purpose, each duct leading to a reed plate is controlled by a valve whose shaft is secured to a push or key actuated by the performer against the action of a return spring.

The air exhaled into an air chamber provided with baffles flows through the ducts at every moment, said ducts have been set free by the lifting of the related valves and actuates the vibratory tongues providing the reeds.

The number of reeds, and consequently of valves, may be varied as desired; thus, in a harmonicon of hardly larger size than an ordinary one with two rows or air slits, as many as thirty eight valves can be arranged which will allow to sound the chromatic chords over three octaves.

Since the reeds according to the invention are located at the outlet of -the air ducts, the sound undergoes no throttling whatever and comes out in its whole purity; besides, the provision of two 4 reeds per duct and valve makes it possible to play on this instrument both by exhaling and by inhaling.

In a conventional harmonicon the breath of the performer will come directly in contact with the reeds, and the latter will soon become soaked with spittle, this leading to a rapid oxidation of the same; on the same account, the lids that close the slits will soon get out of shape. According to this invention, such spittle is retained 5 in the air chamber, which is provided with a baffle or partition, so that the bulk of it is prevented from reaching the valves; a blow-off "alve allows to empty the air chamber.

SA further feature of this harmonicon resides in the possibility, by closing and opening the apertures in the ornamental casings with one's hand, to obtain the same muting effect as by opening and closing the mouth of such brass instruments as trombones, trumpets and the like.

In the harmonicon according to this invention the maid effect is secured by means of a pair of shutters actuated by a mechanism arranged within easy reach of the player.

A preferred embodiment of the subject-matter of this invention will now be described more specifically, reference being had to the appended drawing in which: Figure 1 is a perspective view. Figures 2 to 5 inclusively are enlarged views of the musical instrument shown in Figure 1.

Figure 2 is a sectional view taken on line II-II in Fig. 1.

Figure 3 is a sectional view taken on line ill-III-in Fig. 1.

Figure 4 is an end view of the instrument with its end cheek removed, looking as shown in IV--V in Fig. 1.

Figure 5 is a side elevational view of the instrument with most of its casing broken away.

The harmonicon consists primarily of a block 1, e. g.: made of wood, drilled or otherwise formed with a series of vertical cylindrical ducts 2 to receive valve shafts 3 and in one side of which slits, are milled which correspond to the valves.

Said block I is flanked by a pair of end plates or cheeks 5, 6 braced by cover plates 7 that can be .curved and decorated as desired. For in0 stance, said cover plates 7 fit at either end thereof in slots cut in said cheeks 5. or are held by lugs 8 on the latter; said cheeks are secured to the block 1 by screws 9 which make same easily removable.

5 Milled in, the top side of block I are slits 16 designed to house springs 22; an ornamental cover 10 is held by lugs on cover plates 7.

Secured to the block at the bottom side thereof by screws 12 is an air chamber 13 provided 0 with an inside baffle 14 and with a blow-off orifice 37; a mouthpiece 15 is secured to one side of said chamber.

Square apertures 18 are punched in plate 10 in alignment with sockets 20 provided in the 5 block I and designed to receive shaft heads 19 of similarly shaDed section by which they are prevented from rotating. Keys 1 are screwed on the shaft heads 19. A felt or rubber cushion 38 is laid on the bottom of each socket 20 which provides the extension of a corresponding duct 2 for the purpose of absorbing the shock of the head 19 on said bottom, and a notch 21 is cut in each head to receive one end of a spring strip or the like 22 secured within the slit 16 and by which the related valve is returned instanta- I neously to its closed position.

Secured to the under side of block I is a plate 23 punched with holes 26 for the passage of the valve shafts 3 and of the air in the open position of said valves; felt or like cushions 24 absorb the shock of the valve discs 25 and provide for air-tightness of the joint.

Communicating with the said holes 26 are side ducts 4 which open at the sides of block I adjacent to the reed plates 27; vertical elongated apertures 28 are cut in the latter, which are closed by vibratory tongues 29, 29a providing the sound reeds; each duct leads to two tongues, of which the one 29 is designed to be sounded by inhaling and the other 29a by exhaling; each aperture 28 is provided at the correct side thereof with a thin leather packing 30 by which the joint is made fluid-tight. As a result, each valve 3 is related with one duct 4 and two reeds 29, 29a, so that the player can sound the same sound by either exhaling or inhaling.

Each reed plate 27 has a flap 31 hinged at 32 arranged in front thereof which can be closed completely against the load of return springs 33 by the action of push pieces 34 cammed away by a slide plate 35 shifted by means of an arm 36 projecting from one end of the instrument.

The flaps lay themselves upon the ornamental cover plates 7 and constitute the so-called "wawah" device.

It will be appreciated that the arrangement described above allows to provide the block I with as many ducts 2 for the operation of valves 3 and as many side slits 4 as keys 11 are to be availed of; as many as thirty-eight keys can easily be arranged on a harmonicon of usual dimensions, which amounts to seventy-six reeds arranged at the outlets of thirty-eight slits 4 leading from the thirty-eight holes 26 to be opened or closed by as many valve discs 25 in response to the actuation of the keys by the player. The latter consequently avails of an instrument enabling him to obtain all the chromatic chords just as from an accordion, which was not possible with known harmonica and which involves no such bulkiness in design as a harmonicon with outside valves.

Moreover, the arrangement of the valves ahead of the reeds, and of the latter at the outlets, warrants sound purity and allows the instrument to retain the particular tone of the harmonicon, which cannot be obtained in an instrument with outside valves.

What I claim as my invention and desire to secure by Letters Patent is: 1. A chromatic mouth organ of the reed type comprising a substantially trapezoidal elongated block provided with three series of parallel perforations and with a corresponding number of grooves along one of the sides and the lower part of said block and communicating with the corresponding perforations, valves including stems guided in said perforations, control keys for said stems on the ends thereof projecting in 0L a given direction and valve heads at the opposite ends of stems, a plate secured to the face of the block corresponding to the location of the valve heads and provided with perforations registering with the block perforations, resilient cushions inserted between the outside of the plate and the valve heads, an air chamber fitted on the outside of the plate over the valve heads, sound plates applied laterally on the block to either side thereof and couples of reeds carried thereby and registering with the corresponding slots.

2. A chromatic mouth organ of the reed type comprising a substantially trapezoidal elongated block provided with three series of parallel perforations and with a corresponding number of grooves along one of the sides and the lower part cf said block and communicating with the corresponding perforations, valves including stems guided in said perforations, control keys for said stems on the ends thereof projecting in a 80 given direction and valve heads at the opposite ends of stems, a plate secured to the face of the block corresponding to the location of the valve heads and provided with perforations registering with the block perforations, resilient cushions inserted between the outside of the plate and the valve heads, an air chamber fitted on the outside of the plate over the valve heads, sound plates applied laterally on the block to either side thereof and couples of reeds carried thereby and registering with the corresponding slots flaps arranged to either side of the block in front of the location of the reeds, springs urging said flaps outwardly into organ closing position and means operated by the player for controlling said flaps against the action of the springs and including sliders guided over one end of the block and cams inserted between said sliders and the corresponding flaps.

ANDRE BOREL.

REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the file of this patent: rx UNITED STATES PATENTS Number 708,805 894,437 894,778 1,698,958 Name Date Field et al. ----------Sept. 9, 1902 Hohner ---------- July 28, 1908 Hohner -----------July 28, 1908 Miessner ---------- Jan. 15, 1929 FOREIGN PATENTS Number Country Date 11,637 Great Britain ----- June 21, 1892