Title:
Tone volume range control device for reed instruments
United States Patent 2499855


Abstract:
This invention relates to musical instruments, and in particular to reed instruments. One object of this invention is to provide means for precisely positioning the lips relatively to the mouthpiece of a reed instrument. Another object is to provide means for adjustably exerting pressure...



Inventors:
Gamble, Louis E.
Application Number:
US64106546A
Publication Date:
03/07/1950
Filing Date:
01/14/1946
Assignee:
Gamble, Louis E.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
84/399, 984/141
International Classes:
G10D9/02
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
2180383Single reed instrument tuning device1939-11-21
1553081Reed musical instrument1925-09-08
1446623Reed controller for saxophones or the like1923-02-27
0972823N/A1910-10-18
0516988N/A1894-03-20



Foreign References:
GB191108849A1911-09-21
FR645185A1928-10-20
Description:

This invention relates to musical instruments, and in particular to reed instruments.

One object of this invention is to provide means for precisely positioning the lips relatively to the mouthpiece of a reed instrument.

Another object is to provide means for adjustably exerting pressure upon the reed of a reed instrument at varying distances from the end thereof.

Another object is to provide adjustable means 1 for exerting pressure upon the reed of a reed instrument relatively to the mouthpiece thereof at varying distances from the end of the reed and also for precisely positioning the lips relatively to the end of said mouthpiece.

Another object is to provide an attachment for the mouthpiece of a reed instrument, such as a clarinet or saxophone, which will mute the reed to vary the tone volume range by urging it against the mouthpiece at a desired distance from the end of the reed or from its position of support upon the mouthpiece.

Another object is to provide an attachment for the mouthpiece of a reed instrument for exerting pressure upon the reed at a desired location such as will eliminate the sounding of undesired overtones or harmonics of the reed and limit its vibration to the frequency corresponding to the desired tone or range of tones.

Another object is to provide an attachment for the mouthpiece of a reed instrument as set forth in the preceding objects wherein the attachment also serves to limit the distance which the mouthpiece may be inserted between the musician's lips.

Another object is to provide an attachment for a reed instrument as set forth in the preceding objects wherein the pressure as well as the location of the pressure exerting means upon the reed is adjustable.

Another object is to provide an attachment for a reed instrument as set forth in the preceding objects, wherein the attachment also serves to secure the reed to the mouthpiece.

Other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent during the course of the following description of the accompanying drawing, wherein: Figure 1 is a side elevation of an attachment for a reed instrument according to the present invention, as mounted on the mouthpiece of a reed instrument, with the view partly broken away to indicate the internal structure thereof more clearly; Figure 2 is a top plan view of the attachment shown in Figure 1; Figure 3 is a vertical cross-section along the line 3-3 in Figure 1; Figure 4 is a vertical cross-section along the line 4-4 in Figure 1; and Figure 5 is a side elevation of a portion of a reed instrument equipped with the attachment of this invention, illustrating its manner of use.

Referring to the drawings in detail, Figures 1 and 5 show a preferred embodiment of the invention consisting of the attachment, generally designated I0 as mounted upon the mouthpiece II of a reed instrument 12. The latter may be of any type, such as a clarinet or saxophone, and is indicated diagrammatically in Figure 5. The mouthpiece II thereof is of a conventional type and consists of a tubular body 13 having a bore 14 for receiving the portion 15 of the reed instrument 12, the body 13 containing the bore 14 having an approximately conical portion 1 and a connecting portion IT tapered toward the portion 15. The drawings show the mouthpiece in the so-called "French" playing position employed by many musicians in continental European countries. The invention, however, is obviously equally applicable to a playing position which is inverted from that shown in the drawing, and which is commonly employed by musicians in England and the United States of America. The opposite or forward end of the mouthpiece 11 is provided with an upwardly directed portion 18 having a lip engaging under surface 19 (Figure 4), the bore 4! being angled upwardly in a bore extension 20 toward the arcuate end 21 of the mouthpiece 11. The upper surface of the body 13 is provided with a flattened portion 22 serving as a seat for a reed 23 of a conventional pattern, the latter being of elongated outline and tapering to a thin arcuate edge 24 adjacent the end 21 of the mouthpiece IL. The flattened portion 22 is angled 85 downwardly relatively to the axis of the bore 14 and terminates at the edge 25 of an elongated aperture 26. The upper side margins 27 of the aperture 26 in the mouthpiece I are slightly arcuate in side elevation so as to provide an opproximately wedge-shaped gap 28 between them and the reed 23.

The attachment 10 is mounted on the mouthpiece 11 immediately over the flattened portion 22 and consists of a holder 29 having a lip stop plate or contact member 30 adjustably mounted therein. The holder 29 consists of a pair of arcuate arms 31 and 32 (Figure 3) encircling the conical portion 16 and having lugs 33 and 34 beneath it. The lug 34 is provided with a screw-threaded bore 35 and the lug 33 with a smooth bore 35 aligned therewith for receiving a thumb screw 31 having a wing portion 38 thereon. As a consequence of this construction, when the thumb screw 38 is turned in one direction, the arms 31 and 32 are tightened around the mouthpiece 11 and, when turned in the other direction, the arms are loosened.

The holder 29 is provided with a bridge portion 39 interconnecting the arcuate arms 31 and 32 and having a surface of arcuate cross-section 40 conforming to and mating with the upper surface 41 of the reed 23. The holder 29 is provided above the bridge portion 39 with an upstanding portion 42 containing a longitudinal bore 43 having a ledge 44 at the rearward end thereof, above which is an aperture 45 for the passage of the stem 46 of the contact member 30. The stem 46 is threaded at its forward end as at 47 for receiving the correspondingly threaded bore 48 in the hub 49 of a pressure plate 50. The latter is ap- 1 proximately trapezoidal in outline and has an arcuately curved lower edge-51 corresponding to and mating with the curvature of the upper edge 41 of the reed 23.

The upstanding portion 42 of the holder 29 is 1 provided:at its top with a boss 52 having a threaded bore 53 -for receiving the threaded shank 54 of a, thumb screw 55. The lower end of the thumb screw 55 engages the upper surfaces of the stem 45; the rearward end of which rests upon 2 the ledge 44 as a fulcrum. When the thumb screw 55 is screwed downwardly into the bore 53, the lower edge 5 of the pressure plate 50 is-pressed downvwardly against the upper edge 41 of the reed 23; urging the latter toward the upper 2, side: margins 27 and tending to close the wedgeshaped gap 28. In this manner, the reed 23 may be muted at a wide range of positions from adjacent the edge 25 of the aperture 26 to a point approaching the end 24 of the reed 23. By un- 3( screwing the thumb screw 55 slightly, the contact member 30 -may be pushed toward or away from the holder 29 so as to vary the location at which the contact edge 51 engages the upper surface 41. of the reed 23. 3 In the operation of the invention, the holder 29 is mounted on the conical portion 16 of the mouthpiece I I in the manner previously described. namely by loosening the thumb screw 37 and slipping the arms 31 and 32 over the conical por- 4( tion 1S until the surface 40 of the bridge portion 39 engages the rearward end of the upper surface 41 of the reed 23 at the desired location above the flattened portion 22, whereupon the thumb screw 37 is tightened to clamp this assembly in position. Before tightening the thumb screw 37, however, the reed 23 is moved longitudinally until its end 24 is properly positioned relatively to the mouthpiece end 21, whereupon the holder 29 is clamped in position by tightening the thumb screw 37.

The musician now loosens the thumb screw and inserts the stem '6 of the contact member 30 through the bore 43 and aperture 45 until the rearward end thereof rests upon the ledge 55 44. He then inserts the mouthpiece I between his lips in the manner shown in Figure 5, and moves the contact member 30 back and forth, alternately tightening and loosening the thumb screw 55 between tests of the tone of the instrument until he obtains the desired tonal qualities, whereupon he tightens the thumb screw 55 in the desired position of adjustment. The instrument is then ready for playing in the usual manner, the pressure plate 50 serving not only as a contact member for the reed 23 but also as a stop for limiting the insertion of the mouthpiece I1 between the lips of the musician.

By this means, the musician is enabled not only to obtain the desired tonal volume range characteristics of his instrument, but is also enabled to position his lip instantly at this position. Moreover, he is prevented from inserting the mouthpiece too far into his mouth, which action on the part of the inexperienced musician results in the making of harsh noises, often accompanied by high-pitched undesired tones.

By moving the pressure plate 50 to and fro along the reed 23 and readjusting the thumb screw 55, he can mute the reed 41 to vary the tone volume range and thus suit the playing conditions or the size of the auditorium or room so that the instrument is easily adapted to use for practising in small rooms accompanying a singer, or 0 under other conditions where the tone volume must be kept at a minimum.

From the foregoing it is evident that the device of the present invention eliminates the necessity, on the part of the musician, for biting 5 or otherwise exerting heavy pressure upon the reed and" mouthpiece as was previously necessary in order to prevent air from escaping at the sides of the reed between the lips and the mouthpiece or ligature. Instead, the pressure 0 plate 50, when clamped down against the reed by the thumb screw 55, forces the reed against the ligature and closes these air passages along opposite edges of the reed. Moreover, the wearing down of the teeth of the musician, which oc5 curred with prior instruments as a result of this necessity of biting tightly upon the reed, is now completely prevented. The musician no longer has to hunt for the proper position corresponding to the desired tone volume range since 0 the pressure plate 50 locates it for him automatically, so that he merely is required to press his lips lightly upon the reed and ligature and blow while his upper lip is in light contact with the pressure plate 50.

While I have described and shown my invention in detail, it is to be understood that the same is to be limited only by the appended claims, for many changes may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of my invention.

What I claim is: A volume range control device for attachment to the mouthpiece of a reed instrument comprising a holder encircling said mouthpiece and having a clamping device detachably securing said holder to said mouthpiece, said holder having a recess therein disposed at one side of said mouthpiece remote from the forward end of said mouthpiece, a rod secured in said recess with its rearward portion fulcrumed on said holder adjacent said recess, and a lip stop plate on the forward end of said rod disposed substantially perpendicular to the reed and having an arcuately concave contact edge engaging said reed over substantially its entire width, said stop plate having a height approximating the height of the player's lip.

LOUIS E. GAMBLE.

REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the file of this patent: UNITED STATES PATENTS Number 516,988 972,823 1,446,623 1,553,081 2,180,383 Number 8,849 645,185 Name Date Ingram -------- Mar. 20, 1894 Cook et al. ------_--- Oct. 18, 1910 Humes _________- Feb. 27, 1923 Humes __________ Sept. 8, 1925 Anderberg --------_ Nov. 21, 1939 FOREIGN PATENTS Country Date Great Britain ______ Apr. 10, 1911 France --------- June 26, 1928