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Title:
COMBINATION ACCORDION-ORGAN MUSICAL INSTRUMENT
United States Patent 3610802
Abstract:
A combined musical instrument in two parts providing electronic organ and accordion performance. Each musical function may be accomplished independently or simultaneously.


Application Number:
04/855164
Publication Date:
10/05/1971
Filing Date:
09/04/1969
Assignee:
Bell Accordion Corporation (New York, NY)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
84/678, 84/DIG.7, 84/DIG.14, 984/344
International Classes:
G10H1/00; G10H1/34; G10H3/16; H01H21/00; (IPC1-7): G10H3/02
Field of Search:
84/1
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
3402251Electrical accordion-organSeptember 1968Bright
3375320Accordion keyboard controlled accompanimental tone generatorMarch 1968Carras
3278671Electrified accordionOctober 1966Berwin
3104581Electrified accordionSeptember 1963Berwin
Primary Examiner:
Hirshfield, Milton O.
Assistant Examiner:
Reynolds B. A.
Claims:
What is claimed is

1. A combination accordion-electronic organ instrument comprising two units, a first unit comprising an accordion section and a second unit comprising an electronic and speaker section, wherein said accordion section is approximately the same weight as the same size standard accordion not used as part of a combination instrument, and wherein said first unit comprises an accordion box and bellows enclosing a plurality of reeds for generating audible tones, a group of treble and a group of bass keys, a plurality of tone generators selectively activated by said treble and bass keys, each of said tone generators capable of causing audible frequency tones to be produced, an electronic organ selectively operated, said treble and bass keys of said accordion box causing the electronic organ portion of said combination musical instrument to produce suitable audible tones by causing a first electrical signal to be supplied to electronic amplifier and conversion means to amplify and convert, respectively, said first electrical signals to said audible tones, a first source of second electrical signals, said first source being selectively transferred and combined to form said first electrical signals, said first source comprising first electrical conductor means for carrying said second electrical signals, first switch-actuated means actuated by one of said keys when said keys are depressed, said first switch-actuated means comprising a flexing member caused to move from a substantially flexed position to substantially released position when one of said keys is depressed, and second electrical conducting means being carried by said flexing member to enable said second electrical signal to be selectively transferred from said first electrical conductor means to said second electrical conducting means responsive to the key depressed to form said first electrical signal supplied to said electronic amplifying and converting means.

2. In combination, a musical instrument comprising an accordion box and bellows enclosing a plurality of reeds for generating audible tones, a group of treble and a group of bass keys, a plurality of tone generators selectively activated by said treble and bass keys, each of said tone generators capable of causing audible frequency tones to be produced, an electronic organ selectively operated, said treble and bass keys of said accordion box causing the electronic organ portion of said combination musical instrument to produce suitable audible tones by causing a first electrical signal to be supplied to electronic amplifier and conversion means to amplify and convert, respectively, said first electrical signals to said audible tones, a first source of second electrical signals, said first source being selectively transferred and combined to form said first electrical signals, said first source comprising first electrical conductor means for carrying said second electrical signals, first switch-actuated means actuated by one of said keys when said keys are depressed, said first switch-actuated means comprising a flexing member caused to move from a substantially flexed position to substantially released position when one of said keys is depressed, and second electrical conducting means being carried by said flexing member to enable said second electrical signal to be selectively transferred from said first electrical conductor means to said second electrical conducting means responsive to the key depressed to form said first electrical signal supplied to said electronic amplifying and converting means.

3. The combination as defined in claim 2, wherein said second electrical signals are at one direct-current voltage level.

4. The combination as defined in claim 2, wherein said second electrical signals are carried along an exposed bus bar.

5. The combination as defined as claim 4, wherein said flexing member is a coiled spring.

6. The combination as defined in claim 5, wherein said coiled spring is fabricated of electrical conducting material which enables said direct current voltage to be transferred to a selective coiled spring which is released and presses against said bus bar upon depression of a key.

7. The combination as defined in claim 2, further comprising a second source of electrical signals, means for selectively actuating said second source to be combined and form a third electrical signal, said second source comprising third electrical and conductor means capable of carrying an electrical signal, one of said keys being selectively depressed and causing said second source to be correspondingly selectively actuated, said means for selectively actuating said second source comprising connector means connected between said plurality of keys and a plurality of rotatably movable members, each of said rotatably movable members being selectively caused to rotate upon depression of a corresponding key, a fourth electrical conductor means actuated by said rotatably movable members selectively being caused to contact said third conductor means when corresponding keys of said plurality of keys are depressed and means to combine, amplify, and convert the electrical signal transferred from said third conductor means to said selectively operated fourth conductor contacting said third conductor means to form the tones for said electric organ section of said combined musical instrument.

8. The combination as defined in claim 7, wherein actuator arm members are attached to one end of said rotatably movable members and having the other ends of said actuator arm members pushing against said fourth electrical conductor means causing said fourth electrical conductor means to contact said third electrical conductor means when corresponding keys are depressed.

9. The combination as defined in claim 8, wherein said fourth electrical conductor means comprising a group of flexing members.

10. The combination as defined in claim 9, wherein said group of flexing members comprise a group of coiled springs.

11. The combination as defined in claim 8, wherein said rotatably movable members comprise a group of rotatably movable tube members.

12. The combination as defined in claim 11, wherein said group of tube members comprise first, second, third, and fourth groups of tube members of at least a first predetermined length and fifth, sixth, and seventh groups of tube members with said fifth group separating said first and second groups of tubes, said sixth group separating said second and third groups of tubes and said seventh group separating said third and fourth groups of tubes.

13. The combination as defined in claim 12, wherein said fifth, sixth and seventh groups of tubes are shorter in length than said first predetermined length.

14. The combination as set forth in claim 8, wherein said first and second sources of electrical signals are the same and comprise a constant direct-current voltage.

15. The combination as defined in claim 2, further comprising means for changing the sounds produced by said organ section after a key is depressed.

16. The combination as defined in claim 15, wherein said means for changing the sounds comprises functional tab switches and means activated by said tab switches to electronically change the sounds produced by said organ section.

17. The combination defined in claim 16, wherein said means activated by said tab switches comprise electronic switch means comprising make and break electrical contact means.

18. The combination as defined in claim 17, wherein said make and break electrical contact means comprise a plurality of first and a plurality of second conductors with corresponding ones of said first and second plurality of conductors electrically connected to each other upon operation of corresponding tab switches.

19. The combination as defined in claim 17, wherein said plurality of first and second conductors comprise a plurality of coiled spring members fabricated of electrical conducting material which when electrical contact is made are caused to be pressed against each other by other electrically conducting coiled spring members.

Description:
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to an accordion-organ combined instrument and, more particularly, to such a combination which may be played as a reed instrument using the bellows, as an electronic organ using suitable electronic circuitry, or as a combination of both.

Recently, instruments have been produced which combine the usual type of reed accordion with an electronic organ. These instruments generally are cumbersome and more difficult to operate than the standard accordion and are often unsuitable to the musician. Generally, the bellows are utilized for the standard accordion function while the bass and treble keyboards on the standard accordion are utilized to activate electronic circuitry and provide an electronic organ. The mechanism employed for such combined operation generally has been unreliable in terms of the electrical contact mechanism utilized. Further, the prior art devices generally are quite cumbersome in their electrical wiring which makes the units difficult to service and to be played. Where standard accordions are converted to combined musical instruments of the present type, significant additional actuating, keying, and switching apparatus has been added to accomplish the desired function. This additional apparatus has been cumbersome and complex making repairs very difficult.

In addition to the above-described problems, the prior art combined musical instrument also suffers from its lack of portability. Generally, these devices are three separate units, the accordion section, tone generator section, and the speaker and amplifier section. As can be readily understood, moving such a three-piece unit is extremely difficult and hinders the use of the instrument. Further, while some prior combined instruments do come in only two units, these are also cumbersome due to the added weight for the accordion. For instance, with one prior art combined accordion-organ instrument, the weight of the accordion instrument is increased by 50 percent. Clearly, this is unacceptable in the trade because the heavier instrument must be played and handled quite differently from that to which the player is accustomed. In addition, the use of such instruments are limited to only those who can comfortably handle such a unit. Because of the space limitation in the accordion, the amount of electronics capable of being housed is limited. The tonal quality of the combined instrument as arranged by the prior art two-unit assembly markedly suffers and is totally unacceptable to the good musician.

An object of the present invention is to provide an accordion-organ instrument which is no more difficult to operate than a standard accordion.

Another object of the present invention is to provide an improved accordion-organ combination instrument.

Still another object of the present invention is to provide an accordion-organ combination instrument which may be played as a reed instrument using the bellows, as an electronic organ using suitable electronic circuitry, or as a combination of both.

Another object of the present invention is to provide an accordion-organ combination instrument as above depicted further including a selectively operated electronic accordion section.

Still another object of the present invention is to provide an accordion-organ combination instrument more reliable in operation than prior art devices.

Another object of the present invention is to provide an improved accordion-organ combination instrument with relatively simple mechanical actuating action.

Still another object of the present invention is to provide an accordion-organ combination instrument with relatively simple electrical wiring.

Another object of the present invention is to provide an accordion-organ combination instrument having an improved electrical switching mechanism used for the electronic organ section of the combined instrument.

Still another object of the present invention is to simply adapt a standard accordion to a combination accordion-electronic organ instrument.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a combined accordion-organ instrument comprising only two units.

Still another object of the present invention is to provide a combined accordion-organ instrument comprising only two units where one unit, the accordion, is not appreciably heavier than the same sized standard single function accordion instrument.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a combined accordion-organ instrument comprising only two units without deleteriously affecting the quality of sound as compared with the standard three-unit instrument.

Other objects of the present invention will be made more apparent to those skilled in the art from the following description of the invention.

SUMMARY

In accordance with the principles of the present invention, the above objects are achieved by providing, in combination, a musical instrument which comprises an accordion box and bellows enclosing a plurality of reeds for generating audible tones, a group of treble and a group of bass keys, a plurality of tone generators selectively activated by the treble and bass keys, each of the tone generators capable of causing audible frequency tones to be produced, an electronic organ selectively operated, with the treble and bass keys of the accordion box being used for the electronic organ portion of the combination musical instrument to produce audible tones by causing a first electrical signal to be supplied to electronic amplifier and conversion means to amplify and convert, respectively, the first electrical signal to audible tones, providing a first source of second electrical signals with the first source being selectively gated to combine and form the first electrical signal with the first source comprising first electrical conductor means for carrying the second electrical signals, first switch means actuated by the treble keys when the treble keys are depressed, the first switch means comprising a flexing member caused to be released from its flexed position when the treble keys are depressed, and first electrical contact means being carried on the flexing member to enable the second electrical signal to be selectively switched from the first electrical conductor means to form the first electrical signal and be supplied to the electronic amplifying and converting means with the selective switching being responsive to the specific treble key depressed.

In accordance with another feature of the present invention, the flexing member, which serves to switch electrical signals from conductor or bus bar to the electronic amplifying and converting circuitry, is released from its flexed position upon depression by the selected treble key. This type of mechanical action differs from that normally found, in that conventionally, depression of a treble key causes an electrically conducting spring to be moved to its flexed position thereby accomplishing its selective electrical switching function, whereas in the present invention, the electrical switching is made by the electrically conducting spring released from its normally flexed position to press against the conductor. It will be seen by those skilled in the art that this type of electrical contact provides improved reliability in that electrical contact made is less dependent upon the pressure placed on the treble key when depressed while the instrument is being played.

In accordance with another feature of the present invention, coiled spring members fabricated of suitable electrical conducting material are utilized as the flexing members in order to provide the desired electrical contact and switching function. It has been found by me that, use of a coiled spring for the flexing member provides improved electrical contact and correspondingly improved electrical performance.

As another feature of the present invention, the tube members rotatably moved upon depression of the bass keys in the standard accordion to operate corresponding porting valves have been extended and have fixed upon their extensions, a group of actuator arms which press against spring members made of electrical conducting material and cause the spring members to contact an electrical bus bar. By merely extending the tube members a small distance, the bass section of the organ may be electronically actuated by use of the coil spring members contacting the bus bar and selectively switching the current carried by the bus bar to suitable electronic amplifying and converting means. This extension of the rod members is accomplished without altering the physical dimensions of the standard accordion box and provides a physically and electrically simple means for providing the bass section function of the electronic organ. In the prior art, complex and cumbersome electrical wiring and contact members are utilized to accomplish the same function which causes difficulty in making repairs. Further, the dimension of the standard accordion box may be significantly altered in the prior art to provide the desired bass and treble tones for the electronic organ making it unsuitable for convenient use by the musician.

In accordance with another feature of the present invention, the electronic organ may be operated in several modes which are activated by tab switches. These tab switches, when switched from one position to another, cause electrical contact to be made between a source of electrical signals and the electronic amplifying and converting circuitry. Electric contact is achieved by utilizing coiled spring members fabricated of suitable conducting material which press against each other when electrical contact is to be made. Provision of such coiled spring members provides improved electrical performance which is important to the performer, as can be readily understood by those skilled in the art.

Still another feature of the present invention relates to the provision of a combined instrument providing accordion and electronic organ function comprising only two units with the primary switching functions accomplished as described above and located in the accordion section while the required electronics is located in a single separate unit which also houses the speakers. By providing only switching means in the accordion section, its weight is not appreciably increased and, for example, the weight might be increased by 5 percent. This feature is significant when contrasted with the 50 percent weight increase for the accordion section found in the prior art. Further, by locating only the switching of the present invention in the accordion section, the space limitation problem for the electronics encountered in the prior art has been obviated. The sound quality of the present accordion-organ instrument is not affected by placing it in only two units, and in fact, to some it seems as though the sound quality is improved.

Other advantages and features of the present invention will be made more readily apparent from the following detailed description.

IN THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a block diagram of the combination musical instrument of the present invention in two units;

FIG. 2 is a perspective side view of the speaker and electronics unit of the combined musical instrument of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a diagrammatic end cross-sectional view generally taken along lines 3--3 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a front diagrammatic view of back cover taken generally through lines 4--4 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a rear diagrammatic view of the front portion taken generally through lines 5--5 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 6 is a front perspective view of the accordion section of the present invention;

FIG. 7 is a front view of the instrument shown in FIG. 6 with its cover plate removed to expose the connector rods associated with the treble section of the instrument;

FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional view of the accordion of the present invention taken along lines 8--8 of FIG. 7 showing the treble key actuated mechanism;

FIG. 9 is a cross-sectional view of the connector arm portion of FIG. 8 taken along lines 9--9;

FIG. 10 is a cross-sectional view of the accordion taken along lines 8--8 of FIG. 7 which is similar to FIG. 8 but showing the relative position of the movable members upon depression of the treble key;

FIG. 11 is a perspective view of the back side of the cover plate removed in FIG. 7;

FIG. 12 is a perspective view of the switch mechanism located in the back side of the cover portion shown in FIG. 11 related to the tab;

FIG. 13 is a perspective view of groups of bus bars and related coiled spring members which, in accordance with the principles of the present invention, provides electrical signals used in the production of bass tones in the electronic organ section of the combination musical instrument;

FIG. 14 is a partial cross-sectional view taken along the line 14--14 of FIG. 6, with the back cover removed;

FIG. 15 is a cross-sectional view generally taken along the line 15--15 of FIG. 14 showing the normal position of the rods, bus bar and contacts in the full line position and on the on position in dashed lines;

FIG. 16 is a cross-sectional view generally taken along the line 16--16 of FIG. 14; and

FIG. 17 is a perspective view showing the contact actuating arm associated with the bass section of the accordion and electronic organ.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

The principles of the present invention permit a combination accordion-organ instrument to be built in only two units, an accordion section and a speaker and electronics unit. The accordion section of the present invention is similar to the standard accordion and with the switching arrangement for the electronics of the present invention housed therein, the weight of the unit is only slightly increased. For example, one size standard accordion when augmented by the switching apparatus of the present invention increases its weight from 221/2 pounds to 23 pounds. This contrasts with the prior art where when a two-unit combined instrument was developed, the accordion unit's weight was increased from 22 1/2 to 35 pounds.

FIG. 1 is a block diagram of the combination musical instrument showing the two separate units, the accordion section 10 and the speaker and electronics unit 140 interconnected by a cable 142. FIG. 2 is a side perspective view of the speaker and electronic unit 140 of the present invention. Electronically amplified sound is produced through a front portion 146. In order to facilitate it being moved about a handle 147 is located in the middle of the top of the speaker and electronics unit 140.

Conventional circuitry is utilized to provide the requisite electrical functions associated with the electronic organ portion of the combined instrument. In accordance with the principles of the present invention, the electronic apparatus is primarily located in the speaker and electronics unit in such a manner to permit maximum tonal quality without unduly burdening the musician. To that end, FIGS. 3-5 diagrammatically illustrate the novel arrangement of parts that permits the present invention to be in only two units, and yet not appreciably increase the weight of the accordion section.

The basic electronic functional operations are accomplished by using circuit boards and mounting them in the speaker and electronics unit 140. The particular circuit will not be detailed since the circuits utilized in the present invention are well known in the art. A pair of speakers 148 are mounted to the front of the unit 140 as is a power transformer 150 and a DC power supply 152.

A storage compartment 154 for storing the cable and foot pedal is mounted on the upper portion of the front side of the back 156 of the unit 140. In addition, next to the storage compartment 154, a socket area 158 is also mounted to the upper portion of the front side of the back 156 for use with the pedal and auxiliary speaker. A reverberation electronic circuit is mounted on a board 160 which is mounted across the top of socket 158 and storage unit 154.

Across the middle portion of the front of back 156 a series of different electronic circuits are mounted. The first, an amplifier portion 162 is encased and directly mounted to the front of back 156 while a voicing circuit is mounted on a board 164 which is held in place by sliding the ends into slotted wooden strips 166 and 168 which are directly mounted to the front portion of back 156. A bass-firing circuit is mounted on a board 170 which is held in place by slotted wooden strips 168 and 172; a chord-firing circuit is mounted on a board 174 which is held in place by slotted wooden strips 172 and 176 while the brush generator and vibrato delay circuits are mounted on a board 178 which is held between slotted wood strips 176 and 180. Slotted wooden strips 166, 168, 172, 176, and 180 are all mounted to the middle portion of the front side of back 156 of the speaker and electronic housing 140.

Forty-one circuit boards, generally designated by the reference numerals 182, 184, 186 and 188, pertaining to the treble-firing and treble-sustain circuits are mounted on one long board containing interconnecting bus bars. This board is also held fixed by two slotted wooden strips. The tone generators consist of 12 individual circuit boards, generally designated by the reference numerals 189-193, that are held in place by a plurality of wooden strips 195 illustratively shown mounted to the bottom 194 of the unit 140.

A preamplifier and its housing 196 is mounted on the front side of the sloped portion 197 of the back 156 of the unit. Attached to the preamplifier housing 196 are a series of volume and tone controls 197 which project out of the back 156 of the instrument to enable them to easily be controlled by the musician. Wheels 198 and 199 are mounted to the bottom of the unit 140 to facilitate its movement.

While the electronics is shown in the speaker and electronics unit 140, the controlling switching mechanism is located in the accordion box portion of the instrument.

As may be seen from an inspection of FIG. 6, the accordion section of the combination musical instrument of the present invention looks like a standard accordion and, in fact, the combined accordion-organ of the present invention has the same dimensions and is handled in the same manner as a conventional reed accordion. The combination accordion-organ 10 has a keyboard 12 located in its front portion thereof. Keyboard 12 contains the treble keys for the accordion and organ sections of the instrument. Two female connectors, 16 and 18, also located in the upper right-hand side of the front are adapted to receive male connectors from electronic apparatus suitable for use with the present invention.

When the instrument is being played, hook members 100 and 102, located in the front portion of the left side of the instrument hold a strap which may be worn by the player. When the accordion is not in use, the bellows portion 104 is held closed by use of snaps 106 located on the left side of the instrument. As described to this point, the instrument shown in FIG. 6 may be operated as a standard accordion by those of ordinary skill in the art.

In accordance with the principles of the present invention, the instrument shown in FIG. 6 serves a combined function, both as a reed accordion, an amplified accordion, and an electronic organ. When the amplified accordion is utilized, a group of function tabs 108 located on the left side of the front of instrument 10 may be selectively depressed, as desired, to vary the sound produced by the instrument. A microphone system is also included as part of the combined instrument, and the volume and control of the accordion and microphone sections are controlled by a group of levers 110 located on the left side of the front of instrument 10 which move in corresponding slots 112.

When the instrument is to be used as an electronic organ, the sound produced may be varied by a group of tab switches 114 located generally, in the middle of the front of the instrument 10. The tabs 108 and 114 and keys 110 may be utilized to vary the sounds produced by the musical instrument of the present invention in a manner well known to those skilled in the art. Further, the specific detailed function accomplished by operating of the tab switches 108 and 114 need not be described herein as they are also well known to those skilled in the art. When the instrument is played, the snaps 106 are released and the bellows portion of the musical instrument 10 operates the reed accordion section while, when switch 14 is properly set, the electronic organ section of the combined musical instrument is also played by use of treble keyboard 12 shown and the bass keyboard which is not shown in FIG. 6. The bass keyboard is located at the back of instrument 10. The tab switches 108 and 114 may be selectively operated to provide the sound desired by the musician.

In order to more fully illustrate the principles of the present invention, the front cover portion 116 of the combined instrument is removed as shown in FIG. 7 revealing the connector rods associated with the treble keys. The top end of the treble keys of keyboard 12 are connected to a group of connector rods. Each key of keyboard 12 is connected to a respective rod 20 which preferably may be made of aluminum-type alloy. The function of rod 20 will be described in more detail hereafter and rod 20 is illustrative of the other rods associated with their respective keys. Tabs 108 are affixed to the front portion of the instrument by means of screws 22 affixing plate 23 to the front portion thereof, while the female connectors 16 and 18 are held on a board made of nonconducting material such as Bakelite, which is attached to the front portion of the instrument by means of screws 24. Another nonconducting board 28, preferably also made of Bakelite, is also located in the top portion of the front of instrument 10 and carries thereon a group of electrical contacts suitable for connection to electrical wires by means of soldering or other well-known techniques. A group of rivets 202 also are located on Bakelite board 28 to hold a bus wire 204 which is located underneath the board. Its function will be described hereafter.

A more detailed description of the principles of the present invention may be found by reference to FIGS. 8-17. A single treble key 30 is illustratively chosen which illustrates the operation of the other keys of keyboard 12. The lower end of key 30 is held in position by spring 32 affixed between the under side of key 30 to the body 33 of the instrument. A pivot connection 34 is located at the upper end of key 30 to provide the desired pivoting action for the present invention. The lower end of connecting rod 20 is attached to key 30 at pivot connection 34. Preferably, pivot connection 34 is common to all the keys of keyboard 12 and pivoting action may be achieved the keys by means of a unitary tube member. One end of an offtake arm 38 located approximately midway between the upper and lower ends of rod 20 is pivotably connected at connection points 300 to rod 20 while the other end of arm 38 is connected to porting valve 302. The upper end of rod 20 is connected to another porting valve 304. A hook 306, located above connection points 300 on rod 20, is attached to the rod.

Hook 306 holds the free end of a flexing member 308 in its flexed position, while the fixed end of flexing member 308 is held rigid. One leg of an S-bracket 310 is held against the upper portion 312 of the front of the body of the instrument by means of a suitable bolt 313. The other leg of the S-bracket has affixed thereto Bakelite board 28. A bus wire 204 is embedded in the underside of Bakelite board 28 and carries electrical current. The fixed end of flexing member 308 is affixed to Bakelite board 28 by suitable attaching means.

A functional description of the operation of treble key 30 may be readily understood by referring to FIGS. 8 and 10 simultaneously. FIG. 8 shows the treble key before being depressed, while FIG. 10 shows the treble key in its depressed state. When the key 30 is depressed, spring 32 is compressed and the lower end of key 30 abuts against a felt pad 316 which is embedded in the body of the instrument below the lower end of key 30 and serves primarily as a noise damper. The upper end of key 30 moves down at pivot 34 and causes the lower end of rod 20 to move towards the front of the instrument while the upper end of rod 20 moves away. Porting valves 302 and 304 are caused to open their respective porting holes by means of the lifting action of takeoff arm 38 and rod 20. When the key 30 is depressed, the porting holes are opened and the bellows 104 are operated, audible accordion-type sounds will be produced in a manner well known to those skilled in the art.

Flexing member 308, which was held in its flexed position by hook 306 is released when treble key 30 is depressed because the pressure on flexing member 308 by hook 306 is removed when the upper portion of rod 20 moves away from the front of the instrument. Flexing member 308 when released presses against bus wire 204. Flexing member 308 may be made of a coiled spring fabricated of electrical conducting material which permits the electrical current carried by bus wire 204 to be switched and transferred to spring 308 and to its associated electrical wire 314 connected to the fixed end of electrically conducting spring 308.

As may be understood by those having ordinary skill in the art, a description of the operation of key 30 is illustrative of the operation of the other keys of treble keyboard 12. By pressing a treble key, the electrical current carried by bus wire 204 may be selectively transferred by the above-described activating means to its respective electrical wire and then to suitable electronic amplifying and converting circuitry well known to those skilled in the art. By way of example, when a C-note is depressed, an electrical signal corresponding to that note is transferred to the electronic amplifying and converting apparatus so as to cause an audible C-note to be produced. Using the treble keyboard of the accordion, electronic organ performance is accomplished as described above.

In accordance with the principles of the present invention, spring 308 is normally held in its flexed position and is released upon depression of key 30. This action permits the depression of key 30 to activate the suitable electronic circuitry but, the amount of pressure placed on key 30, does not affect the reliability of the electrical contact between bus wire 204 and spring 308 as contrasted with most prior art devices. Natural action of the spring being released to press against bus wire 204 provides an improvement in the reliability of the electrical switching circuitry utilized in the present invention.

When key 30 is released, hook 306 again forces spring 308 into its flexed position and removes it from electrical contact with bus wire 204. Further, porting valves 302 and 304 are returned to their prior position closing their respective port holes. As described above, connector rod 20 may preferably be made of aluminum alloy. Further, hook 306 may also be made of an electrically conducting material and therefore, insulating sleeve 320 is slid over the free end of spring member 308 in order to prevent spurious electrical signals from being generated.

In accordance with another principle of the present invention, improved switching means are utilized with the tab switches 114 used for the electronic organ section of the combined musical instrument. FIG. 11 is a perspective view of the back of the removed cover portion. A more detailed perspective view of the improved electrical switching action of the present invention is shown in FIG. 12. When the bellows-operated accordion sounds are to be electronically amplified, microphones located in the back side of the cover 60 are utilized. The microphones 62 are mounted on a board 64 which is affixed to the back side of cover 60 by means of bolts 66 at approximately the lower middle portion of the cover 60. The accordion sounds are picked up by microphones 62 and converted to electrical signals which, by suitable electrical switching action, are amplified and converted. This switching means may conveniently be accomplished by electrical board 68 which is affixed to the upper right-hand side of the back of cover portion 60. The electrical wiring required to accomplish this function is well known to those skilled in the art and, therefore, is not shown in FIG. 11.

The back sides of tab 114 are located in the upper portion of the back of cover portion 60, and the tabs 114 and their associated switching apparatus are shown in more detail in FIG. 12. One end of toggle action spring 70 is fixed by means of screw 72 to a plate 74 mounted in the middle of the back side of cover portion 60. A projecting member 76 embedded in tab 114 and projecting therefrom toward toggle spring 70 is caused to be fixed in two positions by the toggle spring.

A pair of electrically conducting spring members 78 and 700 are attached to a pair of electrodes 702 and 704 attached to a board 701 which is affixed to the upper portion of the back cover 60. A pair of electrical wires 706 and 708 are electronically connected to electrodes 702 and 704 respectively, which are capable of being electrically connected together providing the desired electrical function as prescribed by the specific tab depressed.

A spring member 77 is embedded in projection 76 and projecting upward therefrom and in one position of tab 114 presses against electrically conducting spring members 78 and 700 causing them to touch each other closing an electrical path.

By this electrical switching action, the desired function associated with the specific tab depressed is accomplished. In the other position of tab 114, spring member 77 is removed from contact with spring members 78 and 700 thereby breaking the electrical path. As may be well understood by those skilled in the art, and as illustratively shown in the right-hand section of FIG. 12, the action of tab 114 spring members 77, 78 and 700 may be reversed in that in the first position spring 77 presses against springs 78 and 700 maintaining a closed path while when tab 114 is depressed, spring 77 is moved away from springs 78 and 700, thus breaking the electrical path.

As another feature of the present invention, an improved electrical switching mechanism for the bass section of the electronic organ portion of the combined instrument is provided. This may more clearly be seen by reference to FIGS. 13-17. The bass section action and performance of the standard accordion is well known to those skilled in the art and, therefore, the mechanical action associated with the bass portion will be shown insofar as it is relevant to the present invention.

FIG. 14 is a partial cross-sectional view taken along the lines 14--14 of FIG. 6 with back cover removed exposing the apparatus associated with the bass section of the accordion and organ. As another feature of the present invention, an improved actuated switching mechanism is provided for the bass section of the electronic organ. FIGS. 13-17 illustratively show the more important elements of this improved switching apparatus. Two bass keys 900 and 901 are illustrative of a plurality of bass keys located in the bass keyboard projecting from the back side of accordion box 10. For purposes of illustration, only two bass keys are shown since their operation is illustrative of the principles of the present invention. Keys 900 and 901 slide in apertures 902 and 903, respectively, located in the body housing of the accordion box. Keys 900 and 901 are attached to one end of a pair of actuator rods 905 and 907, respectively. When the keys are depressed, rods 905 and 907 move accordingly and, as seen in FIG. 9, more in a vertical direction. Each actuator rod has actuator pins attached thereto and one such pin 913 is illustratively shown in FIGS. 14 and 16. Each actuator pin associated with the actuator rods abuts against a respective actuator arm. For purposes of illustration, one actuator arm 915 is shown abutting against its respective actuator pin 913 in FIG. 16. Actuator arm 915 is attached to a tube member 917 which is rotated when a respective bass key is depressed causing its respective actuator rod and pin to move. Tube member 917 which is illustrative of the other tube members caused to move by their respective actuator arms is slotted as indicated by slot 919. Slot 919 fits into keyway 921 which itself is imbedded in block member 923 attached to the body of the accordion. Provision of slot 919 and keyway 921 prevents lateral movement of the tube members.

When the standard accordion is played, the bass keys are depressed causing the actuator pins to move against the actuator arms. This causes a rotation by the respective tube members which are attached to corresponding porting valves to open respective port holes enabling the accordion to be played as a reed instrument.

The tube members generally extend from one end of the accordion box to the other and terminate generally at the extreme bass key locations. In accordance with the principles of the present invention, the rod members are extended at one end beyond the last bass key in order to provide a simple yet effective electrical switching action for the electronic organ section of the combined musical instrument.

A cover plate 924 is attached to the body housing located generally at the beginning of the extension portion of the tube members closest to the extreme bass key. Underneath the cover plate 924, a felt pad layer 926 is provided in order to serve as an effective noise dampener.

When a tube member is caused to rotate by depression of its respective key, electrical switching action is accomplished for the organ portion of the combined musical instrument. To that end, one end of an actuator rod 928 is embedded in the extension end of each tube member and the other end of actuator rod 928 moves radially upon rotation of its respective tube member. A sleeve 929 is mounted on the second end of actuator rod member 928, and when tube member 917 is rotated, actuator rod member 928 pushes against a flexing member 930. One end of flexing member 930 is embedded to the body of the musical instrument in the general area of the extension portion of the tubes and its other end is free. Preferably a coiled spring made of electrical conducting material is utilized for flexing member 930, and sleeve 929 is made of insulating material. Upon depression of a respective bass key, a corresponding electrical switching function is accomplished transferring the electrical signal carried on a bus bar 932 to the electrically conducting flexing member. Bus bar is mounted on an electrically nonconducting board 933. When a selected bass key is depressed, flexing member 930 is caused to press against and electrically contact bus bar 932 transferring the current carried by the bus bar to the flexed member. The electrical current transferred from the bus bar 932 to the conducting member 930 is transferred to suitable electronic amplifying and converting apparatus by means of an electrical wire 934 electrically connected to the fixed on of flexing member 930.

As shown in FIG. 13, four groups of actuating flexing members 80, 82, 84 and 86 are associated with four bus bars 88, 800, 802 and 804, respectively, because of the four repetitions of the bass key notes on the bass keyboard. In order to separate each group of actuator tubes, rods and their respective flexing members, spacer tubes 936 and 938 are placed between groups of tube members.

As may be readily appreciated by those skilled in the art, by merely extending the tube members found in the conventional accordion, a simple yet effective electrical switching mechanism is provided in the present invention for the electronic organ section of the combined musical instrument. The wiring associated with the improved electrical switching mechanism of the present invention is vastly simpler than that found in the prior art devices and, further, the type of electrical contact made between the various electrical switching members is significantly better than that found in the prior art. To that end, coiled springs made of suitable conducting material are utilized as the flexing members 308, 77, 78, 700, and 930.

It is to be understood that the above description is merely illustrative of one embodiment of the present invention and other embodiments may readily be devised by those of ordinary skill in the art. Further, these specific embodiments set forth in this application are not to be construed as limiting the scope of protection provided by this application.