United States Patent 3749810

An assembly or apparatus unit which provides a choreographic musical appliance is so constructed and constituted as to permit and facilitate desired movements of the performer, which can be of a type or nature following choreographic and/or impressionistic patterns, to produce and provide therewith musical sounds, creations, and effects which may be accompanied by lighting effects or may have in interrupted or continuous sequence the musical effects with or without the visual influence. At least a single and usually a plurality of consoles and/or other electronically activatable elements are provided which produce on a preselected and determinable basis, the desired musical and tonal sounds and/or light effects as the performer moves about within the instrument. The hands, feet, and other parts of the body as moved and positioned by the performer actuate the sound and/or light producing devices of the instrument so that both audible and, if desired, luminescent effects are produced, separately and individually or in combination, in coordination and synchronization with the performer operating and moving about within the apparatus.

Application Number:
Publication Date:
Filing Date:
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
84/721, 984/345
International Classes:
A63J17/00; G10H1/34; (IPC1-7): G10H1/02
Field of Search:
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:

Other References:

R A. Moog "A Transistorized Theremin", Electronics World, Vol. 65, No. 1, January 1961, pp. 29-32, 125. .
H. F. Olson "Electronic Music Synthesis For Recordings" IEEE Spectrum, Vol. 8, No. 4, April 1971, pp. 18-30..
Primary Examiner:
Wilkinson, Richard B.
Assistant Examiner:
Weldon U.
What is claimed is

1. An appliance for producing aesthetic and amusing effects in correlated correspondence with and influence of the choreographic behavior of a human performing operator operating and playing within the confines of said apparatus by which apparatus comprises:

2. The appliance of claim 1 having said cage-like framework thereof configured in a generally cylindrical construction.

3. The appliance of claim 1 wherein at least a portion of said means for producing said desired effects capable of being physically sensed are a plurality of devices for actuation of an associated electronic circuit which are of the type requiring actual physical contact for operation.

4. The display means apparatus of claim 1, and including:

5. The appliance of claim 4 having said cage-like framework thereof configured in a generally cylindrical construction.

6. The appliance of claim 4, wherein said means for producing effects capable of being optically sensed are means for electrically producing visual light production.

7. The appliance of claim 4, wherein at least a portion of said means for producing said desired effects capable of being audibly and optically sensed are a plurality of capacitance-sensitive elements capable of being influenced for actuation of an associated electronic circuit by the capacity-influencing proximity of any portion of said operator performing within said appliance.

8. An appliance in accordance with the appliance of claim 7, wherein said capacitance-sensitive elements have and are disposed in a generally linear geometric pattern.

9. The appliance of claim 4, wherein at least a portion of said means for producing said desired effects capable of being physically sensed are a plurality of devices for actuation of an associated electronic circuit which are of the type requiring actual physical contact for operation.

10. An appliance in accordance with the appliance of claim 4, wherein said means for producing effects capable of being physically sensed are disposed and located in said cage-like framework of said appliance on more than a single interior surface thereof.


The present invention relates generally to the provision, as a performing and entertainment-providing unit for artistic expression, of an appliance or apparatus assembly which is in the nature of a combined choreographic and musical and/or light-producing instrument which is capable of being operated by a human being in such a way and manner that it responds to the motion and manipulations of the body of the human (or possibly other being) operating the apparatus so that such motion and the feelings and impressions giving rise to same impel and compel the motion into associated expressionistic reproductions therewith of sounds or light or combinations or individual sequences of both.

It is amongst the primary objects and purposes of the invention to provide a novel and particularly attractive apparatus or assembly forming an artistic-expression appliance adapted to be operated in combination with choreographic and/or other impressionistic or expressionistic movement(s) of the performer operating the appliance whereby he is enabled to express himself in a most pleasing and satisfying way with both audible and, if desired in combination therewith or separate therefrom, visual luminescent effects.

In this way, those observing the performer by virtue of the capabilities and possibilities made possible by the appliance of the present invention are able to better receive the expressions, feelings, and soul-inclinations, as it were, of the performer as he is undergoing and effecting physical release of the emotions and feelings being experienced and translated into sound and/or light reproduction for audible and/or visual reception and comprehension by the observer.


In essence, the apparatus or appliance unit capable of accomplishing the above-indicated and other associated objects and purpose in accordance with the present invention as hereinafter more fully described, is usually and ordinarily (but not strictly necessarily) a more or less cage-like machine or unit adapted and so sized in its dimensions to encompass and permit situation therein of the human body, including its appurtenances outstretched in any direction. In other words, the dimensions of the appliance should preferably and with comfort be such as to give adequate operating room to permit the arms to be outstretched or moved, fully or partly, in any direction such as overhead or to the side or front or downwardly and to also allow and easily and readily permit other parts and portions of the body, including sections of the torso and the legs, to be manipulated in choreographic or other impressionistic or other desired manner within the physical realm of movement desired to be effected and allowed to be accommodated in the interior dimensions of the cage-like appliance.

As indicated, the physical construction and configuration of the appliance of the present invention generally is (and usually preferably so) relatively quite open and unobstructed, having substantial interstices and other spaces therein and to the greatest possible extent, between the construction and frame elements, especially in its vertical wall portions. In other words, it is ordinarily, more or less, see-through type of construction arrangement. This, as is obvious and in the interest of allowing maximum and most satisfactory observation of the performer, minimizes visually obstructing elements in the physical constitution of the appliance. However, the relative extent of open spacing(s) in the enclosure may be varied more or less (even to the point of relatively substantially, if not entirely, complete enclosure) as may be desired or as even may be required and necessary to accommodate location of greater or lesser amounts of sound and/or light producing or activating paraphernalia and apparatus therein.

It is generally most advantageous, beneficial and desirable -- especially for purposes of maximum ease of operation and "playing" within and of the usually generally cage-like appliance of the present invention -- for it to have a cylindrical or at least substantially cylindrical appearance and configuration. However, if desired or even if prompted by some particular physical necessity, other geometric configurations (such as those which are generally square or rectangular or octagonal and so forth) may be adapted to and utilized for the appliance. Of course, it is necessary to provide somehow and somewhere in the assembly of the appliance some sort of permanent or movable (and closable) opening adequate to permit entry into the appliance of the performer who is to operate and manipulate therewith and therein, as is of course readily apparent to any person skilled in the construction art capable of building and assembling an appliance in accordance with the present invention.

The interior portion of the appliance is provided with electronic and other sensors and/or other instruments which respond to the nearness and motion of the body of the performer operating therein, or actual physical contact and pressure thereby, so as to permit the performer to translate his movements and/or contacts into the desired output and discernible performance of his own motion with associated and correlated sound and/or light. Thus, for example, the movement of a finger or an arm or a foot or leg or other part of the anatomy over, about, and within the various areas of the interior of the appliance creates different and controllable sound and/or light effects which express any and all ranges of the minute feeling-controlled actions, impulses, impressions, and instantaneous emotions -- in desired shades, ranges, and intensities of sound and/or color -- of the performer which give rise to his motions and manipulations and result simultaneously therewith in operation of the appliance.

The results of the performer's movements and/or contacts are translated by the appliance into all of the desired and created sounds and rhythms (including, if desired, psychodelic luminescent effects) intended to be associated therewith in the performer's actions. In fact, the appliance of the present invention, as indicated, actually responds to any definite sort of cheoreography or other desired movement of the performer so as to permit composition of and to yield a combination of the dance with musical sound and/or light.

The keys or other sound and/or light actuating devices in the appliance surround the performer as completely as desired and provided for producing sound and/or light at any or all desired or appropriate areas above, below and around the person operating the appliance and thereby simultaneously composing and performing thereon and therewith.

Still other objects, features and significant advantages of the invention, particularly with respect to its possibility for expression via sound and light or combinations of both according to the activating motions and movements of a performer operating same, are more apparent in the following specification and description considered in connection with the accompanying Drawing, in which there is shown a particular individual embodiment of the invention; it being understood that appliances in full accordance with the present invention can be varied and have alternative features and, as indicated, may differ in the actual construction utilized. The invention is thus obviously not limited to the particular arrangement depicted in the accompanying Drawing; it still being understood further that no limitations thereon are intended therefrom.

With particular reference to the particular appliance embodiment illustrated in the Drawing:

FIG. 1 is an isometric general view of a cage-like appliance or applicance in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 2, is a similar view, shows the cage-like appliance split as it were through the middle and opened out as if it were hinged at the back side of the split to better show the interior arrangement of the appliance assembly;

FIG. 3 is a plan view from above of the top of the cage-like appliance assembly;

FIG. 4 is a top view of a sectional cut taken just above the horizontally disposed keyboard section of the appliance;

FIG. 5 is an inverted plan or flat view of the ceiling portion of the appliance of FIGS. 1 and 2 taken from below and within the cage-like appliance;

FIG. 6, is a plan view, illustrates the floor or underfoot portion of the appliance;

FIGS. 7 and 8, in flattened out and sectionally removed plan view arrangements, illustrate console and harp portions, respectively, of the appliance illustrated generally (and taken from the corresponding appropriate parts of) FIGS. 1 and 2;

FIG. 9, by means of a schematic representation, shows a particular form and style of console arrangement that is adapted to translate bodily proximity and movement by and of a performer into sound and/or light effects through appropriate accompanying circuitry and instrumentation;

FIG. 10, both schematically and in block diagrammatic representation, illustrates in an appliance according to the invention how one or more sound and/or light activating console installations and arrangements can be outputted to and fed through a switch panel to a sound and/or light producing source for ultimate reproduction and correspondence through and with such media of the movements of the performer into said desired sound and/or light patterns and compositions;

FIG. 10A, both schematically and in block diagramatic representation, illustrates in an appliance according to the invention how in combination both sound and light activating console installations and arrangements are outputted to and fed through a switch panel to a combined sound and light producing source for ultimate reproduction and corresponds through and with such media of the movements of the performer into said desired sound and light patterns and compositions; and

FIG. 11, in diagramatic block representation, illustrates a single tone and volume arrangement which might be employed for control and reproduction of sound being generated by any appropriate actuating source in an appliance that is in accordance with the present invention.

In FIGS. 1 and 2, there is illustrated as one possible embodiment of an appliance pursuant to the invention a generally cage-like, enclosed appliance or apparatus for performance and practice according to the present invention. This is indicated generally by the reference numeral 15. The cage-like structure 15 which is relatively substantially open in and of cylinder-like construction should, as is indicated and explained in the foregoing, be of appropriate dimensions and strength to accommodate a human body confortably, with all control and other surfaces and installations to be actuated being within relatively easy proximity to the body movement of the operating performer, including movement, manipulation, contortioning and positioning the arms, legs, and other parts and sections of the body and torso.

Within the cage-like assembly 15 and situate therein as desired and planned on the side-wall sections and/or floor and/or on the ceiling overhead are appropriate sound and/or light inducing or actuating sensors or other devices or implements which respond in the appropriate manner and way desired to be controlled and effected by the movement of the performer when parts of his body either come in actuating proximity therewith or, when necessary for actuation, actual physical touch or other contact thereupon.

Thus, in the illustrated embodiment of FIGS. 1 and 2 and on the left-hand side of the generally cylindrical cage-like appliance 15 is a console section which is designated generally by the reference numeral 18 and is also illustrated and more particularly depicted in FIG. 7. On the right-hand side, i.e., when the performer is facing the more-or-less waist-high keyboard section at the front of the apparatus (which may actually be mechanical operating means or levers for an electronic organ unit or the like or equivalent assembly, is a harp portion, designated generally by reference numeral 20, in and as part of the cage-like appliance 15.

Of course, the disposition and use of the console section 18 and the harp section 20 is a matter of choice; as may be elimination of one or the other or employment of more than one of either or both.

The floor section, shown more particularly in FIG. 6, is designated generally by reference numeral 25. The ceiling or overhead section, illustrated more particularly in FIGS. 3 and 5 is designated generally by reference numeral 30.

Of course, the entire appliance should be sturdy and strong enough to withstand the movements of the performer therein.

The keyboard for the electric organ shown in perspective in FIG. 1 and more particularly from the plan or flat representational view shown in FIG. 4 is designated by reference numeral 35. As is the case with the other sound and/or light activating members in the appliance, it is not absolutely necessary although usually particularly advantageous and desirable to have a keyboard unit, as shown, in the appliance.

Mechanical construction of the particular embodiment illustrated is relatively simple and straightforward. The floor is a circular base of any desired material. Wood, plastic or the like or equivalent being quite adequate for the purpose. Extending upwardly from the floor are support posts or frames 40, which are attached to the central ring or circular support and reinforcing portion 41. This, as shown, can advantageously be a relatively flat and somewhat flanged ring upon which the console section 18 and the harp section 20 are supported and to which they are connected. Certain of the support posts, as desired according to mechanical necessity, may extend above and beyond upwardly to the ceiling section 30 and to hold and support the ceiling in position.

In general, the sensor or actuating devices (of various shape and configuration) in the harp section 20 and the console section 18, as well as the equivalent and analogous elements in the ceiling section 30 and the floor section 25, are capacitance-operated devices of the known variety. These, when appropriately connected with suitable electronic circuits, are capable of producing sound and/or actuating light-giving devices according to the proximity of a human body or other object thereto.

Likewise, and as has been mentioned, certain of the devices such as those designated by (but not limited or restricted thereto) reference numeral 50 in the floor can be manually operated switches or the like having any desired form which depend on physical pressure and/or actuation.

In any event, capacitance-operated and actuated units and elements of the type that have been disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 1,661,058 may be satisfactorily employed. These, as described in said patent, provide means for producing musical tones or notes of variable pitch, volume and timbre. The operator's hands or other body parts influence an oscillating system. This, then, provides the various tones desired and to be obtained when the hands or other parts of the body are held in steady relationship or moved about in any direction in proximity to an element of the system.

The subject matter of the mentioned patent is further explained and amplified upon in the article by Robert A. Moog, entitled "A TRANSISTORIZED THEREMIN", Electronics World, Vol. 65, No. 1 for January 1961 at pages 29-32 and 125 thereof and, in addition, in another article by the same author entitled "THE THEREMIN" appearing in Radio & Television News for January, 1954 at pages 37-39 thereof.

The keyboard section 35 can, and has been indicated, be that necessary for operation of an ordinary electric organ or similar musical device.

Of course, and as has also been indicated, the capacitance-actuatable sections of the appliance can be also adapted to operate luminescent devices, if desired, in combination with or independent of the sound effects to be obtained; all of this being in accordance with techniques for such achievement as will be apparent to and are known by those skilled in the art.

In this connection, the actual sound and/or reproductions that are created by operation of the appliance may, if desired and advantageous, be effected and created, in whole or in part as chosen for the purpose, at points and locations where wanted that are physically separate from and not actually contained within the appliance itself.

As should be apparent, any desired tonal and sound reproduction capable of creation by suitable electronic means -- or combinations and variations of one or more of same in any desired continuous or intermittent pattern fitted to and following the musical and audible compositional pattern being created and performed -- may be played upon and emitted by and from the appliance of the present invention. Analogously, when light or luminescent effects are created and employed along with or independently of (in any desired combined or isolated sequence of such effects) the sound produced with the appliance, the light may be of any desired color or shade or combinations or pluralities thereof with any desired degree of softness or intensity and optical direction provided therefore; and, as desired, the lighting effects too may be continuous or intermittent or blinking -- even strobe-like in effect -- (so as, for example, to provide a more or less psychodelic luminescent atmosphere) in any sort of combination or mixture of lighting effect possible to obtain. All of this and the extent of ultimate achievement possible, therefore, and of course depends upon the particular appliance employed and the extent of equipment installation associated therewith for the intended sound and/or light producing capabilities of a given appliance.

Obviously, the light itself which is produced or effected may be generated by any suitable light-giving means and equipment including, for example, incandescent bulbs, neon and the like gas-discharging units, and so forth -- even, if desired, infra-red or the so-called "black light" devices which are generally not observable in emission but which illuminate certain objects which otherwise are usually invisible to the eye.

The console part 18 of the cage-like appliance 15 of the present invention can be, as illustrated, made up with the capacitance-sensitive elements arranged in any desired number of any desired differing geometric patterns such as circles, oblongs, rectangles, crosses, or the like; even though they can also all have identical geometry if so wished. Arrangements utilizing buttons or buttonlike devices may also be provided and some or all of these may be of the type requiring manual and physical depression or contact in order for operation.

As indicated, the sound and/or light causing elements of the appliance or apparatus of the present invention are usually, or at least quite often, of the type that are actuated by the capacitance caused because of proximity of some part of a human body; even though certain of these as above explained can be of the button or like sort in which physical pressure and contact is needed for actuation.

The latter sort, as explained, is probably in most instances the case for the keyboard 35 and the keys thereof, designated by reference numeral 36, to operate an electric organ or the like associated with the appliance. The same may also be well and advantageously applicable to the button configuration in the console section 18 of the apparatus, which buttons in FIGS. 1, 2, and 7 are indicated generally by the reference numerals 19.

The same applies to the sensing element devices designated by reference numeral 32 positioned in the ceiling 30 of the apparatus or appliance of the invention. These are as is particularly illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 5. These sensing element devices, in toto or in part, can be either capacitance controlled and/or pressure-actuated devices. The same also applies to the elements 50 in the floor section 25 of the appliance which, as indicated, may either be actuatable by capacitance means or, and probably preferably, insofar as floor installation goes, by devices requiring positive pressure and/or physical contact for actuation.

If desired, the various light and/or sound actuating devices and implements in the appliance, or portions thereof, may be painted and/or colored in different shades, etc., to not only enhance the appearance of the appliance but also to possibly assist the performer in his manipulation and control of the unit.

It is worth reiteration that, obviously, the number of console units and/or harp-type units and/or the like or equivalent installations in any given assembly, as well as an electronic organ keyboard installation, is up to the choice of one employing and following the practice of the present invention for obtention of the herein contemplated sort and variety of choreographic musical appliance.

In any event, FIG. 9 illustrates in schematic representation a typical type of console unit which is actuated by a capacitance-operated arrangement. In this unit, reference numeral 61 indicates and represents the capacitance-operated tone switches which, optionally, may be connected in parallel with an appropriate key console for reproduction of sound and/or light. Reference numeral 65 represents a capacitance-operated volume control section which, as has been explained, may be devised as a unit in any plurality singularity or plurality of any desired geometric forms. The switch panel above the geometric figures utilized functions as a tone character selector, as is well known to those skilled in the art. This is accomplished in a manner similar to that obtained with the stops of an organ.

As illustrated in FIG. 9, a right-hand console is also provided to the right of the unit designated by reference numeral 65, the key console. This consists of a tone switch which either, as may be desired or best for the particular installation involved, may be capacitance- or resistance-operated. For example, the full range of a piano can be provided by one of these bars and played merely by the fingering of same. Volume can readily be controlled, as will easily appear and is known to those skilled in the art, by proximity of the hand of the operator or performer to the bar or by foot or head positioning therewith.

As above explained, the discs or sound and/or light actuable devices and control locations 32 in the ceiling may also be hand or contact operated consoles or devices if so desired, all controlled by the switch panel above the geometric consoles.

It is thus apparent that any arrangement or combination of arrangements to suit the fancy and desire dictated by the exigency or needs of the occasion can be arranged and employed in and for an appliance in accordance with the present invention.

Similarly and as is also above explained, the floor is wired with either capacitance-responsive or proximity switches (or the like) to provide additional acoustic and/or lighting possibilities and effects.

FIG. 10, as indicated in schematic diagram form, illustrates an appliance in full electrical connection, showing various several sound-inducing consoles or other devices going through a switching panel to effect the desired sound or light results, or both.

FIG. 10A, as is also indicated to be in schematic diagram form, illustrates an appliance in full electrical connection, showing several various sound-inducing and light-inducing consoles with necessarily associated devices in combination going through a switching panel to effect the desired sound and light results.

In this connection, U.S. Pat. Nos. 667,541 and 1,566,202 disclose and illustrate basic apparatus for the production of optical effects from mechanical devices whereupon the actuation of the fundamental apparatus or device causes and effects corresponding light-generating and optical results.

FIG. 11, in a self-explanatory schematic representation, illustrates a single tone and volume arrangement with readily adaptable controls as illustrated by and readily evident in the diagram therein shown.


As can be readily observed and appreciated, the appliance of the present invention furnishes a revolutionary musical and artistic instrument which can provide an end-less variety of sounds and light in various tones, ranges, and compositional quality; all of which reflect the emotions -- and motions -- of the person playing it. It is adapted in a unique form and embodiment capable of such achievement and result.

The appliance of the present invention, which, as has been indicated, is generally about or slightly more than the height of a man and the width of the arms' span, is played and operated by standing inside the cage-like framework and activating the various above-described sets of keys, bars, switches, panels and rods by means of hand, foot, and body motions.

As indicated in the foregoing, playing of the appliance is actually somewhat very much in the nature of a form of choreography. Literally, anything that the performer can imagine and some things that he may not imagine -- the combinations being endless -- may be achieved. The appliance may really be though of and imagined as a combination of a pipe organ, an electronic organ, a moog synthesizer, a violin, a guitar, and so forth.... anything that the performer and operator utilizing and producing and composing on and with it may want it to be and make of it.

In other words, the appliance provides for a new and unique form of musical and/or light creating instrument that is based on and comprised of generally existing components; yet, when it is played and operated, the performer can literally dance a form of music and accompanying light effects and influences.

Unlike the pipe organ and certain other instruments which, frequently and especially when relatively inexpert and not particularly artistic musicians are involved, offer little control of sound or other discernible and observable influences -- audible and otherwise -- the actual intensity and extent of movement by the operator of the appliance of the present invention lends sensitive and meaningful response to the character, intensity of touch or proximity, and the position of fingers and other parts of the body with respect to the sound and light actuating elements of the appliance.

The geometrically shaped console panels inside the appliance also serve, in effect, as keyboards, responding to the sensitivity and relationship of the touch and/or proximity of the performer. Other keyboards, as it were, are in the form of the metal strips and rods in the harp section of the appliance, at least some of which respond to movement and proximity of the hand or body without any actual necessity for touching them.

The various switch panels also utilizable in the appliance permit conversion of any or all of the keyboard or actuating elements to different sets and combinations of sound and/or lights.

Appliances according to the present invention have the definite and positively readily discernable ability to make a soft note or a hard note and/or a strong or harsh light in any desired combination of shade or shades and color. The appliance responds to a light touch or a strong, heavy touch. This is extremely beneficial for sensitive reproduction of sound and/or light effects. The present appliance truly allows one to accurately and soulfully express all the feelings that he can put together. Thus, the present appliance allows one to faithfully, and in a most expressive and appreciable way, translate mood and feeling in the form of physical movement coupled with corresponding and matching generation of light and/or sound.