Title:
Sheet music stand
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A novel detachable music stand that is universally positionable by operating a sheet music retention device in a spherical coordinate system, and method for positionally adjusting a sheet music retention device of the detachable music stand within the spherical coordinate frame. According to one aspect of the invention the novel detachable music stand is provided by two releasably interlockable rotationally and spherically rotatable ball-and-socket components that are formed between a substantially rigid spacing component and two part-spherical couplers. A suction cup clamp mechanism is coupled to one of the two part-spherical couplers, and a sheet music tray being coupled to a different one of the two part-spherical couplers.



Inventors:
Carnevali, Jeffrey D. (Seattle, WA, US)
Application Number:
11/519458
Publication Date:
03/13/2008
Filing Date:
09/11/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47B97/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
SMITH, NKEISHA
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Charles J. Rupnick (Seatlle, WA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A universal detachable sheet music stand that provides positional adjustments within a spherical coordinate frame, the stand comprising: two releasably interlockable rotationally and spherically rotatable ball-and-socket components formed between a substantially rigid spacing component and two part-spherical couplers; a suction cup clamp mechanism having a frame coupled to one of the two part-spherical couplers; and a sheet music retention device having a portion coupled to a different one of the two part-spherical couplers.

2. The stand of claim 1 wherein at least a first one of the two part-spherical couplers further comprises a resiliently deformable material having a substantially smooth part spherical outer surface.

3. The stand of claim 2 wherein the spacing component further comprises two substantially rigid arm sections forming two pairs of sockets therebetween, at least a first pair of the two pairs of sockets having substantially smooth and rigid concave interior surfaces shaped to substantially conform to the part spherical outer surface portion of the first resiliently deformable part-spherical coupler.

4. The stand of claim 3, further comprising an adjustable clamping mechanism operable between the two substantially rigid arm sections for urging the substantially smooth and rigid concave interior surfaces of the first pair of sockets to form a first one of the rotationally and spherically rotatable ball-and-socket components with the first resiliently deformable part-spherical coupler, and being further operable between the two substantially rigid arm sections for urging the substantially smooth and rigid concave interior surfaces of the first pair of sockets to releasably interlock with the outer surface of the first resiliently deformable part-spherical coupler.

5. The stand of claim 4 wherein a second one of the two part-spherical couplers further comprises a resiliently deformable material having a substantially smooth part spherical outer surface; a second pair of the two pairs of sockets formed between substantially rigid arm sections further comprises substantially smooth and rigid concave interior surfaces shaped to substantially conform to the part spherical outer surface portion of the second resiliently deformable part-spherical coupler; and the adjustable clamping mechanism is further operable between the two substantially rigid arm sections for urging the substantially smooth and rigid concave interior surfaces of the second pair of sockets to form a second one of the rotationally and spherically rotatable ball-and-socket components with the second resiliently deformable part-spherical coupler, and being further operable between the two substantially rigid arm sections for urging the substantially smooth and rigid concave interior surfaces of the second pair of sockets to releasably interlock with the outer surface of the second resiliently deformable part-spherical coupler.

6. The stand of claim 5, further comprising a differential biasing mechanism coupled to the two substantially rigid arm sections for differentially urging apart one of the first and second pairs of sockets, and further for urging together a different one of the first and second pairs of sockets.

7. A universal detachable sheet music stand that provides positional adjustments within a spherical coordinate frame, the music stand comprising: first and second part-spherical couplers each formed of a resiliently deformable material having a substantially smooth part spherical outer surface and being projected from a flange on a substantially rigid stem; a substantially rigid spacing component formed of a pair of substantially rigid arm sections forming first and second pairs of sockets adjacent to opposite ends thereof, each of the first and second pairs of arm sections being formed with substantially smooth and rigid concave interior surfaces shaped to substantially conform to the part spherical outer surface portion of the respective first and second resiliently deformable part-spherical couplers, a differential biasing mechanism coupled between the arm sections of the spacing component for differentially urging apart one of the first and second pairs of sockets, and simultaneously urging together a different one of the first and second pairs of sockets; an adjustable clamping mechanism operable with the spacing component for urging the first and second pairs of sockets of the two substantially rigid arm sections into each of three sequential adjustment relationships to the respective first and second part-spherical couplers, the three sequential adjustment relationships comprising: a first loosely clamped relationship forming first and second relatively rotatable ball-and-socket joints between the first and second pairs of sockets and the part spherical outer surface portions of the respective first and second part-spherical couplers, a second partially clamped relationship securely interlocking the first pair of sockets with the part spherical outer surface portion of the first part-spherical coupler, while retaining the second relatively rotatable ball-and-socket joint between the second pair of sockets and the part spherical outer surface portions of the second part-spherical coupler, and a third fully clamped relationship securely interlocking the first and second pairs of sockets with the part spherical outer surface portions of the respective first and second part-spherical couplers; a suction cup clamp mechanism having a substantially rigid frame coupled to the flange of one of the first and second part-spherical couplers; and a sheet music tray device being coupled to the flange of a different one of the first and second part-spherical couplers.

8. A method for positionally adjusting a sheet music retention device within a spherical coordinate frame, the method comprising: providing two releasably interlockable rotationally and spherically rotatable ball-and-socket components between a substantially rigid spacing component and two part-spherical couplers; coupling one of the two part-spherical couplers to a sheet music retention device; coupling a different one of the two part-spherical couplers to a suction cup clamp mechanism; coupling the suction cup clamp mechanism to a sound board of a stringed musical instrument; spherically rotating one or both of the two part-spherical couplers relative to the substantially rigid spacing component for adjusting a position and an orientation of the sheet music retention device relative to the suction cup clamp mechanism; and subsequently releasably interlocking both of the two ball-and-socket components.

9. The method of claim 8, further comprising forming at least a first one of the two part-spherical couplers of a resiliently deformable material having a substantially smooth part spherical outer surface.

10. The method of claim 9 wherein providing two releasably interlockable rotationally and spherically rotatable ball-and-socket components between a substantially rigid spacing component and two part-spherical couplers further comprises forming two pairs of sockets between two substantially rigid arm sections, including forming at least a first pair of the two pairs of sockets with substantially smooth and rigid concave interior surfaces shaped to substantially conform to the part spherical outer surface portion of the first resiliently deformable part-spherical coupler.

11. The method of claim 10, further comprising operating an adjustable clamping mechanism between the two substantially rigid arm sections for initially urging the substantially smooth and rigid concave interior surfaces of the first pair of sockets to form a first one of the rotationally and spherically rotatable ball-and-socket components with the first resiliently deformable part-spherical coupler, and further operating the adjustable clamping mechanism between the two substantially rigid arm sections for subsequently urging the substantially smooth and rigid concave interior surfaces of the first pair of sockets to releasably interlock with the outer surface of the first resiliently deformable part-spherical coupler.

12. The method of claim 11, further comprising forming a second one of the two part-spherical couplers of a resiliently deformable material having a substantially smooth part spherical outer surface; and wherein: forming two pairs of sockets between two substantially rigid arm sections further comprises forming a second pair of the two pairs of sockets with substantially smooth and rigid concave interior surfaces shaped to substantially conform to the part spherical outer surface portion of the second resiliently deformable part-spherical coupler; and operating an adjustable clamping mechanism between the two substantially rigid arm sections further comprises operating the adjustable clamping mechanism for urging the substantially smooth and rigid concave interior surfaces of the second pair of sockets to form a second one of the rotationally and spherically rotatable ball-and-socket components with the second resiliently deformable part-spherical coupler, and further operating the adjustable clamping mechanism between the two substantially rigid arm sections for urging the substantially smooth and rigid concave interior surfaces of the second pair of sockets to releasably interlock with the outer surface of the second resiliently deformable part-spherical coupler.

13. The method of claim 12, further comprising differentially urging apart one of the first and second pairs of sockets, and substantially simultaneously urging together a different one of the first and second pairs of sockets.

14. A method for positionally adjusting a sheet music retention device of a universal detachable music stand within a spherical coordinate frame, the method comprising: substantially rigidly projecting one of two part-spherical couplers from a suction cup clamp mechanism; substantially rigidly projecting a different one of the two part-spherical couplers from a sheet music retention device; forming two rotationally and spherically rotatable ball-and-socket components between the two part-spherical couplers and two corresponding pairs of complementary sockets adjacent to opposite ends of a substantially rigid spacing component; coupling a suction cup portion of the suction cup clamp mechanism to a guitar; spherically rotating one or both of the two part-spherical couplers within the two corresponding pairs of complementary sockets relative to the substantially rigid spacing component for spherically and rotationally adjusting a relative position and orientation of the sheet music retention device to the suction cup clamp mechanism; and subsequently immobilizing both of the two ball-and-socket components.

15. The method of claim 14, further comprising forming the two part-spherical couplers of a resiliently deformable material having a substantially smooth part spherical outer surface; and forming the two pairs of complementary sockets having substantially smooth and rigid concave interior surfaces shaped to substantially conform to the part spherical outer surface portion of the corresponding resiliently deformable part-spherical coupler.

16. The method of claim 15, further comprising clamping together the two pairs of complementary sockets in an initial relationship with the two corresponding part-spherical couplers wherein the two rotationally and spherically rotatable ball-and-socket components are formed therebetween, and a final relationship wherein both of the two ball-and-socket components are relatively immobilized.

17. The method of claim 16, further comprising clamping together the two pairs of complementary sockets in an intermediate relationship with the two corresponding part-spherical couplers wherein one of the two rotationally and spherically rotatable ball-and-socket components is formed therebetween, and a different one of the two ball-and-socket components is relatively immobilized.

18. The method of claim 17, further comprising differentially biasing the spacing component for urging apart one of the two pairs of complementary sockets, and for substantially simultaneously urging together a different one of the two ball-and-socket components.

19. A method for positionally adjusting a sheet music support member of a detachable music stand within a spherical coordinate frame, the method comprising: on respective substantially rigid neck portions, projecting each of two part-spherical couplers from respective flange members; coupling the flange member of one of the two part-spherical couplers to a suction cup clamp mechanism; coupling the suction cup clamp mechanism to a substantially smooth surface of a stringed musical instrument; coupling the flange member of a different one of the two part-spherical couplers to a sheet music support member; in opposite ends of a substantially rigid spacing component, forming pairs of sockets complementary to respective ones of the two part-spherical couplers; operating an adjustable clamping mechanism for forming respective rotationally and spherically rotatable ball-and-socket components between the two part-spherical couplers and respective ones of the two pairs of complementary sockets; spherically rotating one or both of the two part-spherical couplers within the two corresponding pairs of complementary sockets relative to the substantially rigid spacing component for spherically and rotationally adjusting a position and orientation of the sheet music support member relative to the suction cup clamp mechanism; subsequently operating the adjustable clamping mechanism for immobilizing both of the two ball-and-socket components; and supporting one or more sheets of music by the sheet music support member.

20. The method of claim 19, further comprising operating the adjustable clamping mechanism for forming one of the rotationally and spherically rotatable ball-and-socket components between one of the two part-spherical couplers and the respective one of the two pairs of complementary sockets, and substantially simultaneously operating the adjustable clamping mechanism for immobilizing a different one of the two ball-and-socket components.

21. The method of claim 20, further comprising forming each of the two part-spherical couplers of a resiliently deformable material having a substantially smooth part spherical outer surface; and wherein forming pairs of sockets complementary to respective ones of the two part-spherical couplers further comprises forming the two pairs of complementary sockets having substantially smooth and rigid concave interior surfaces shaped to substantially conform to the part spherical outer surface portion of a corresponding one of the resiliently deformable part-spherical couplers.

22. The method of claim 21, further comprising coupling a resilient differential biasing mechanism between the opposite ends of the spacing component for differentially urging apart one of the two pairs of complementary sockets, and for substantially simultaneously urging together a different one of the two ball-and-socket components.

Description:

This application is related to co-pending patent applications Ser. No. ______ “Universal Pole Caddy” (Attorney Docket No. NPI-061) and Ser. No. ______ “Universal Detachable Presentation Bracket” (Attorney Docket No. NPI-062) both filed in the name of the same inventor on the same day herewith, which are both incorporated herein by reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to a stand for holding sheet music and more particularly, to a music stand particularly suitable to be detachably carried on the body of a guitar.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Detachable music stands for holding sheet music are generally well-known and have an advantage in being conveniently carried on the body of an instrument while the instrument is played.

However, detachable music stands to date have been limited to use with a specific species of musical instrument, such as a guitar, or even more limited to use with a subspecies, such as acoustic guitar. Known detachable music stands have also been limited in their ability to position the sheet music for the musician to read while playing. Known detachable music stands have been limited to positional adjustments within a rectangular coordinate frame by independent adjustments of rigid arms slidingly operable along different orthogonal X, Y and Z coordinate axes. Alternatively, some other detachable music stands are limited to positional adjustments within a cylindrical coordinate frame by including a rotationally adjustable arm component that is radially slidable.

Accordingly, known detachable music stands are cumbersome to operate, and positioning sheet music is inefficient and inexact.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is a novel detachable music stand having a sheet music retention device or tray that is universally positionable by operating in a spherical coordinate system.

According to one aspect of the invention the novel detachable music stand is provided by two releasably interlockable rotationally and spherically rotatable ball-and-socket components that are formed between a substantially rigid spacing component and two part-spherical couplers. A suction cup clamp mechanism is coupled to one of the two part-spherical couplers, and a sheet music retention device or tray being coupled to a different one of the two part-spherical couplers.

According to one aspect of the invention, at least a first one of the two part-spherical couplers is formed of a resiliently deformable material having a substantially smooth part spherical outer surface.

According to another aspect of the invention, the spacing component is provided by two substantially rigid arm sections that form two pairs of sockets therebetween, at least a first pair of the two pairs of sockets having substantially smooth and rigid concave interior surfaces shaped to substantially conform to the part spherical outer surface portion of the first resiliently deformable part-spherical coupler.

According to another aspect of the invention, the novel detachable music stand includes an adjustable clamping mechanism that is operable between the two substantially rigid arm sections for urging the substantially smooth and rigid concave interior surfaces of the first pair of sockets to form a first one of the rotationally and spherically rotatable ball-and-socket components with the first resiliently deformable part-spherical coupler. Also, the adjustable clamping mechanism is further operable between the two substantially rigid arm sections for urging the substantially smooth and rigid concave interior surfaces of the first pair of sockets to releasably interlock with the outer surface of the first resiliently deformable part-spherical coupler.

According to another aspect of the invention, a second one of the two part-spherical couplers is also formed of a resiliently deformable material having a substantially smooth part spherical outer surface. Also, a second pair of the two pairs of sockets formed between substantially rigid arm sections is formed with substantially smooth and rigid concave interior surfaces that are shaped to substantially conform to the part spherical outer surface portion of the second resiliently deformable part-spherical coupler. Additionally, the adjustable clamping mechanism is further operable between the two substantially rigid arm sections for urging the substantially smooth and rigid concave interior surfaces of the second pair of sockets to form a second one of the rotationally and spherically rotatable ball-and-socket components with the second resiliently deformable part-spherical coupler. The adjustable clamping mechanism is yet further operable between the two substantially rigid arm sections for urging the substantially smooth and rigid concave interior surfaces of the second pair of sockets to releasably interlock with the outer surface of the second resiliently deformable part-spherical coupler.

According to another aspect of the invention, the novel detachable music stand also includes a differential biasing mechanism that is coupled for differentially urging apart one of the first and second pairs of sockets, and is further coupled for urging together a different one of the first and second pairs of sockets.

According to another aspect of the invention, a method is provided for positionally adjusting a universal detachable music stand within a spherical coordinate frame, the method including the steps of: on respective substantially rigid neck portions, projecting each of two part-spherical couplers from respective flange members; coupling the flange member of one of the two part-spherical couplers to a suction cup clamp mechanism; coupling the suction cup clamp mechanism to a substantially smooth surface of a musical instrument; coupling the flange member of a different one of the two part-spherical couplers to a sheet music support member; in opposite ends of a substantially rigid spacing component, forming pairs of sockets complementary to respective ones of the two part-spherical couplers; operating an adjustable clamping mechanism for forming respective rotationally and spherically rotatable ball-and-socket components between the two part-spherical couplers and respective ones of the two pairs of complementary sockets; spherically rotating one or both of the two part-spherical couplers within the two corresponding pairs of complementary sockets relative to the substantially rigid spacing component for spherically and rotationally adjusting a position and orientation of the sheet music support member relative to the suction cup clamp mechanism; and subsequently operating the adjustable clamping mechanism for immobilizing both of the two ball-and-socket components.

According to another aspect of the invention, the method of the invention further includes the step of operating the adjustable clamping mechanism for forming one of the rotationally and spherically rotatable ball-and-socket components between one of the two part-spherical couplers and the respective one of the two pairs of complementary sockets, and the step of substantially simultaneously operating the adjustable clamping mechanism for immobilizing a different one of the two ball-and-socket components.

According to another aspect of the invention, the method of the invention further includes the step of forming each of the two part-spherical couplers of a resiliently deformable material having a substantially smooth part spherical outer surface. Also, the step of forming pairs of sockets complementary to respective ones of the two part-spherical couplers further includes the step of forming the two pairs of complementary sockets having substantially smooth and rigid concave interior surfaces shaped to substantially conform to the part spherical outer surface portion of a corresponding one of the resiliently deformable part-spherical couplers.

According to yet another aspect of the invention, the method of the invention further includes the step of positioning a resilient differential biasing mechanism for differentially urging apart one of the two pairs of complementary sockets, and substantially simultaneously urging together a different one of the two ball-and-socket components.

Other aspects of the invention are detailed herein.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The foregoing aspects and many of the attendant advantages of this invention will become more readily appreciated as the same becomes better understood by reference to the following detailed description, when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing an example of the universal detachable stand of the invention;

FIG. 2 is another perspective view showing an example of the universal detachable stand of the invention;

FIG. 3 is an assembly view that illustrates the different components of the universal detachable stand of the invention; and

FIG. 4 is another assembly view that illustrates the different components of the universal detachable stand of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

In the Figures, like numerals indicate like elements.

FIG. 1 is a perspective view that illustrates the universal detachable music stand 10 of the present invention embodied by example and without limitation as a universal detachable music stand that provides positional adjustments within a spherical coordinate frame by two rotationally and spherically adjustable ball-and-socket components spaced apart on a single spacing component. The universal detachable music stand 10 of the present invention is structured for attachment to any musical instrument having a substantially smooth and reasonably planar surface of even minimal area capable of securely receiving a suction cup. By example and without limitation, the universal detachable music stand 10 of the invention readily mounts to the sound board of a stringed instrument, such as an acoustic or electronic guitar, for holding sheet music in a position that is convenient to the musician while playing.

Accordingly, the universal detachable music stand 10 of the invention includes a suction cup clamp 12 and a sheet music tray or other sheet music retention device 14 each having a respective attached part-spherical coupler 16, 18. A double-socket spacing mechanism 20 extends between and joins the two part-spherical couplers 16, 18 in a pair of spaced-apart ball-and-socket joints 22, 24, respectively. Both of the ball-and-socket joints 22, 24 are both rotationally and spherically adjustable relative to the intervening spacing mechanism 20. Accordingly, the universal detachable music stand 10 of the invention provides positional adjustments of the sheet music retention device or tray 14 relative to the suction cup clamp 12 within a spherical coordinate frame.

By example and without limitation, the double-socket spacing mechanism 20 is operable in a first loosely clamped state for forming first and second spaced-apart and relatively rotatable ball-and-socket joints 22, 24 with the two part-spherical couplers 16, 18. The double-socket spacing mechanism 20 is also operable in a second partially clamped state for securely interlocking with the spacing mechanism 20 with an outer surface of the first part-spherical coupler 16, while retaining the second relatively rotatable ball-and-socket joint 24 with the second part-spherical coupler 18. The double-socket spacing mechanism 20 is further operable in a third fully clamped state for securely interlocking the spacing mechanism 20 with both of the two part-spherical couplers 16, 18. Therefore, with the suction cup clamp 12 securely attached to a selected substantially smooth and reasonably planar surface S, the double-socket spacing mechanism 20 is operated in the first loosely clamped state for forming the two relatively rotatable ball-and-socket joints 22, 24 with the two part-spherical couplers 16, 18 so that the double-socket spacing mechanism 20 can be rotated about each of the two part-spherical couplers 16, 18 in any orientation within range of the device. Next, with the suction cup clamp 12 still securely attached to the selected surface S, the double-socket spacing mechanism 20 is operated in the second partially clamped together state for securely interlocking with the spacing mechanism 20 with the first part-spherical coupler 16 on the securely attached suction cup clamp 12, while the second relatively rotatable ball-and-socket joint 24 is retained with the second part-spherical coupler 18. Thus, the spacing mechanism 20 is securely clamped in a selected orientation with the suction cup clamp 12 and the selected surface S, while the sheet music tray 14 is still rotatable about the second relatively rotatable ball-and-socket joint 24 formed between the spacing mechanism 20 and the second part-spherical coupler 18. When the sheet music tray 14 is rotated into the selected spherical position and orientation relative to the suction cup clamp 12 and the selected surface S, the double-socket spacing mechanism 20 is operated in the third fully clamped state for securely interlocking the spacing mechanism 20 with both of the two part-spherical couplers 16, 18. Thereafter, the spacing mechanism 20 is securely interlocked with the two part-spherical couplers 16, 18, and through them interlocks the sheet music tray 14 with the suction cup clamp 12 and the selected surface S, whereby the sheet music tray 14 is immovably secured in the selected spherical position and orientation. Sheet music or can be attached to the sheet music tray 14 in a position that is convenient to the musician while playing. Alternatively, other papers are attached to the sheet music tray 14 in a position that is convenient to the user.

Partial loosening causes the spacing mechanism 20 to retreat from the third clamped fully clamped state to the second partially clamped state, wherein the spacing mechanism 20 reforms the second relatively rotatable ball-and-socket joint 24 with the second part-spherical coupler 18, but remains securely interlocked to the first part-spherical coupler 16 on the suction cup clamp 12. Thus, the sheet music tray 14 is easily reoriented and repositioned spherically relative to the securely interlocked spacing mechanism 20, the suction cup clamp 12 and the selected surface S, without changing the spherical orientation of the spacing mechanism 20 relative to the suction cup clamp 12.

Additional loosening causes the spacing mechanism 20 to retreat from the second partially clamped state to the first loosely clamped state, wherein the spacing mechanism 20 continues to form the second relatively rotatable ball-and-socket joint 24 with the second part-spherical coupler 18, and additionally reforms the first relatively rotatable ball-and-socket joint 22 with the first part-spherical coupler 16. Thus, the sheet music tray 14 remains easily spherically reorientable and repositionable relative to the spacing mechanism 20, and the spacing mechanism 20 is easily spherically reoriented and repositioned relative to the suction cup clamp 12 which is still securely attached to the selected surface S.

FIG. 2 is another perspective view that also illustrates the universal detachable music stand 10 of the invention embodied by example and without limitation as a universal detachable music stand that is structured for attachment to any musical instrument having a surface area capable of securely receiving a suction cup. Here, the sheet music tray 14 is illustrated as a conventional clip board or other sheet music tray having a thin, substantially rigid board 26 with a reasonably flat and generally rectangular work surface 28. By example and without limitation, a spring clip 30 is attached adjacent to one edge 32 of the board 26, such as one of the short edges (shown) but may alternatively be one of the long edges. Other means for holding sheet music papers to the work surface 28 are also contemplated and may be substituted for the spring clip 30 without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. For example, a shelf 33 is optionally provided for holding sheet music papers.

FIG. 3 is an assembly view of the universal detachable music stand 10 of the invention. Here, the suction cup clamp 12 is embodied by example and without limitation as the suction cup clamp device having a compact axial suction cup installation and release mechanism 34 as disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 6,666,420 issued to one of the inventors of the present invention on Dec. 23, 2003, which is incorporated herein by reference. Manual rotation in a first direction labeled “ON” of the axial suction cup installation and release mechanism 34 against a suction cup bell housing 36 activates a pliable suction cup 38 to securely attach to the selected substantially smooth and reasonably planar surface S.

Alternatively, other conventional suction cup clamp devices are also contemplated and may be substituted for the suction cup clamp device 12 without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. For example, a suction cup clamp device using an over-center cam-type clamp mechanism for activating the pliable suction cup 38 may be substituted for the suction cup clamp 12 without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.

The two part-spherical couplers 16 and 18 are formed of a resiliently deformable material having a substantially smooth part spherical outer surface, as disclosed by U.S. Pat. No. 5,885,845 for “Universally Positionable Mounting Device,” issued to one of the inventors of the present invention on Dec. 8, 1998, which is incorporated herein by reference.

The first part-spherical coupler 16 is securely coupled to a mounting surface 40 provided on the suction cup clamp 12. For example, a pair of spaced-apart mounting surfaces 40 are disposed on a mounting frame 42 shown as a pair of columns projected from the bell housing 36 on opposite sides of the axial suction cup installation and release mechanism 34. The first part-spherical coupler 16 is projected above a diamond-shaped flange 44 on a rigid stem 46 necked-down to be smaller than the part-spherical coupler 16. The flange 44 is securely fastened or otherwise coupled to or integrated with the spaced-apart mounting surfaces 40 on the ends of the columns of the bell housing mounting frame 42. Alternatively, other conventional flange devices are also contemplated and may be substituted for the diamond-shaped flange 44 without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. For example, a round flange device of the type illustrated in FIG. 1 in connection with the sheet music tray 14 may be substituted for the diamond-shaped flange 44 without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.

The second part-spherical coupler 18 is shown here by example and without limitation as being projected above another diamond-shaped flange 44 on another necked-down stem 46. The flange 44 is securely attached to a back surface 48 of the board 26. By example and without limitation, the flange 44 is optionally formed intergrally with the back surface 48 of the board 26, or molded in place. Alternatively, fasteners 49 attach the mounting platform 47 of the flange 44 to the back surface 48 of the board 26. The mounting platform 47 of the flange 44 is alternatively adhesively attached to the back surface 48 of the board 26 by means of a strong bi-adhesive tape 51, for example, a bi-adhesive tape disclosed by both Tarulli in U.S. Pat. No. 5,992,807 and Won in U.S. Pat. No. 6,149,116, which are both incorporated herein by reference.

The double-socket spacing mechanism 20 operates in conjunction with the two part-spherical couplers 16 and 18 to compose the mounting device for alternately providing relative motion and fixed positions between two relatively movable objects at selected angular orientations, as disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,885,845, which is incorporated herein by reference. By example and without limitation, the first and second part-spherical couplers 16 and 18 are provided on the suction cup clamp 12 and sheet music tray 14, respectively. The geometric centers of the first and second part-spherical couplers 16 and 18 define spaced first and second loci 50 and 52, respectively.

The double-socket spacing mechanism 20 is a split arm assembly having a pair of substantially identical relatively rigid arm sections 54 and 56 that are operatively juxtaposed to one another along a line of juncture 58 between the spaced loci 50, 52. Pairs of sockets 60, 62 and 64, 66 are formed in opposite ends of the rigid arm section 54, 56, respectively. The sockets 60, 62 and 64, 66 have interior surfaces shaped to substantially conform to the part spherical outer surface portion of the first and second part-spherical couplers 16 and 18. The interior surfaces of the sockets 60, 62 and 64, 66 are substantially smooth and rigid concave surfaces, wherein one or more of the smooth concave surfaces optionally includes one or more indentations 68 formed therein, e.g., crossed as shown.

The arm sections 54, 56 of the double-socket spacing mechanism 20 are clamped together relatively crosswise the line of juncture 58 in a plurality of clamped together positions, whereby the first and second pairs of sockets 60, 62 and 64, 66 are repositioned relative to the respective part-spherical couplers 16, 18 for sequentially forming each of the first loosely clamped state, the second partially clamped state, and the third fully clamped state. In the first loosely clamped state of the double-socket spacing mechanism 20 the first pair of sockets 60, 62 is joined with the outer surface of the first part-spherical coupler 16 to form the first relatively rotatable ball-and-socket joint 22 having a first sphere of revolution with a center at the center 50 of the first part-spherical coupler 16; and the second pair of sockets 64, 66 is loosely joined with the outer surface of the second part-spherical coupler 18 to form the second relatively rotatable ball-and-socket joint 24 having a first sphere of revolution with a center at the center 52 of the second part-spherical coupler 18. Thus, in the first loosely clamped state of the double-socket spacing mechanism 20 the arm sections 54, 56 are freely movable relative to both the suction cup clamp 12 and the sheet music tray 14. Accordingly, within the range of the device the sheet music tray 14 can be easily moved to any position and any orientation relative to the suction cup clamp 12 and the surface S to which it is securely attached.

In the second partially clamped state of the double-socket spacing mechanism 20 the first pair of sockets 60, 62 is securely interlocked with the outer surface of the first part-spherical coupler 16, while the second pair of sockets 64, 66 remains loosely joined with the outer surface of the second part-spherical coupler 18 to form the second relatively rotatable ball-and-socket joint 24 having a first sphere of revolution with a center at the center 52 of the second part-spherical coupler 18. Thus, in the second partially clamped state of the double-socket spacing mechanism 20 the arm sections 54, 56 are securely fixed in both position and orientation relative to the suction cup clamp 12. However, the sheet music tray 14 remains freely movable relative to the arm sections 54, 56. Accordingly, within the range of the device the sheet music tray 14 can be easily moved to any position and any spherical orientation relative to the arm sections 54, 56, the suction cup clamp 12 and the surface S.

In the third fully clamped state of the double-socket spacing mechanism 20 the first pair of sockets 60, 62 remain securely interlocked with the outer surface of the first part-spherical coupler 16, while the second pair of sockets 64, 66 is securely interlocked with the outer surface of the second part-spherical coupler 18. Thus, in the third fully clamped state of the double-socket spacing mechanism 20 the arm sections 54, 56 are securely fixed and substantially immovable in both position and orientation relative to arm sections 54, 56, the suction cup clamp 12 and the surface S.

The double-socket spacing mechanism 20 includes an adjustable clamping mechanism 70 for clamping the arm section 54, 56 and causing the opposing concave socket surfaces of the sockets 60, 62 and 64, 66 to assume different adjustment relationships to the respective first and second part-spherical couplers 16, 18 that apply differential clamping forces between the interior concave surfaces of the respective pairs of sockets 60, 62 and 64, 66. Accordingly, the clamping mechanism 70 is sequentially adjustable for clamping the arm section 54, 56 to different degrees for causing the double-socket spacing mechanism 20 to initially assume the first loosely clamped state for forming first and second relatively rotatable ball-and-socket joints 22, 24 with the two part-spherical couplers 16, 18; and for subsequently assuming each of the second partially clamped state for securely interlocking the spacing mechanism 20 with an outer surface of the first part-spherical coupler 16, while retaining the second relatively rotatable ball-and-socket joint 24 with the second part-spherical coupler 18; and the third fully clamped state for securely interlocking the spacing mechanism 20 with both of the two part-spherical couplers 16, 18.

By example and without limitation, the adjustable clamping mechanism 70 is formed by a threaded bolt 72 having a threaded shaft 74 sized to pass through an aperture 76 formed through a boss 78 formed adjacent to a central portion the body of one arm section 54 (or 56). A head 80 of the bolt 72 nests in a socket 82 formed in the boss 78. The bolt's shaft 74 subsequently passes through a bore 84 through another boss 86 formed in a central portion the body of the other arm section 56 (or 54). A washer 88 is fitted over the bolt's shaft 74 adjacent to the boss 86. A handle or knob 90 with a threaded bore 92 is threadedly coupled to the bolt's shaft 74. Thereafter, tightening of the adjustable clamping mechanism 70 by turning the knob 90 along a drive axis 94 of the adjustable clamping mechanism 70 in a first direction onto the bolt's shaft 74 against the boss 86 adjusts first and second relatively spherically rotatable ball-and-socket joints 22, 24 relative to the two part-spherical couplers 16, 18 for sequentially forming each of the first loosely clamped state, the second partially clamped state, and the third fully clamped state wherein the spacing mechanism 20 is securely interlocked with both of the two part-spherical couplers 16, 18. Subsequent loosening of the adjustable clamping mechanism 70 by turning the knob 90 in reverse direction off of the bolt's shaft 74 and away from the boss 86 adjusts first and second relatively rotatable ball-and-socket joints 22, 24 relative to the two part-spherical couplers 16, 18 for retreating from the third fully clamped state for forming the second partially clamped state wherein the spacing mechanism 20 is securely interlocked with the outer surface of the first part-spherical coupler 16, while permitting the spacing mechanism 20 to form the second relatively rotatable ball-and-socket joint 24 with the second part-spherical coupler 18. Continued turning of the knob 90 in the reverse direction off of the bolt's shaft 74 and away from the boss 86 eventually adjusts the double-socket spacing mechanism 20 to achieve the first loosely clamped state for forming the first and second relatively rotatable ball-and-socket joints 22, 24 with each of the two part-spherical couplers 16, 18.

Alternatively, other conventional adjustable clamping mechanisms are also contemplated and may be substituted for the adjustable clamping mechanism 70 without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. For example, an over-center cam-type clamp mechanism may be substituted for the threadedly adjustable clamping mechanism 70 without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.

Optionally, the double-socket spacing mechanism 20 may include a resilient differential biasing mechanism 96 positioned for differentially urging the two arm section 54, 56 apart from one another. The resilient differential biasing mechanism 96, for example, a conventional compression spring, is positioned between the two arm section 54, 56 at a location between the drive axis 94 of the adjustable clamping mechanism 70 and one of the ball-and-socket joints 22 or 24 (shown) adjacent to the end of the spacing mechanism 20. The differential biasing mechanism 96 operates to force the two arm section 54, 56 apart from one another at the nearer of the ball-and-socket joints 22 or 24 (shown), and simultaneously operates to force the two arm section 54, 56 toward one another at the farther of the ball-and-socket joints 24 or 22 (shown) by rotating or “rocking” the two arm section 54, 56 about the bolt 72 of the clamping mechanism 70 and the drive axis 94 thereof. Thus, the resilient biasing mechanism 96 generates a differential in the clamping forces between first and second pairs of sockets 60, 62 and 64, 66 vis-à-vis their respective part-spherical couplers 16 and 18. Accordingly, when the clamping mechanism 70 is partially engaged with the arm sections 54, 56 at the respective bosses 78, 86 thereof, the operation of the resilient biasing mechanism 96 causes the double-socket spacing mechanism 20 to enter the second partially clamped state by forcing together the arm section 54, 56 on the far side of the drive axis 94 for causing the first pair of sockets 60, 62 to engage and at least partially interlock with the outer surface of the first part-spherical coupler 16, while forcing apart the arm section 54, 56 on the near side of the drive axis 94 for the second pair of sockets 64, 66 to remain loosely joined with the outer surface of the second part-spherical coupler 18 to form the second relatively rotatable ball-and-socket joint 24.

Furthermore, the sockets 60, 62 and 64, 66 each have respective peripheral rims 91, 93 formed thereabout in the faces 95, 97 of the respective arm sections 54, 56 adjacent to their respective ends. The peripheral rims 91, 93 include one or more indentations 98, 99 in the outline of the respective sockets 60, 62 and 64, 66. The indentations 98, 99 are sized larger than the respective necks or stems 46 to pass there around. The indentations 98, 99 are formed as cooperating indentations positioned between the respective sockets 60, 62 and 64, 66 and are deep enough to permit the spacing mechanism 20 to be rotated about the center points or loci 50, 52 of the respective part-spherical couplers 16, 18 to angular orientations in which the line of juncture 58 can extend at right angles to the respective stems 46.

FIG. 4 is another assembly view of the universal detachable music stand 10 of the invention. Here, the pair of substantially identical relatively rigid arm sections 54 and 56 of the double-socket spacing mechanism 20 are inverted relative to the suction cup clamp 12 and sheet music tray 14. The first pair of sockets 60, 62 is positioned to engage the second part-spherical coupler 18 and form the first relatively rotatable ball-and-socket joint 22 therewith. The second pair of sockets 64, 66 is positioned to engage the first part-spherical coupler 16 and form the second relatively rotatable ball-and-socket joint 24 therewith. Accordingly, operation of the adjustable clamping mechanism 70 on the arm section 54, 56 causes the opposing concave socket surfaces of the sockets 60, 62 and 64, 66 to instead assume the different adjustment relationships described herein with to the second and first part-spherical couplers 18 and 16, respectively.

While the preferred and additional alternative embodiments of the invention have been illustrated and described, it will be appreciated that various changes can be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. Therefore, it will be appreciated that various changes can be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. Accordingly, the inventor makes the following claims.