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Патент USA US2405700

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Aug. 13, 1946.
R.’ B. KINGMAN
-
MUTE FOR STRINGED MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS I
'
Filed July 15, 1944
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2,405,700
Patented Aug. 13, 1946
2,405,700
UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE
2,405,700
MUTE FOR STRINGED MIUSICAL
INSTRUMENTS
Russell B. Kingman, Orange, N. J.
Application July 13, 1944, Serial No. 544,663
5 Claims. (01. 84—311)
1
2
Fig. 5 is a'bottom plan view of a somewhat
modi?ed form of the mute; and Fig. 6 is a verti
cal sectional view of such modi?ed form thereof.
Fig. '7 is a top plan view of another modi?ed
form of the mute according to this invention
shown in its operative or in-service position; and
Fig. 8 is a vertical sectional view of the same.
Fig. 9 is a fragmentary vertical sectional view
of the mute showing its bridge engaging sur
string supporting bridge of the instrument, and 10 face coated with a suitable cushioning substance.
This invention relates to mutes for stringed
musical instruments such as violins, viola-s, cellos,
bass-viols and the like.
This invention has for an object to provide a
novel mute adapted to be slidably mounted on
and between a selected pair of strings of the
instrument to be served thereby, subject to quick
and easy manipulation, whereby it may be moved
into and out of muting engagement with the
performer at any time during the playing of the
Similar characters of reference are employed
in the above described views, to indicate corre
instrument.
sponding parts.
so as to be thus readily available for use by the
The reference character In indicates the body
vide a comparatively small, one~piece muting de 15 of a stringed musical instrument, such, e. g., as
a violin, the strings I l of which are anchcored to
vice of substantially button-like form having a
The invention has for a further object to pro
a tail-piece l2, to pass thence over the bridge l3
to the neck of the instrument. The mute de
vice of this invention is adapted to be mounted
on a pair of the strings ll (preferably the mid
circular butt portion and an overhanging head
portion of enlarged diameter, said portions ‘oe
ing shaped to provide an intermediate annular
string receiving groove or channel, the side walls
of which are inwardly convergent, whereby, when
the muting device is mounted on and between
the carrying strings, the latter engage in dia
dle strings), in connection with the portions
thereof which extend between the tail-piece l2
and the bridge I3.
metrically opposite portions of the groove or
The mute, in one embodiment thereof as shown
channel so as to bear against a minimum area 25 in Figs. 1 to 4 inclusive, comprises a substantially
of the wall surfaces thereof, thereby not only
circular button-like formation having a circular
reducing wear on the strings, and avoiding rela
tive vibration or buzzing, but so balancing the
device on a transverse axis as to readily permit
some yieldable tilting thereof against the ten- I’
butt portion l4 and an over-hanging head por
sion of the supporting strings when the device
is slid. forward on the strings and its overhanging
head portion thus brought into muting engage
ment with the string supporting bridge of the
instrument served thereby.
Other objects of this invention, not at this time
more particularly enumerated, will be understood
from the following detailed description of the
tion l5 of enlarged diameter, said parts being
preferably integral whereby the mute device is
of one-piece form. Said butt portion 14 is of
frusto-conical shape, to provide inwardly and
upwardly inclined side wall surfaces l6. The
head-portion I5 is of substantially circular disk
like form, having at the inner part of its under
side a ?at plane surface I‘! which intersects the
plane of the side wall surfaces I 6 of the butt por
tion l4. Outwardly of said ?at plane surface
ll, the underside of said head portion is provided
same.
with an upwardly and outwardly inclined or ta
Illustrative embodiments of this inventionare a; :1
shown in the accompanying drawing, in which:
Fig. 1 is a fragmentary plan view of a stringed
instrument, showing the mute of this invention
applied thereto, and wherein the mute is shown
by full lines in its operative or in-service posi
tion, and by broken lines in its retracted or out
of -service position.
pered annular surface or chamfer l8 extending
to the periphery of said head portion, which ta
pered annular surface l8, in the main, extends
beyond the maximum base diameter of said butt
portion l4. Preferably, the inclined side wall
surfaces Id of the butt portion In extend upward
ly somewhat beyond the plane of the flat surface
part I’! of the head portion l5, and inwardly of
said ?at surface part ll. The under surface of
Fig. 2 is an enlarged side elevational view of
the mute as mounted on the strings and as moved
into muting engagement with the string support
ing bridge of the instrument.
Fig. 3 is a bottom plan view of the mute as
mounted on supporting instrument strings; and
Fig. 4 is a further enlarged vertical sectional view
of the mute.
said head portion is undercut to provide an up
wardly and inwardly inclined surface i9 which
converges upon said inclined side wall surfaces it
of said butt portion I 4. Said inclined side wall
surfaces 18 and the ?at plane surfaces I’! together
form the bounding convergent side Walls of an an
55 nular string receiving groove or channel C‘ dis
2,405,700
3
4
posed intermediate the butt portion It and the
head portion l5.
tion 20 is uppermost and the head portion low~
ermost. The butt portion 29 is of frusto-conical
shape having inwardly and downwardly inclined
To apply the described mute device to the de
sired pair of instrument strings I I by which it is
to be carried, said strings are spread apart so
that the butt portion l4 may be passed down
wardly therebetween, whereby to- permit the
strings to respectively enter diametrically oppo
site sides of the annular string receiving groove
sides 21. The upper surface of the head portion
22 provides a flat plane surface 23 which inter
sects the plane of the side surfaces 2! of said
butt portion 28, and inwardly of said flat plane
surface 23 is a downwardly and inwardly in
clined surface 24 which converges upon said in
or channel and so as to slightly Wedge between 10 clined side surfaces 2! of the butt portion 28.
Said inclined side surfaces 2! and the ?at plane
the inclined side wall surfaces N5 of said butt
surface 23 together form bounding convergent
portion and the opposing ?at plane surface ll
side walls of an annular string receiving groove
of the head portion. The mute being thus ap
plied to the supporting strings II, the latter may
be tuned. The strings, when under tuned ten
sion, tend to press and slightly conformably
wedge into the opposite sides of the groove or
or channel C". The external or underside of said
head portion 22 is formed to provide a down
wardly and inwardly inclined tapered surface or
chamfer 25. Indenting the outer marginal porn
tions of said head portion 22 are spaced lineal
slots 26 adapted, when the mute is operatively
mounted on the carrier strings H, to be respec
such manner as to readily permit manually in
tively aligned lengthwise to the respective carrier
duced sliding movements of the mute along said
strings. When the mute of this modified form
strings toward and from the string supporting
is operatively mounted on and between the carrier
bridge l3. Due to the circular form of the groove
strings I i, so as to engage the latter respectively
or channel, the strings actually engage but a
in opposite sides of the string receiving groove or
limited extent of the groove or channel sides;
channel C’, the head portion 22 underlies the
because of this and by reason of the tensional
strings, with the segregated tongue portion 21
?rmness of the grip of the strings, tendency of
which lies between the slots 26 directed toward
the mute to vibrate relative to the strings or
the bridge 13. When the mute is slid forward
sympathetically therewith is substantially avoid
on the strings I i into muting engagement with
ed, and consequently undesirable buzzing or
the bridge IS, the chamfered underside of said
rattling of the mute, when disposed on the
tongue portion 21 will ride up onto the top edge
strings in out-of-service position is eliminated.
of the bridge, thus tilting the mute against down
Furthermore, the substantially two-point sup
thrusting tension of the supporting strings. The
port of the mute by the engaging strings on a
diametric or transverse axial line, allows for yield— 2‘; slots 5 allow the tongue portion 21 to pass up
wardly between the strings, and the length of
able tilting thereof against the tension of the
said slots may be predetermined so that engage
supporting strings so as to urge the mute into
ment of their ends with the string will determine
firm muting engagement with the bridge i3, when
more or less the degree of tensional down-pres
moved into engagement therewith.
channel, whereby to ?rmly and somewhat fric~
tionally grip the mute therebetween, and yet in
To bring the mute into operative engagement “
sure permitted to be exercised upon the forward
with the bridge Hi, the mute is slid forward on
side of the mute by the strings.
its supporting strings until the underlying tapered
In the several forms of the mute above de"
scribed, and especially as to those of Figs. 5—6
and Figs. 7——Ei, if desired side parts of the head
portions may be trimmed away to provide straight
surface or chamber l8 engages and rides up onto
the top edge of the bridge (as shown in Figs. 1
and 2). In such bridge engaging position of the »i
mute only a forward segment of the projecting
marginal part of the head portion 15 contacts
the bridge, but this contact is ?rm and of ex
cellent muting eifect, due to the tilt of the
mute and the down-thrusting tension exerted '
thereon by the supporting strings which has al
ready been adverted to. When service of the
?nger engaging surfaces parallel to the support
ing strings, as indicated by dotted lines :5 in Fig.
5, which surfaces also provide indication for
proper positioning the mute for alignment of its
lineal grooves or slots with and in the direction of
the strings.
-
quickly disengaged from the bridge it’ by sliding
As indicated in Fig. 9 the under surface of
the tongue portion 21 may, if desired, be coated
with a suitable cushioning substance
such
the same rearwardly on the supporting strings,
1 as rubber or the like, whereby to cushion its
so that it is disposed on the latter in a convenient
operative contact with the bridge l3. In like
manner the bridge contacting portions of the
other described forms of the mute may also be
so coated with cushioning substance.
It will be understood that the mute of this
invention may be- made of any suitable rigid
material, such as metal, plastic material, wood
mute is no longer required, the same may be
location between the bridge l3 and tail-piece I2
(see broken line representation of the mute
shown in Fig. 1).
As shown in Figs. 5 and 6, the mute may be
optionally modi?ed by providing lineal grooves
30 extending outwardly from points adjacent to
or the like. It may be proportioned or sized,
the annular string receiving groove or channel
as to thickness of head especially, whereby to
and in the lines of the respective supporting
strings II by which the mute is carried. rI‘he (35 give desired weight to the same, or, if desired,
the head or butt portion may be hollowed to
depths of these lineal grooves 36 may be nicely
receive cast lead or the like to give desired weight
predethermined so as to give a desired clearance
thereto.
for the supporting strings H, whereby to pre
Having nowdescribed my invention, I claim:
determine the tensional pressure exerted upon
1. A mute for a stringed instrument having a
the mute when tilted by operative muting en
gagement with the bridge 13.
bridge by which its strings are supported com
In Figs. ‘7 and 8 is shown another modi?ed form
prising a unitary body
substantially circular
of mute embodying the general principles of this
form provided with a frusto-conical butt portion
invention. In this form, the position of the butt
and a head portion of larger diameter hav
and head portions is reversed, i. e. the butt por
ing, at its underside, a ?at plane surface per—
2,405,700
pendicular to the axis of the body and disposed
to overhang said butt portion, whereby said
6
is supported, and the freely extending underside
marginal part of said head portion being up
wardly inclined to permit movement thereof onto
?at plane surface of said head and the sides of
said butt portion are in converging relation
the instrument bridge when the mute is slid for
to thereby provide an annular substantially 5 ward on the supporting strings into muting en
V-shaped string receiving and gripping channel
gagement with said bridge, said upwardly in
intermediate said butt and head portions, and
freely extending underside parts of said head
ioning substance.
clined underside part being coated with a cush
portion being upwardly inclined to permit move
4. A mute for a stringed instrument having a
ment thereof onto the instrument bridge when 10 bridge by which its strings are supported com
prising a unitary body of substantially circular
the mute is slid forward on the supporting strings
into muting engagement with said bridge.
form provided with a butt portion and a head
portion of larger diameter, said body having
2. A mute for a stringed instrument having a
an annular V-shaped string receiving channel
bridge by which its strings are supported com
prising a unitary body of substantially circular
intermediate said butt and head portions, the an
nularly extending convergent walls of said chan
form provided with a butt portion and a head
nel being adapted to both slightly spread and
portion of increased diameter, said body having
grip the strings straddled by said body, and
an annular V-shaped string receiving channel
the freely extending underside marginal part of
intermediate said butt and head portions, the
said head portion being upwardly inclined to
annularly extending convergent walls of said
channel being adapted to both slightly spread
permit movement thereof onto the instrument
bridge when the mute is slid forward on the
and grip the strings straddled by said body, said
supporting string into muting engagement with
head portion having recesses adapted to receive
said bridge.
said straddled strings by and between which the
5. A mute for a stringed instrument having a
body is supported, and the freely extending un
bridge by which its strings are supported com
derside marginal part of said head portion be
prising a unitary body of substantially circular
ing upwardly inclined to permit movement there
of onto the instrument bridge when the mute is
slid forward on the supporting strings into
form provided with a butt portion and a head
portion of larger diameter, said body having an
muting engagement with said bridge.
30 annular V-shaped string receiving channel in
termediate said butt and head portions, the an
3. A mute for a stringed instrument having a
nularly extending convergent walls of said chan
bridge by which its strings are supported com
nel being adapted to both slightly spread and
prising a unitary body of substantially circular
grip the strings straddled by said body, the freely
form provided with a butt portion and a head
extending underside marginal part of said head
portion of increased diameter, said body having
portion being upwardly inclined to permit move
an annular V-shaped string receiving channel
ment thereof onto the instrument bridge when
intermediate said butt and head portions the
the mute is slid forward on the sup-porting strings
amiularly extending convergent walls of said
into muting engagement with said bridge, said
channel being adapted to both slightly spread and
grip the strings straddled by said body, said head 40 upwardly inclined underside part being coated
with a cushioning substance.
portion having recesses adapted to receive said
RUSSELL B. KINGMAN.
straddled strings by and between which the body
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