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Патент USA US3094901

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June 25, 1963
A, R, BRlLHART
'
3,094,891
WOODWIND INSTRUMENT MOUTHPIECE
Filed Dec. 15, 1960
INVENTOR
ARNOLD BRILHART
nite
3,094,891
Patented June 25, 1963
1
2
ferent facings may be machined into the single basic
3,094,891
mouthpiece body.
WOUDWIND INSTRUMENT MDUTHPIECE
Similarly, the dealer may offer a full range of mouth
pieces with a limited stock of these basic mouthpiece
bodies which differ only in the facings.
According to my invention the mouthpiece for a single
reed type of musical instrument comprises a hollow, elon
gated body member adapted at ‘one end for connection
Arnold R. Briihart, Carlsbad, Calif., assiguor to iiriihart
Musical Instrument’ Corporation, Carlsbad, Calif, a
corporation of New York
Filed Dec. 15, 196d, Ser. No. 76,058
2 Claims. (Cl. 84-383)
This invention relates to mouthpieces for musical in
to the throat of a woodwind instrument and provided at
struments [of the single reed type, such as clarinets and l0 the opposite end with a bill having a reed bearing por
Saxophones, and more particularly to an improved
tion for reed table and an upper insert seat portion, the
mouthpiece wherein an essentially standard size and
thickness of the mouthpiece between the reed table and
shape mouthpiece body for a particular instrument may
the insert seat portion being substantially less than the
be adapted to suit the embouchure of the individual
thickness of the desired ultimate contour of the mouth
musician.
15 piece. The insert seat portion extends for a substantial
Conventional mouthpieces for any particular single
distance from the tip of the bill toward the center of the
reed, woodwind instrument, for example a tenor saxo
mouthpiece body and the included angle between the reed
phone, must be made in a variety of shapes and sizes so
table and the insert seat is quite small. Further in ac
that the individual musician may have a mouthpiece
cordance with my invention, 1 provide a separable insert
which is reasonably well adapted to his embouchure, that
which is shaped to be received in the insert seat of the
is the con?guration of his teeth and lips. The variations
mouthpiece body. The upper contour of the insert is
include differences in the angle between the upper and
shaped so as to provide, in combination with the bill por
lower surfaces of the mouthpiece, differences in the
tion of the mouthpiece body, the ultimate contour of the
transverse curvature of the upper surface of the mouth
piece, differences in the contours of the external surfaces
mouthpiece throughout the bite portion. Similarly, the
of the mouthpiece, and differences in the facing which
tour of the lateral surfaces of the mouthpiece throughout
that part of the mouthpiece embraced by the musician’s
lips and teeth. Means are provided for either perma
nently, semi-permanently or separably attaching a se
sides of the insert are shaped to provide the ultimate con
is the curvature of the lower surface of the mouthpiece
adjacent the tip end of the bill. All of these variations
are important in determining an individual musician’s
tone quality and the ease and comfort with which he can 30 lected insert to the body ‘of the mouthpiece so that the
play for prolonged periods. It is apparent that for each
insert and the body of the mouthpiece become a unitary
one of these variables a limited number-say ?ve or
structure so far as the instrumentalist is concerned.
ten-—of mouthpieces could be made to incorporate a suf
ficiently Wide range of differences in that one variable
while all others were held constant in all the mouth
Single reed mouthpieces having inserts in the upper
contours of their bills are not unknown. "Do the best of
my knowledge, however, the purpose of such inserts is
quite different from the purpose here. 'For example,
mouthpieces have been made of various metals. Because
pieces. But the real situation is quite different, for all
the variable characteristics must be joined in a host of
different combinations of contours and facings to meet
the needs of different musicians.
Prior to this invention, it has been necessary for the
mouthpiece manufacturer to have an extensive array of
molds and tools to enable him to manufacture a full line
of mouthpieces incorporating a su?‘icient number of com
binations of these differences. In order for the musician
to bene?t by the manufacturer’s e?iorts the dealer in
conventional mouthpieces must continually stock at least
one mouthpiece of each con?guration. This generates
obvious supply problems and necessarily ties up con
siderable amounts of capital.
My experience in the business of manufacturing mouth
pieces has shown that the most important variables in
the con?guration of the mouthpieces are the thickness of
the bite, which is basically determined by the angle be
these metals are hard it is desirable to place an insert of
fiO
a softer material in the surface of the mouthpiece where
the instrumentalist rests his upper teeth. In accordance
with their limited purpose, such inserts are made so thin
that the essential contours of the mouthpiece are deter
mined by the shape of the body of the mouthpiece rather
than by the insert, and it would not be possible to pro
duce any substantial variation in the contour of the
mouthpiece by varying the contour of the exposed sur
face of the insert. The soft insert merely provides a dif
ferent surface material. Thus, these known mouthpieces
‘do not afford, nor even suggest, the bene?ts of this
invention.
,
Those skilled in the art will recognize that my inven
tion provides a substantial simpli?cation of the problems
formerly faced by manufacturers and dealers in woodwind
tween the upper and lower surfaces of the bill of the
instrument mouthpieces and also provides the means by
mouthpiece and the curvature of the upper surface of 55 which an individual musician may be more economically
the bill, which is that portion of the mouthpiece which is
afforded a much greater choice of mouthpiece contours.
inserted in the mouth of the instrumentalist, and the fac
These and other features of the invention are brought
ing. The necessary variations in the ‘facing of mouth
out in greater detail in the following description of a
pieces can be accommodated in a limited number of dif
particular embodiment. In the description reference is
ferent contours; in quality mouthpieces these are usually 60 made to the accompanying drawing in which:
machined at the factory. Apart from these differences,
FIG. 1 is a top plan View of a mouthpiece body accord
mouthpieces for instruments of the same family and key
ing to my invention;
may be essentially identical in all other respects.
FIG. 2 is an elevational view of the mouthpiece body
I have invented a new and improved mouthpiece
of FIG. 1; and
which requires that the manufacturer produce only one 65
FIG. 3 is a ‘cross-sectional view partially broken away
basic con?guration of mouthpiece for each different in
of the mouthpiece of FIG. 1 including an insert member
strument and in which the essential variations in the
which defines in part, the ultimate contour of the bill of
thickness of bite and the contour of the upper surface
the mouthpiece.
of the mouthpiece may be varied to suit the needs of the
Referring to FIGS. 1—3, a mouthpiece body 10‘ has been
individual musician by means of a separate insert por 70 illustrated which is of generally elongate, hollow shape.
tion which can be more economically manufactured and
In the present instance, the mouthpiece illustrated is a
stocked in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. The dif
saxophone mouthpiece. It may be formed of metal, hard
3,094,891
4
The mouthpiece body and the insert may be formed
rubber, plastic or any other suitable material. It has a
forward end 11 which is adapted to be connected to the
throat of the instrument. At the opposite end the mouth
piece body has a bill ‘12. The lower surface 13 of the
plastic material or the mouthpiece body may be metal
body is substantially ?at throughout most of its length
and the insert may be made of a softer material such as a
and is a reed table on which a vibratory reed is mounted.
of the same or dissimilar materials. For example, both
the body and the insert may "be made from any suitable
plastic.
This detailed description of the presently preferred em
That portion of the lower surface which is adjacent the
tip of the bill is curved according to the requirements of
bodiment of this invention is only illustrative and is not
the individual instrumentalist and is called the facing 15.
intended to limit the scope of the invention. The inven
The position of the reed on the table is shown in phantom 10 tion is de?ned in the following claims.
I claim:
outline at ‘14 in FIG. 3.
FIGS. 1 and 2 make it at once apparent that the body
_ 1. A mouthpiece for a single-reed type of woodwind
instrument which comprises an elongated hollow body
member adapted at ‘one end for connection to the throat
forward end of the mouthpiece body is conventional, the 15 of an instrument and provided at the opposite end with
bill end is quite different. The pro?le of the bill is de
a bill portion having a tip at the distal end thereof, said
?ned by the plane of the reed table 13 and the plane of the
bill portion having opposed longitudinally extending con
upper wall 17 and as seen in FIGS. 2 and 3 the included
tours extending from positions intermediate the ends of
angle between these planes is substantially less than the
said body member to the tip thereof, one of said contours
corresponding included angle of a conventional mouth
being a reed table and the other of said contours being
piece body. The upper wall extends a substantial dis
an insert sea-t terminating in the inner end thereof in an
tance from the tip of the bill toward the middle of the
upwardly extending shoulder, said insert seat extending
body. The contour then steps abruptly upward at the
laterally to the outermost contours of said bill portion
transverse wall 16 which extends from the upper wall
throughout the length of said insert seat, the thickness of
17 of the bill to the upper wall 18 of the body. In this
said bill portion between said reed table and said insert
preferred form of the invention the walls 16 and 17
seat being substantially less than the thickness of the de
of a mouthpiece according to my invention is radically
different from any conventional mouthpiece. While the
intersect at an obtuse angle. This integral bill of the
body is neither the correct shape nor of su?icient thick
ness for a proper embouchure.
sired ultimate contour of the bill portion, an insert portion
having a ‘length substantially equal to the length of said
insert seat and having a seating surface adapted to be
According to my invention the mouthpiece body just
received in said insert seat and having a contoured sur
described is provided with an insert 19 having a lower
face opposite said seating surface, the length of said in
surface 20 and a forward end surface 21. These surfaces
sert being substantially equal to the length of said insert
are shaped so as to ?t the insert seat formed 'by the walls
seat throughout its length and the thickness of said insert
16 and 17 of the body. The upper contour 22 of the
between said seating and contoured surfaces being such
insert then becomes the ultimate upper contour of the 35 that, when the insert is in position in the insert seat on
bill. The sectional view of the insert in FIG. 3 makes it
plain that the substantial thickness of the insert permits
the body member, the combined thicknesses and contours
of the insert portion and said bill portion form a mouth
the ultimate contour of the bill to have any desired shape
best suited to the instrumentalist’s embouchure. An
alternative to the contour 22 is shown in broken outline
at 23 merely by way of illustration. In fact there are
piece having a desired contour suited to a particular em
bouchm'e.
2. A mouthpiece for a single-reed type of woodwind
musical instrument, said mouthpiece comprising a body
innumerable contours which the insert may assume, but
portion adapted at one end for connection to the throat
the essential feature of the invention is that the variety
of an instrument and having a substantially flat seat por
of cont-ours may be manufactured and made available to
tion extending from the opposite end of said body por
the instrumentalist with only one basic mouthpiece body 45 tion to a position intermediate the ends thereof and termi
for a particular type of instrument. Aside from the
nating at said intermediate position in an upwardly ex
facing, the signi?cant variations so far as the instrumental
tending shoulder, said mouthpiece further comprising a
ist is concerned are embodied in a variety of inserts, all
separable bite portion received in and engaging said seat
of which may ‘be made to ?t the basic mouthpiece body.
portion and said shoulder portion, whereby said body
‘Once the instrumentalist has selected the insert best 50 portion may be provided with a bite portion of a desired
suited to his embouchure the insert may be permanently
alternate shape merely by removing the bite portion in
?xed to the mouthpiece body simply by gluing the insert
in the seat. ‘In the alternative the insert and the seat
may be provided with suitable means for releasably at
taching the insert to the body. For example, the surfaces 55
of the insert seat may have studs projecting from them.
The insert may have mating holes to receive the studs so
place ‘and substituting therefor a bite portion having the
desired con?guration.
References Cited in the ?le of this patent
UNITED STATES PATENTS
that the insert may be properly aligned and held in posi
tion on the insert seat by frictional engagement of the
studs in the holes. These are merely suggested means for 60
1,101,420 '
Erdahl ______________ __ June 23, 1914
1,525,105
Sinclair ______________ __ Feb. 3, 1925
mounting the insert on the mouthpiece body. The in
v1,803,268
2,988,947
Meyer et al. __________ __ Apr. 28, 1931
Houser _____________ __ June 20, 1961
vention is not limited to ‘any particular means.
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