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G-Pan Musical Instrument Patent - Steelpan - Brian R. Copeland - Trinidad and Tobago

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An ensemble of acoustic steelpan musical instruments, being an innovation which significantly improves upon traditional acoustic steelpan prior art. Said improvements include an extension of note range across the assemblage of G-Pans, a substantial reduction in the number of steelpans required to effectively cover the steelpan musical range, the use of a compound design whereby individual component parts of the instrument, specifically the playing surface, chime, rear attachment, or skirt and the playing stick or mallet, are optimized for their specific function, the application of a variety of techniques for eliminating or reducing, non-musical sympathetic vibrations and the inclusion of a variety of mechanical and acoustic resonator designs, to enhance optimally, the sound projection of the aforementioned instrument.

Inventor:  Brian R. Copeland

Assignee: REPUBLIC OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

U.S. Classification 84411/R; 84421

Claims

What is claimed is:

1. A Method of configuration of an orchestra comprising a plurality of acoustic steelpan musical instruments of compound design, wherein the orchestra comprises a plurality of at least four instruments and is capable of covering the entire musical spectrum of G1 to B6, a plurality of at least eight additional semitones, superfluous to the requisite musical range of A1 to F6 and wherein the playing surfaces of said steel pan instruments are of area

S instrument = kS B   1  α J  ( 1 - α n 1 - α ) ,

where SB1 is the area of a B1 note, α is the ratio of the area between consecutive notes, typically 0.93, n is the number of notes on the playing surface and, for the playing surface in the form of a spherical bowl mutatis mutandis, the radius of said playing surface is

r = S instrument π - d 2

where d is the depth of the bowl that forms the playing surface, and the number of drums of an instrument is given by ndrums≧Sinstrument/Ssoprano

(a) For a G-Soprano, where the largest comfortable depth is d=10″ or 25.4 cm, with lowest note A3, J=22 and a 3-octave range,

S soprano = 1.1  A B   1  α J  ( 1 - α n 1 - α )

 is at least 4646.4 cm2, the required radius

r = S soprano π - d 2

 being at least 32.7 cm or 12.9 in and ndrums=1 and therefore accommodates a layout for which the lowest note is higher than A3 and in particular the range C4 to B6;

(b) A compound playing surface comprising a main playing surface, a secondary playing surface and an isolation gasket wherein the main playing surface is generated from a single playing surface, said single playing surface being produced by the depression of preferred sheet metal of circular form to the required depth, said metal having a diameter of at least 66.04 cm/26 in, said main playing surface being formed by creating at least one aperture of diameter of 20.00 cm/8.00 in, said aperture being incised at the midpoint of said note bearing surface, the perimeter of said aperture then being counter depressed to a preferred depth of at least 0.32 cm/0.125 in and a given width of at least 0.66 cm/0.26 in. and at least one 0.32 cm/0.125 in thick circular flange of inner diameter 20.00 cm/8.00 in and width 0.64 cm/0.25 in, said aforementioned flange being micro-precision welded and optimally melded, into the sunken perimeter of said heretofore mentioned aperture; said secondary playing surface being fabricated by first welding a 0.32 cm/0.125 in thick circular flange of inner diameter 20.00 cm/8.00 in and width 0.64 cm/0.25 in to a 1.00 mm/0.04 in thick circular sheet metal blank of diameter 20.00 cm/8.00 in, said portion of the sheet metal blank that is not attached to the flange then being sunk to create the required shape profile on said secondary playing surface which is then ground to attain the desired thickness profile; said main and secondary playing surfaces being melded by fitting said isolation gasket between the aforementioned flanges;
(c) a chime circumscribing the rim of the playing surface;
(d) a plurality of note covers; and
(e) a plurality of at least two wheels attached to the chime, said wheels being constructed
and technically arranged to pivotally support the drum(s).

2. A steelpan musical instrument as claimed in claim 1, wherein is effected the separation of a plurality of hemispherical note bearing surfaces, by juxtaposition between said flanges of at least one isolation gasket, thereby effecting a resultant reduction in note coupling during excitation of the plurality of independent note areas on the note bearing surfaces by a factor of at least 0.47 as obtained from the energy attenuation factor

( m   ω 0 ) 2  ω 2 + ( m   ω 0 2 2 ) 2 ( m   ω 0 2 2 - m   ω 2 ) 2 + ( m   ω 0 ) 2  ω 2

where the secondary bowl has mass m, ω is any sinusoidal frequency of oscillation, and ω=ω0 is the lowest sinusoidal frequency of oscillation for which attenuation is required.

3. A steelpan musical instrument as claimed in claim 1, with lowest note A2 with range A2 to Ab5 for which the playing surface area is

S instrument = 1.1  S B   1  α J  ( 1 - α n 1 - α )

or 11100 cm2 so that the requisite number of drums are ndrums=3, said drums being of same radius of the G-Soprano drum, with further accommodation of at least 45 notes covering the note range A2 to F6 upon its playing surface.

4. A steelpan musical instrument as claimed in claim 1, with lowest note G1 with range G1 to C#4 for which the playing surface area is

S instrument = 1.05  S B   1  α J  ( 1 - α n 1 - α )

or 27535 cm so that the requisite number of drums are ndrums=6, said drums being of same radius of the G-Soprano drum.

5. A steelpan musical instrument as claimed in claim 1, upon which a duality of drums is utilised in support of the soprano range, with 36 contiguous notes, a lowest possible note that is

J = 22 + log   2 log   α

or at least 12 semitones from B1, i.e. B2, said drums being of same radius of the G-Soprano drum.

6. A steelpan musical instrument as claimed in claim 1, wherein said plurality of hemispherical note bearing surfaces comprise a metal selected from the group consisting of aluminum and its alloys, copper and copper alloys, manganese alloys, magnesium, zirconium, zinc, nickel, titanium, carbon steels and stainless steels that are austenitic stainless steels stabilized by niobium or titanium that is non work hardened;

7. A steelpan musical instrument as claimed in claim 1 and having a plurality of substantially cylindrical note resonators forming a cluster mechanism, wherein each of said note resonators, is attached to an independent note bearing area, on the lower surface of the hemispherical note bearing surfaces and wherein is incorporated the use of mechanical fasteners, for affixing interchangeably and removably said resonators onto a rigid chime, for static and transient shape distortion reduction, concomitant with excitation of torsion modes;

8. A steelpan musical instrument of compound design comprising:

a playing surface having hemispherical note bearing surfaces and including independent note areas, the first hemispherical note bearing surface defining an aperture having a first radius; and

a secondary hemispherical note bearing surface having an outside radius marginally larger than the first radius, whereby the secondary hemispherical note bearing surface can be inserted into the aperture and retained therein.

9. The steelpan musical instrument of claim 8 wherein upon the striking of note bearing surfaces, said design minimizes dissonance caused by note coupling between notes, by way of the transfer of acoustic energy through a support web and a reduction in the sound produced by vibration of said support web, at non-musical resonant frequencies, through the application of mass loading.

10. A steelpan comprising;

a note surface;

a chime;

a pair of suspension wheels attached to the steelpan;

a support stand including a pair of support cups, the support cups constructed and arranged to rotatably support the suspension wheels.

11. A steelpan ensemble capable of playing notes over the musical range of G1 to B6, the ensemble consisting essentially of four distinct instruments.

12. The steelpan ensemble of claim 12 wherein the four distinct instruments comprise a soprano instrument, a second instrument, a mid instrument and a bass instrument.

13. The ensemble of claim 13 wherein the soprano instrument consists of one steelpan, the second instrument consists of two steelpans, the mid instrument consists of three steelpans and the bass instrument consists of six steelpans.

Drawings


 

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