Pitch Pipe, Pitch Pipes History, 5 Types of Metal pitch Pipes, Patents, Samples and Concert Pitch, Pitch Samples, MP3 Downloads. By A.Strauss
== General Intro and Types ==
Pitch pipes have been used since early days propably 13 or 14th century so musicians or singers can tune their musical instruments in consistent way and play, sing together. The first devices were wood recorders type and organ pipes and it is a a matter of an academic research in itself, alot was written on the subject in the past.
I will exclude pitch forks and electronic tuners - devices tunning app., concentrating on mouth-blown whistles and reed type whistles.
I devide pitch pipes, tuning devices, mainly by material shape and function
(Single note and multiple)
By material I shall bring wood,metal and plastic, and mainly metal samples.
The medieval pitch pipes were instruments rather like a recorder, or recorder's whistle mouthpiece, I believe the earliest recorders found are 15th century, later more developed ones (since 18th century ) had a plunger like as in a slide whistle that would slide in and out making the whistle chamber shorter and longer for an adjustable particular pitch by setting the plunger to the certain position, the indicated note will be produced when the instrument is blown.
I took the picture alongside with a swanee whistle (Also a slide type whistle) for size comparison.
The wood one is an early 18th 19th century one mahogany wood with brass bracelets, the plunger has marks for different notes on a ruller- scale lead strip. L; app 49 cm and about 80 cm with opened plunger.
The pipes were generally made of wood with a square bore and the plunger with leather coat at end. the plunger was marked with the different notes of the diatonic scale or later chromatically. Metal reed operated came up about a century later, in the mid 1800, and are related to the harmonica, scroll down to see general history inventors and makers of the harmonica, and one may mention its larger cousin the Accordion and related bellow instruments...
I classify pitch pipes By Material (Wood Metal Plastic) and By Shape, To single reed single pipe either with single tone or adjustable, multiple tones.
== Five Types==
See the first 5 samples that reflect the five main reed types, groups of pitchpipes
I will bring early samples of each type and then develope with more samples
Patents and makers details.
Britis, Greaves 1950 Aeolian Pipe , see details and history below. L; 51 mm
Foot note #1 Made by E. GREAVES, 56 South Street, Sheffield — Manufacturer.
Single pipe - adjustable pitch
Early 1840's single (Square shape) pipe American patent .
Small binocular shaped, 19th Cent. German Duo tone pitch pipe ( A & C notes) Reg Design.
Patented early 1900's German, 4 pipes.
Harmonica shaped multi reed True-tone.
== 12 tones circular watch-like type ==
Round - circular pocket watch style, early 1900's, more samples below.
Notes to be added
== Single Pipe Group one Type I samples ==
Single pipe metal pitch pipe.
Horn mouthpiece on a c 1850 to 1870s, Bullet shaped pitch pipe stamped Mohr's Patent.
Two fancy brass French samples of a 'Diapason' pitch-pipe that was made as a pendant
"Diapason Normal .Btt. S.G.D.G. orgues J Jaulin Paris" an exeptionally well made one, Brass, single reed pipe with cast mouthpiece and milling.
Jaulin was a French music instrument maker and participated at the 1855 exhibition.
Single pipe trench art style gun shaped pitch pipe.
== Single pipe with Adjascent Pitch Group two ==
Cook & Read Patent of 1876 drawing
Cook & Read Patent For adjustable pitch pipe, Dec, 26 1876, single pipe
Type II German Patent adjustable pitch -single pipe
Choromaticher Tonageber Germany
== Multi pipes Group 3 ==
-1900 J. & E. Oefinger Patent
W.M. Kratt Co. American company (Details about the company, are on the way. )
Czech, the German music makers triangle zone
( See German whistle manufacturers article here)
== Harmonica type Group 4 ==
== 12 tones circular watch-like type Group V ==
Early Pitc is at "435" David J.11 Spruce St. New York
Note Pitch is at A== 435
== Down Load or listen, Pitch Samples MP3==
Recordings of each of the pitches on a free-reed instrument for your cell phone,
or for fining out what pitch your whistle is tuned to.
Sample of a C Natural note Do
Sample of a C# (Db) note
Sample of a D Natural note Re
Sample of a Eb (D#) note
Sample of a E Natural note Mi
Sample of a F Natural note Fa
Sample of a F# (Gb) note
Sample of a G Natural note Sol
Sample of a Ab (G#) note
Sample of a A Natural note La
Sample of a Bb (A#) note
Sample of a B note Si
And Sample of a High E note
Further reading Wikipedia
Pitch- Music wikipedia
Concert Pitch A
History of US standrd pitch
"Pitch pipes of this sort were most often used in the 18th and 19th centuries in churches
which had no organ to give the opening note of a hymn. They are now quite rare, and hardly ever used for what they were intended, but may still be used as an alternative to a tuning fork. They are also useful for establishing what pitch standard was being used at a particular place and time
"Modern pitch pipes, Although few look like a pipe, the pitch pipe name is still applied to any device used as a pitch reference. The most common type is a circular free reed aerophone. These are discs with the holes for the reeds around the perimeter and with marked openings for each note, into which the user blows. Inside the pipe, the air flows through a hole in a plate past the selected rectangular metal reed (usually brass). The airflow is modulated by the oscillating reed, then it resonates in an outer sounding chamber. In recent years, electronic pushbutton devices simulating chromatic pitch pipes have become available which are small enough to fit on key chains.
Usage - Some pitch pipes are intended for tuning string instruments, and only provide reeds for notes appropriate to a particular instrument. Chromatic pitch pipes are favored by a cappella singers and timpanists. Chromatic pipes most often provide thirteen pitches, each a half step above the previous. By providing all of the notes of a single octave, a singer can start in any key called for in Western music. Different pipes are available for men and women due to the differences in vocal range: male singers most often use F-F pipes, while female singers favor C-C pipes. The singers' normal use of the pipe is to play the initial key note or tonic of the piece to be sung. Less frequently the pipe will be used to play the first sung note of the song, especially where the song begins in unison or with a solo.Problems -The brass reeds in common pitchpipes are subject to work hardening with use, so they gradually change pitch. Because of this, replacement reed plates are sold. Carried in a pocket, a pipe will occasionally pick up small bits of lint which works its way into the narrow space around a reed. This usually requires disassembly of the pipe in order to clean the lint off the reed. To avoid this eventuality many users will use a small holster to carry the pipe "
Popular chromatic makers include the
"Hohner", mostly made in chrome plated brass.
Specialty four or six tone models for violin or ukelele are made in plastic by
The harmonica is based on an ancient instrument, the sheng. A Chinese gourd and reed instrument, the sheng may have been invented as long as 5000 years ago by Chinese Empress Nyu-kwa. The basic design of the sheng allowed tones to be made while blowing or drawing air through the instrument making it unique among the ancient wind instruments. Instruments resembling the modern harmonica had their genesis in the early 19th century. Christian Friedrich Ludwig Buschmann bundled fifteen pitch pipes into a roughly square shape, approximately 4 inches wide and tall, to create the Buschmann Aura about 1820. This blow-only design allowed tunes to be played and became somewhat popular in Germany and Austria, but was a rather limited instrument due to its size and design. The next version of the modern harmonica came in America from a Bohemian immigrant known today only by his last name, Richter. He created a 10-hole, diatonic harmonica called the "Vamper" with two stacked reed plates that would produce a consistent tone when blowing or drawing air over the reeds. Its size, approximate 4 inches wide but only 1 inch tall, made it an immediate improvement over its predecessors. Still, the modern harmonica was more a curiosity than a respected instrument. It took a German clock maker to catapult the harmonica to its current status. Mathias Hohner had manufactured "mouth organs" in his spare time since the early 1850's. In 1865, he sent a small supply of his harmonicas to his cousins, who had emigrated to America a few years earlier, with the intent of establishing a market for his product. The tone and beauty of these simple instruments quickly won over many Americans, despite the looks of puzzlement these "immigrant salesmen" were likely given as they introduced their wares. Its portable size, quality construction, and superb tone made harmonicas a quick addition to the American landscape. Hohnner almost singe-handedly established the harmonica in the American market.
The harmonica first appeared in Vienna, where harmonicas with chambers were sold before 1824 (see also Anton Reinlein http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anton_Reinlein
Richter tuning, invented by Joseph Richter (who also is credited with inventing the blow and draw mechanism), was created in 1826 and was adopted nearly universally in the subsequent years. In Germany, violin manufacturer Mr. Meisel from Klingenthal bought a harmonica with chambers (Kanzellen) at the Exhibition in Braunschweig in 1824. He and the ironworker Langhammer in the 3-mile-away Graslitz copied the instruments; by 1827 they had produced hundreds of harmonicas. Many others followed in Germany and also nearby in what would later become Czechoslovakia. In 1829, Johann Wilhelm Rudolph Glier also began making harmonicas. Trossingen, copied a harmonica his neighbour had brought from Vienna. He had such success that eventually his brother and some relatives also started to make harmonicas. From 1840 onwards, his nephew Christian Weiss was also involved in the business. By 1855, there were at least three harmonica-making businesses: C. A. Seydel Söhne, Christian Messner & Co., and Württ. Harmonikafabrik Ch. WEISS. Currently, only C.A. Seydel is still in business.Owing to competition between the harmonica factories in Trossingen and Klingenthal, machines were invented to punch the covers for the reeds. In 1857, Matthias Hohner, a clockmaker from Trossingen, started producing harmonicas, eventually to become the first person to mass-produce them. He used a mass-produced wooden comb that he had made by machine-cutting firms. By 1868, he began supplying the United States. By the 1920s, the diatonic harmonica had largely reached its modern form. Other types followed soon thereafter, including the various tremolo and octave harmonicas.
Foot Note 1) E. GREAVES, 56 South Street, Sheffield — Manufacturer.
From trhe 1851 Great Exhibition: Official Catalogue: Class X.: E. Greaves 503. AEolian pitch pipes, German silver, electro plated, and gilt, in sets of 4 for violin, 6 for guitar, 8 for harp key E flat, 8 for the diatonic, and 13 for the chromatic. AEolian violin mute, a combination of pitch pipe and mute. Chromatic coolian pitch pipe, one vibrator sounding 13 semitones. The natural key of the old single-action harp is E flat, and of the double action C flat. The mute is a small instrument which is fixed on the strings of a violin, over the bridge, to soften and thin the tone. The uncertainty which at present exists with regard to the pitch is a source of great annoyance. The modern pitch varies half to a whole tone sharper from that used in the time of Handel.—H. E. D.
Blued steel sostenuto tuning-forks, philharmonic and Wilhelm's standard pitch; Lilliput size, in case, philharmonic pitch; and French-shape, with foot and case; case of 13 tuning-forks. Pair of chromatic tuning-forks, sounding the 13 semitones, in an octave, both equal temperament, philharmonic; and Wilhelm's standard pitch; case of amateur pianoforte tuning instruments.
The chromatic tuning- forks are useful for tuning the pianoforte, etc. Tuning-keys for horizontal and cabinet pianofortes.
Sonder catalgue 1938, German, wood, slide ( Not intended as a Pitch device )
I found an article of special interest about early reed pipes used in the Seraphim instrument dating to early 1800s
and its British makers there:
Antique slide pitch pipe whistles, Concert Pitch and more.
Pitch pipes or Tuning devices. התכוונות והתכווננות פנימית
Whistle Museum, 5 Types of Metal Pitch pipes Articles by A.Strauss All right reserved.