A percussion stop consisting of a set of metal plates struck by hammers actuated by a pneumatic or electric mechanism. According to Sumner, it is usually of 4' pitch, and may utilize “tuning forks” instead of plates. According to Audsley, the plates are placed over tuned resonators. This stop is most often found in theatre organs.
Skinner describes the Celesta as “an orchestral reproduction developed by the author”, of 4' pitch and full 61 note compass, and considers it synonymous with the Glockenspiel, and with the Harp at 8' pitch. He reports that when the stop was originally developed, the bars and their resonators were arranged chromatically, and some notes in the lower register were nearly silent. When the bars and their resonators were rearranged so that adjacent notes of the scale were no longer physically adjacent, the problem disappeared.
Maclean lists Chrysoglott as a Wurlitzer synonym for Celesta; it is found only in theatre organs. Irwin, the only other source to mention Chrysoglott, lists it separately from Celesta but gives them identical descriptions.
Osiris contains dozens of examples of Celesta. The earliest known examples date from the 1910's but the earliest known Skinner examples date from the 1920's. Osiris contains ten examples of Chrysoglott, all but one by Wurlitzer.
Would you like to hear what a Celesta sounds like?
For as little as $10 (US), you can sponsor a page in this Encyclopedia, and help purchase more sound samples!
Our next purchase will be samples for a 3-manual 53-rank E. M. Skinner organ that includes many stops for which we currently have no sound samples, including a Celesta.
Copyright © 1999 Edward L. Stauff, all rights reserved.|
Celesta.html - Last updated 11 November 2001.