voix celeste

Voix céleste

[vwah sey-lest]
The Voix celeste, (Voix céleste) [Fr.] (heavenly voice) is an organ stop consisting of two ranks of pipes which are slightly detuned to the other, to produce a beating effect with other stops. (See beat (acoustics) for more information).

The Voix celeste is located in the Swell organ on British and American organs and in the Récit expressif on French organs. It is designed to be used in conjunction with a stop of similar tonal quality of its own, normally a Viola de gambe (Viole de gambe) [Fr.] or Salicional. When both stops are played together an undulant, warm sounding string effect is generated. When proper organ terminology is used, "Voix Celeste" will always use string-voiced pipes. Frequently, both ranks of pipes required are placed on the same stop knob, and it is labeled as "Voix Celeste II". The celeste concept is extended to other types of organ voices (notably flutes) but they will be called by the name of the primary sound (e.g. "Spitzflöte Celeste").

Celeste is also an effect most commonly used on electric guitars. It is similar to the effect known as chorus. Both have the slight "out-of-tune" and the wobbling sound to them.

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