Mfg. by Emil Richards

Brass square tubes. Tuned to Indian sruti scale.

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This instrument, dubbed "trans celeste" by Emil Richards, is composed of hollow, brass tubes. It's tuned microtonally, in a 22-note Indian shruti scale. The bars have a long sustain, and glissandi on the instrument especially create quite a dark, mystical feel.


  • Tranceleste contributes to a subtle, mysterious texture in Star Trek (2009) by Michael Giacchino.

  • Transceleste plays a spooky, repetitive role in the TV series, Columbo from the 1970s, by Henry Mancini.

  • Transceleste is featured and then quickly blended into a fantastical texture with electronic sounds in The Matrix (1999) by Don Davis.

  • The transceleste plays an eerie role in the score for Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) by John Williams.

  • A quick sweep of transceleste adds to the surrealist feel in this clip from Peter Pan (2003) by James Newton Howard.

Please note: these are just examples, as playing technique and mallet/stick choices often have a great effect on the timbre.

These sound excerpts, to the best of our knowledge (unless otherwise noted), include this actual instrument from our collection. To hear the instrument yourself, or to let us know of any errors, please contact us.