John Wolff's Web Museum

New Arrangements for 20-note Organettes

CelRoll.jpg (20kb)

Collaboration with the distinguished American composer and arranger, Mr Stephen Kent Goodman (a fellow Celestina owner), has led to the production of a number of new musical arrangements for the 20-note organette.

Mr Goodman has selected tunes from the period, and arranged them in the original styles to suit the scale and compass of the instrument. I have digitised these arrangements for punching according to the original perforation standards, and manufactured the rolls, spools, and boxes.

Rolls have been produced to suit the Aeolian "Celestina" and the Wilcox & White "Symphonia" organettes. The illustration shows one of the finished products.

Notes on the arrangements, by Stephen Kent Goodman

Although these are "new" arrangements for the Celestina, they are carefully chosen from original era period music that would have been heard on the Celestina in the 1880's and 1890's. They are not modern arrangements, but arrangements keeping with the original period style and charm of the original Celestina rolls.

  1. The Thunderer - March (Sousa).
    Composed in 1888 while Sousa led the U.S. Marine Band, it became a standard parade march in a very short time. The Celestina arrangement makes the organ sound as if it's hiding a whole marching band inside!
    Roll length 12ft, duration 2 minutes 28 seconds.
    Audio sample (MP3 file, 19 seconds, 38kb)

  2. My Sweetheart's the Man in the Moon (Thornton).
    A waltz song composed in 1892 for Bonnie Thornton by her husband James. Bonnie premiered it with great success at the then-famous Tony Pastor's Theatre in New York City. It became a standard of the "Gay Nineties".
    Roll length 15ft, duration 3 minutes 2 seconds.
    Audio sample (MP3 file, 21 seconds, 50kb)

  3. Mississippi Rag (Krell).
    Composed in 1897 by William Krell. Considered the first published "rag", although it is more like a cakewalk. The piece has an unusual "patrol" structure - it ends as it begins, with the busiest section in the center of the work.
    Roll length 19ft, duration 3 minutes 44 seconds.
    Audio sample (MP3 file, 19 seconds, 45kb)

  4. Children's Medley.
    A delightful medley of timeless, traditional melodies associated with childhood. Perfect to share with a new generation of music lovers. Includes: London Bridge is Falling Down, Baa Baa Blacksheep, Hickory Dickory Dock, Jack and Jill, The Farmer in the Dell, Rock-a-Bye Baby.
    Roll length 15ft, duration 2 minutes 56 seconds.
    Audio sample (MP3 file, 27 seconds, 54kb)

  5. Amazing Grace.
    The famous Hymn specially arranged for the 20-note Celestina scale; words by Rev. John Newton. Arranged in February 2003, and dedicated to the memory of the Columbia Space Shuttle astronauts and their ultimate sacrifice. Three verses.
    Roll length 11ft, duration 2 minutes 11 seconds.
    Audio sample (MP3 file, 20 seconds, 45kb)

  6. At a Georgia Camp Meeting (Mills).
    Composed in 1896 by Kerry Mills. This cakewalk was one of if not the most popular cakewalks of the era. It was originally issued as a song, describing a Black tent meeting in Georgia. The cakewalk was a high-stepping, strutting dance that ushered in the ragtime era.
    Roll length 12ft, duration 2 minutes 23 seconds.
    Audio sample (MP3 file, 20 seconds, 49kb)

  7. Whistling Rufus (Mills).
    "Whistling Rufus" is an early rag/cakewalk by Kerry Mills, which was copyrighted in 1899; it was (and still is) one of his most popular compositions.
    Roll length 13ft, duration 2 minutes 37 seconds.
    Audio sample (MP3 file, 21 seconds, 54kb)

  8. Alabama Dream - a ragtime cakewalk (Barnard).
    Composed in 1899 by George Barnard. During his youth Barnard learned to play many different instruments, and later became a bandmaster working in various towns throughout the United States. He had over 400 published works, most of which were composed for orchestra.
    Roll length 16ft, duration 3 minutes 14 seconds.
    Audio sample (MP3 file, 22 seconds, 64kb)

  9. The Belle of Chicago (Sousa).
    Composed in 1892 by John Philip Sousa as a salute to the ladies of Chicago. Although Sousa was soundly criticized in the press for this march with such quotes as: "Mr. Sousa has made his Chicago belle a strapping kitchen wench", the tune outlived the criticism and became a popular march, especially overseas. The march certainly reflects Sousa's background conducting Offenbach operettas and has a French, dance-like quality to it.
    Roll length 13ft, duration 2 minutes 36 seconds.
    Audio sample (MP3 file, 20 seconds, 61kb)

  10. Turkey in the Straw (Trad).
    Shoo Fly (Reeves & Campbell).
    This roll has the traditional "Turkey in the Straw", coupled with "Shoo Fly, don't bother me", composed by Billy Reeves and Frank Campbell in 1869.
    Roll length 12ft, duration 2 minutes 28 seconds.
    Audio sample (MP3 file, 28 seconds, 62kb)

About the arranger...

Stephen Kent Goodman has over 100 original and arrangements of rags written for Concert Band, British-Style Brass Band, Symphony Orchestra, Saxophone Quartet, Brass Quintet, Wind Trio, Piano, Small Orchestra, and Jazz band.

He was touted as the "World's Youngest Composer/Conductor of Marches" when he conducted the famous Goldman Band, playing his march "The Challenger" in New York's Central Park at the age of 16.

Today he is considered a leading arranger/composer for mechanical musical instruments, such as player pianos, carousel organs & orchestrions.

In addition to his musical activities, he's considered to be a major force in the restoration of automatic music instruments.

Original text and images Copyright © John Wolff 2002-2011.
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Last Updated: 5 February 2011

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