Ted's Piano World *

DANCE OF THE SUGAR PLUM FAIRY  (celeste) Pyotr Tchaikovsky

In 1860, Parisian Victor Mustel invented the dulcitone, on which sounds were generated by striking tuning forks with felt hammers; however, the resultant volume was too low to be used in an orchestra.  Mustel's son Auguste replaced the tuning forks with metal plates in 1886, and the celesta was born.  The original 4-octave keyboard has more recently been expanded to five octaves.

Tchaikovsky first encountered this exciting new instrument during a tour of Paris.  Taking one home with him to Russia, his celesta became the featured soloist in this work from the Nutcracker Suite.  Although the complete Nutcracker Ballet did not achieve much popularity until the 1960s, the Christmas-oriented suite itself has been a big favorite since its premiere in 1892.

The MP3 duplicates the actual score.  The keyboard part begins in bar #5.


Sugar Plum Fairy-preview  .mp3 preview (1:56)  1.8 mb
Score, Page 1 12 pages total 175 kb
Celesta part, Page 1 2 pages total 243 kb

Sugar Plum Fairy-orchestra.mp3 Orchestra part  1.8 mb
Sugar Plum Fairy  .zip sheet music in pdf format,
MIDI file,
2 Finale 2005 files,
2 XML files
 535 kb

Go Back