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For centuries, organists have been looking to a special "star" to add to the festive
nature of the holiday season. Their secret instrument has been a "cymbal-star," also known as the Zimbelstern. Originally designed in the shape of a star with small bells at each point, the bells of the Zimbelstern ring at random, producing a sound that easily blends with a broad range of music. On older Zimbelsterns the star was tuned either manually or
pneumatically, and the bells were struck by stationary clappers mounted around the star. Today, most Zimbelsterns are electrically operated. The stationary bells are struck by rotating hammers.
Zimbelsterns can be located anywhere on the organ. Some churches opt to place the instrument in the organ chamber, but many choose to display theirs.
Zimbelsterns come in a wide variety of bell arrangements and the action box can be matched to any finish. The 9-bell Zimbelsterns have no tonal center, so they can be used to accompany any organ registration with no difference in the order they are rung. They can easily be activated by a stop piston or switch, or toe stud. An optional speed control is also available.
Click here to send an inquiry about a Zimbelstern.
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