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celesta

celesta (It., Fr. céleste). Small kbd. instr. not unlike glockenspiel. Patented in Paris by Auguste Mustel in 1886, his father Victor having constructed the instrument. Series of steel plates (suspended over wooden resonators) which are struck by hammers when keys are depressed, giving ethereal bell-like sound. Range of 4 octaves upwards from middle C. Possibly first used by Widor in his ballet La korrigane (1880) and first used outside France in 1892 by Tchaikovsky in ‘Dance of the Sugar-Plum Fairy’ in Nutcracker ballet. Many others have used it since, notably Bartók in Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta. First used in sym. by Mahler in his 6th (1903–5).

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celesta

celesta (sĬlĕ´stə), keyboard musical instrument patented in 1886 by Auguste Mustel of Paris. It consists of a set of steel bars fastened over wood resonators and struck by hammers operated from the keyboard. The compass is four octaves upward from middle C. Its tone is delicate and ethereal. Tchaikovsky, in his Nutcracker Suite, was one of the first composers to write for it.

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celesta

celesta (céleste) Percussion instrument with a range of four octaves. Like the glockenspiel it consists of steel bars that are struck, producing a tinkling tone. Invented by Auguste Mustel in Paris (1886), it features on the “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” in Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker ballet (1892).

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celesta

ce·les·ta / səˈlestə/ • n. (also ce·leste) a small keyboard instrument in which felted hammers strike a row of steel plates suspended over wooden resonators, giving an ethereal bell-like sound.

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