AskDefine | Define celesta

Dictionary Definition

celesta n : a musical instrument consisting of graduated steel plates that are struck by hammers activated by a keyboard

User Contributed Dictionary


Alternative spellings


(US) /səˈlɛstə/


  1. a musical instrument consisting principally of a set of graduated steel plates struck with hammers that are activated by a keyboard.

Derived terms

Extensive Definition

The celesta (pronounced /səˈlɛstə/) or celeste (pronounced /səˈlɛst/) is a struck idiophone operated by a keyboard. Its appearance is similar to that of an upright piano (four- or five-octave) or of a large wooden music box (three-octave). The keys are connected to hammers which strike a graduated set of metal (usually steel) plates suspended over wooden resonators. One pedal is usually available to sustain or dampen the sound, on four or five octave models. The three-octave instruments do not have a pedal, due to their small "table-top" design. One of the most well-known works that makes use of the celesta is Tchaikovsky's "Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy" from The Nutcracker.
celesta in Bulgarian: Челеста
celesta in Czech: Celesta
celesta in German: Celesta
celesta in Spanish: Celesta
celesta in French: Célesta
celesta in Italian: Celesta
celesta in Hebrew: צ'לסטה
celesta in Dutch: Celesta
celesta in Japanese: チェレスタ
celesta in Norwegian: Celesta
celesta in Polish: Czelesta
celesta in Portuguese: Celesta
celesta in Russian: Челеста
celesta in Slovak: Čelesta
celesta in Slovenian: Čelesta
celesta in Finnish: Celesta
celesta in Swedish: Celesta
celesta in Ukrainian: Челеста

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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