a musical instrument consisting of graduated steel plates that are struck by hammers activated by a keyboard.
Keyboard instrument of the orchestral percussion section where metal plates are struck by hammers. It was invented in the late 19th century, the name of course suggestive of its "celestial" tone quality. The most famous passage for celesta is the "Dance of the Sugar-Plum Fairy" from Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite.
A small keyboard instrument invented in 1886 whose hammers strike a series of resonating steel plates to produce a bell-like but veiled sound. Used by composers from Tchaikovsky to Boulez.