Definition of celesta in English:
A small keyboard instrument in which felted hammers strike a row of steel plates suspended over wooden resonators, giving an ethereal bell-like sound.
- A more sophisticated keyboard metallophone is the celesta.
- Percussion plays a major role, particularly what Grainger called ‘tuneful percussion,’ chimes, glockenspiels, tuned gongs, celestas, xylophones, and so on.
- Webern's original intention for op.24 was to write a piano concerto, and the preliminary sketches are for a large and colourful orchestra, including mandolin, glockenspiel, celesta, harp and piccolo.
Late 19th century: pseudo-Latin, based on French céleste ‘heavenly’.
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