Definition and background:
An keyboard instrument invented in Paris in 1886 which resembles a miniature upright piano. It is a percussion instrument, sounded by mallets which strike steel tuning forks set in a soundbox. The mallets are controlled by a keyboard. The range is from the c' on the bass clef staff to c''''' above the treble clef staff.The celesta sounds one octave higher than the written notes a small keyboard instrument developed in the later 19th century and using hammers that strike metal bars to give a ringing sound. Tchaikovsky used the celesta, then a new instrument, in his dance of the sugar-plum fairy in his Nutcracker ballet.
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Wikipedia - Glossary of Musical Terminology
Virginia Tech Multimedia Music Dictionary
ORB -- Medieval Music Glossary