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Celesta or celeste
Keyboard instrument
Inventor(s)Victor Mustel, Auguste Mustel
Developed1860, 1886

The celesta is a keyboard musical instrument. It looks like an upright piano. When a key is depressed, a hammer strikes a steel plate. The range is three to five octaves. There may be a pedal to sustain or dampen the sound. Tchaikovsky's Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy from The Nutcracker is probably the most famous piece of music written for the celesta. 'Celeste' means "heavenly" in French. The celesta was invented in 1886.