Definition of dulcitone in English:



  • A musical keyboard instrument in which a series of steel tuning forks are struck by hammers. It was invented in the late 19th century and was superseded by the celesta.

    • ‘It is home to the Richard Burnett Collection of Historical Keyboard Instruments which includes more than a hundred instruments (clavichords, harpsichords, pianoharpa, cylinder music box, keyboard crystalphone, digitorium, dulcitone, organs, and pianos), many in full playing condition.’
    • ‘In those days these would be boys who were really raw village lads, - ‘They listened to the chimes of the clock with eye-sparkling delight, and the sound of the dulcitone was a joy to their music-loving souls.’’
    • ‘But the ‘dry’ drums, keyboards, and the use of unusual instruments like vibes, dulcitone and marimba spoke of a ‘contemporary-sounding’ album.’
    • ‘Thanks for all the replies - I now have two dulcitones - one good one and one for spares, and have also provided my brother-in-law with one.’
    • ‘It has also been used in musical instruments - e.g., the dulcitone, or typophone, a set of graduated tuning forks struck by felt hammers by means of a keyboard mechanism.’
    • ‘This was a wonderful way to spent a few hours on a Saturday afternoon as it is a small collection of antique and vintage musical instruments, specifically mouth organs, concertinas, accordions and keyboard instruments ranging from dulcitones to pianolas, harpsichords to organs.’
    • ‘One of the lots I didn't buy but rather liked was a dulcitone.’
    • ‘Musical instruments like the piano, harpsichord, clavichord, organ, electric piano, electronic piano, digital piano, synthesizer, celesta, dulcitone, accordion, melodica, glasschord and carillon fall under the family of musical keyboards.’


Late 19th century: coined by T. Machell, the instrument's inventor, from Latin dulcis ‘sweet’ + tonus ‘tone’.