Aulis Sallinen: The Beaufort Scale
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The Beaufort Scale is a humoresque for unaccompanied choir of mixed (SATB) Voices composed in 1984 by the Finnish contemporary classical music composer, Aulis Sallinen. Named after the wind velocity scale – an empirical measure that relates wind speed to observed conditions at sea or on land – the lyrics are direct quotations from the official scale. With every step up the scale the volume increases and the voices diverge more and more creating the effect of wind blowing stronger and stronger from different directions. When the scale reaches its peak at 12 (Hurricane) the chorus chants SOS (‘SSS-OOO-SSS’), which eventually fades as the piece reaches its final chords. Audiences will love this clever piece, and it will be at least as much fun to listen to as to perform. Duration 5-6 minutes.