'Cromatico' – Tallinn, Estonia - Atlas Obscura

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This set of concrete chambers resonates according to different notes of octaves. 


“Cromatico” is a visualization of the chromatic (“well-tempered”) musical scale, which has dominated Western music for nearly 300 years. It consists of 12 concrete chambers, all of which together represent notes of the piano for one octave. The visual view also represents the black and white keys of a piano. Like a piano, each key on the monument, or the chamber inside the structure, has its own pitch. For each sound, the corresponding note on the ceiling of the chamber is between F and E. This way, visitors can see how the room should resonate when they make a sound inside.

The structure is composed of concrete and is 30 cubic meters in size. The dimensions of the chamber are taken from human proportions. The lowest chamber is note E (164 Hz) and the highest is note F (88 Hz). “Cromatico” helps visitors feel how the surrounding environment echoes, depending on the pitch and size of the room.

The location of the sculpture is also very symbolic. It’s found on the Tallinn Song Festival Grounds, Lauluväljak. It is an outdoor venue for the local Estonian Song Festival and other concerts. During the local song festival, the area accommodates about 100,000 visitors and the performer’s sector can hold over 15,000 singers.

“Cromatico” is the biggest musical or sound sculpture by artist Lukas Kühne. He has also created a set of concrete rooms in Iceland, Tvísöngur to represent a special Icelandic singing tradition.

Know Before You Go

Head to the Tallinn Song Festival Grounds (Lauluväljak, in Estonian). The area can be entered through different gates. The location of "Cromatico" is clearly signposted on the maps that you can find in every entry point.

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