The Secret…

SATB or SSA, rotating tubes (G-G-A), percussion ad.lib.)

Durata 7´20´´

Version for female choir performed by Oscars Ungdomskör

 Version for mixed choir performed by Oscars Motettkör

”The secret…” is a composition for female- or advanced children´s choir with percussion and rotating tubes (played by the choristers). The voice ranges are limited, which makes the piece suitable for younger choirs. All three parts has divisis. The text is taken from Kahlil Gibrans ”On Death”, an extract from ”The Prophet”. The poem describes death not as sentimental or anguished, but as an event of ecstatic transformation.

The work is essentially in three parts: the first part introduces the secret itself with a lilting interplay of fifths- anticipating the fifths of the rotating tubes. The main theme is introduced over an undulating ostinato with secretive ”hushing”. The second part is a rousing and rhythmical dance, where the choristers are asked to play simple percussion parts. The dance leads up to the transformation of death. The third and final part is a vision of the souls at rest, singing together in the river of silence. The image of the eternal river is evoked by the ethereal sound of rotating tubes and whistling.

The percussion instrument are all standard: -The hand drum should be tuned fairly low and be played with a soft mallet. -The finger cymbals may be substituted with a triangle. -The conductor may consider doubling the finger cymbals in measures 114-128.

The rotating tubes are simply tuned lengths of flexible corrugated tubing originally intended for plumbing. The tubes are swung (as a lasso) overhead at different speeds to produce the different overtones. A very suitable tube for this can be obtained from the Swedish plumbing company GELIA (product No. 30 0306 9902). This tube has adjustable length, so it is easy to tune. It can be ordered from the Swedish hardware webshop:

Buy SATB version from
Sample score SATB version


Buy SSA version from
Sample score SSA version