Kellä

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The Kellä is a synthesised chime to announce approaching stations on Karolian RVK-KSF railway trains. It has become a popular cultural symbol and internet meme in recent years.

The jingle in music notation
The jingle was composed by Jääni Suoma, who was hired from a PR company along with the voice artists to record the announcements used by RVK-KSF since 1999. She recalls that the national railway company had decided that conventional chimes were too similar to the ringtones of the cell phones which were becoming more and more common in the country, and so commissioned a short melody that would be distinctive enough to serve this function. It was never given a name and the term 'kellä' was coined by internet users.

Musically, the jingle is in C major, and is notated in cut time (four whole notes to the bar, but fast enough to be felt at two beats per bar). The two parts together employ 'horn fifths' at the initial rise in pitches. The sample patch used has been identified by users as setting '236 Horn Mid' sequenced via a Pianova GS2 synth.

In popular culture

The chimes were noted by rail users after their introduction but did not arouse any particular interest until 2006 when the popular adult cartoon Diina Diina used at for a scene where a character drinks radioactive wine and subsequently walks through a wall. An internet meme quickly spread whereby the Kellä would accompany a short film of somebody entering a room or building in a particularly amusing or absurd fashion, ie riding a child's tricycle or jumping in through the window; alternatively it would be used for any kind of (usually trivial) achievement such as opening a stiff jar lid or changing a lightbulb. Reports that several people had injured themselves performing stunts also appeared in newspapers.

At least six organists composed or improvised pieces elaborating on the tune which were filmed: the head of music at Paliiso Seintoori wrote an elaborate five-part fugue which was briefly the most shared video on Ulethian social media. A dubstep mix was also produced.

Several professional horn sections have been heard using the jingle to check their tuning.

A spoof article appeared in the midsummer edition of the Journal of Karolian Music in 2007 authored by the Inglish 'Professor Anna Lysis' which presented a long academic argument (complete with references to fictitious sources) that the tune was derived from the sound of a folk clarinet tuning up played at half-speed and backwards, and that the melody's structure corresponds to the 'Golden Triangle' (a double entendre in Karolian).

Ironically the jingle became a popular phone ringtone, defeating its original purpose. It is still in use on RVK-KSF trains.