rating: +213+x
Item#: 6624
Containment Class:
Secondary Class:
Disruption Class:
Risk Class:

Special Containment Procedures: As of 01/04/2000, SCP-6624’s inert remains have been dismantled and delivered to Storage Site-77 for safekeeping. Despite the neutralization of SCP-6624, the town of Gesualdo is to remain under close observation.

Description: SCP-6624 is an apparatus capable of producing vocal music possessing distinct anomalous attributes related to its composition. The apparatus incorporates 124 preserved human bodies, a system of bronze pipes, and bellows crafted from the stomach and lungs of a large whale. SCP-6624 is controlled via 12 attached keyboards, as well as a number of levers, pulleys, and pedals. Based on this setup, it is speculated that SCP-6624 is, in its current state, unplayable by baseline, non-anomalous humans. The bellows are manipulated through the rhythmic pulling of 3 bronze chains, delivering air to the human components via the system of pipes. 6 levers are used to alter the pipes, causing them to expand or restrict airflow to varying degrees. 48 pedals, 4 located beneath every keyboard, are used to control which human components are receiving air. Each keyboard includes 88 keys, which are themselves used to modify the mouth, tongue, throat, and larynx of the human components.

Operating SCP-6624 will cause steam to release from vents hidden throughout the town, along with the steady sound of moving gears. This implies that steam-power and cog-work play a role in the overall apparatus but the unusual acoustics of SCP-6624's chamber has rendered it difficult to track their source. Further information regarding SCP-6624 and its mechanics would ultimately require dissection/disassembly but such actions could potentially damage or even destroy SCP-6624 and are thus prohibited.

SCP-6624's human components were initially recorded as deceased but electroencephalographic (EEG) scans have revealed the continued presence of brain activity. After significant examination of stimulus response, brainwave activity1, and endorphin levels, it was concluded that these components are self-aware and suffer considerable distress. How this was achieved remains poorly understood but likely involved the unidentified chemical agent responsible for their preservation.


A chance photograph of the assailants by Silvestro Criscione (1953).

SCP-6624 was discovered beneath the Castle of Gesualdo2 at Gesualdo, Italy during a 1953 kidnapping and mass murder investigation. Isabella Colasanti, a talented but little-known 27-year-old singer from Venice, was violently kidnapped at a 12/25/1953 recital in Gesualdo by a group of masked assailants dressed in unusual, seemingly ceremonial garb. It is presently hypothesized that Colasanti’s invitation to Gesualdo was extended by those who orchestrated her capture.

Survivors reported that the attackers appeared on stage in a cloud of black smoke and many admitted that they did not immediately react in the belief that it was part of the performance. The attackers rendered Ms. Colasanti unconscious and terminated those who attempted to intervene. Silvestro Criscione, a professional photographer hired for the event, was able to capture a picture of the masked figures during their escape with the body of Colasanti. The incident resulted in 34 casualties, as well as 12 fatalities (including Mr. Criscione), with all victims suffering either perforation from daggers or strangulation via some manner of garrote.

Local law enforcement proved ineffective; though initially dismissed as a problem of incompetence, they were later identified as collaborators in league with the assailants. Frustrated with the lack of progress, families of the victims issued complaints to the state, which quickly responded (presumably due to the unusual number of casualties) by sending a team of investigators to Gesualdo from Rome. Investigator Armando Francesco took over the case, discovering a significant amount of ignored or disregarded evidence, as well as an apparent effort to cover up the attack. It was found that local law enforcement oversaw the destruction of physical evidence (including the deliberate cremation of bodies without providing autopsies) and the unlawful execution of "communist partisans" - three men between the ages of 16 and 20 who were framed for the massacre.

State investigators ultimately uncovered a secret society operating in Gesualdo. Known as La Mascherata (“The Masquerade”), the cell in Gesualdo was found to include a disproportionate number of artists, writers, and musicians, along with several town officials and senior members of the police force. Interrogation of the lowest ranked members (typically the youngest) directed detectives to a Roman Era cistern beneath the Castle of Gesualdo, a location otherwise unknown to the general public. Discovered within was SCP-6624, along with a number of cult-related artifacts and documents. Also found was the body of Isabella Colasanti, which had been partially treated with an unknown chemical compound. Evidence indicates that she was incapacitated (originally recorded as killed) at 22:40 hours on 12/30/1953 as part of a ritual designed to coincide with Aldebaran's3 zenith.

Germano D'Orazio, an investigator working with Francesco and an embedded agent of the Foundation, reported these findings. Foundation operatives disguised as members of the Italian Armed Forces seized control of the town and amnesticized its population. Most members of La Mascherata self-terminated when cornered, while those who were successfully captured chose to bite off and swallow their own tongues. The surviving cultists were transferred to Site-██ for interrogation and termination.

Eight anomalous entities, since classified as SCP-6624-1, resembling those involved in the 12/25/1953 attack were discovered in an immobile, possibly inactive state. These bodies were analyzed and found to be genetically normal humans; however, their porcelain-like4 masks had been fused to their faces via a viscous, black substance. Efforts to test the adhesive material have failed due to its rapid evaporation when removed from its host and X-ray imaging suggests that it has consumed much of the skull, including the entire brain. Though technically alive, they neither speak nor move, nor do they appear to require any sustenance. These entities were transported to Site-17 where they remain in secure containment.

Letters between anonymous5 cultists indicate substantial influence over European political, cultural, and religious authorities. These letters contain references to SCP-6624, known to the cult as “Il Coro” (“The Choir”), noting that it cannot be played until the arrival of Il Maestro del Rancore (“The Maestro of Rancor”), a prophesied entity of apparent importance6. Surviving members were found to be low-level and ignorant, ultimately serving the interests of an unidentified inner circle whose true motivations remain unclear.

Additionally discovered among these documents were seven abnormally complex musical compositions and a journal. These manuscripts have been dated to the late 16th and early 17th centuries and bear the signature of nobleman and composer Carlo Gesualdo.

The existence of SCP-6624 and its related documents indicate that Carlo Gesualdo's publicly accepted biography represents an incomplete chronicle. Translations of his most relevant manuscripts are provided in the following collapsible:

Carlo Gesualdo refers to his anomalous compositions as madrigals but their only similarity is the use of human vocalizations. Due to their complexity, they require the use of an entirely new musical notation system either invented by Gesualdo or adopted from some unidentified source. These compositions do not contain written lyrics but instruct a user in the playing of SCP-6624, which itself produces sounds resembling words. Though the titles are in Italian, the words produced by SCP-6624 do not coincide with any known language.

Foundation researchers, led by musicologist Dr. Lorenzo Martinelli, attempted to operate SCP-6624 with little success. Though multiple players were employed, it was ultimately determined that the apparatus required preternatural ability (primarily related to speed and coordination) which discounted the possibility of human interface.

Inspired by the player piano11, Dr. Martinelli began work on a mechanical means of bypassing SCP-6624's unprecedented complexity. His invention, the automatic corpolliope12, was completed in 1985 - finally allowing the Foundation to test the extent of SCP-6624's anomalous capabilities. Initial experiments were conducted on D-Class personnel and observed by researchers via a soundproof chamber, who would later directly analyze and interview test subjects (when possible) when SCP-6624 finished playing. The results of these experiments are summarized below:

During an unrelated 1997 investigation of the Vatican Secret Archives, Foundation operatives recovered evidence of an otherwise forgotten conspiracy to cover up a major incident in the Province of Avellino. Though there was no mention of SCP-6624 itself, letters between members of the College of Cardinals show frequent, albeit vague references regarding Carlo Gesualdo and his eccentricities. Also found were a number of the composer's belongings evidently seized from his estate, including an untitled document and five more compositions displaying a level of complexity considered beyond human recitation. These compositions are titled Strappato dalle guglie del sacrificio (“Torn from the spires of sacrifice”), Il mio ossario trabocca (“My ossuary runneth over”), Dai sogni di febbre dei bambini (“Drawn from the fever dreams of infants”), and La marcia dei maiali (“The March of the pigs”). Further investigation ultimately led to the discovery of a Church-sponsored military effort to purge Avellino of anomalous activity in the year 1613.

Vatican Archive Documents:

Due to the extreme nature of the anomalies described by Vatican documents, Overwatch has deemed it necessary to cease all further testing of SCP-6624 anomalous musical capabilities. Agents were sent to Carlo Gesualdo’s tomb in Naples and discovered that, rather than human remains, the tomb contained the bones of a pig.

Addendum 6624.1:

Addendum 6624.2:

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