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Deals with the Devil: A Brief Musical History

May 29, 2021
The first 260 people to click the link in the description will get a free two-month trial of Skillshare, where they can easily learn how to start their own YouTube channel or business. If folk tales are to be believed, the


seems to have quite an interest in music. Whether it's the satanic imagery that is always present in metal, or the legendary dueling violin on Devil Went Down to Georgia, it would seem that the Prince of Darkness loves a good tune as much as you and I do. But, there is a story of The Devil in Music, which captivates like no other and which has been told for centuries: the deal with the


deals with the devil a brief musical history
Almost everyone knows this type of story now, and that is because it has a rich


dating back several centuries. Let's take a closer look. Deals with the devil have appeared in Western mythology for a long time, but they really began to become popular in the late 16th century thanks to a man named Johann Faust. Faust was a German alchemist and magician who supposedly made a pact with the demon Mephistopheles in exchange for his soul. His talent became famous after being documented in Christopher Marlowe's work "The Tragic History of Dr. Faustus." One hundred years later, the myth reached music for the first time thanks to Giuseppe Tartini.
deals with the devil a brief musical history

More Interesting Facts About,

deals with the devil a brief musical history...

In 1713, the devil appeared to Tartini in a dream and Tartini made a pact for his soul. In the dream he gave a violin to the devil, and the devil played the most beautiful sonata he had ever heard. Immediately upon waking up, Tartini tried to write down what he heard and created the "Violin Sonata in G", better known as the "Devil's Trill Sonata". Despite the success of this piece, Tartini wrote that his effort was " inferior to what he had heard, that if he had been able to subsist by other means, he would have broken my violin and abandoned music forever." .
deals with the devil a brief musical history
It would seem that the Devil's interest in the violin did not diminish, as about a century later rumors arose that another violinist would associate with the Devil. Niccolò Paganini is considered by some to be the greatest violin virtuoso who ever lived. He began playing the mandolin at age 5, composing at 7, and performing live at 12. And he was such a virtuoso, that the public began to assume that his talent must come from shady dealings. Despite his abilities, Paganini had a pale, lanky look with long fingers and flaming eyes. The legends of his performances are something more worth beholding.
deals with the devil a brief musical history
Some reports say that the audience made the sign of the cross while watching him perform to ward off evil. Other stories show him continuing to play flawless notes on broken strings and contorting his body into strange shapes as he performs. One fan even left a concert in Vienna, claiming that he had seen the devil helping Paganini. At the age of 54, Paganini died. And one of the last things he did before he died was to see off a priest who had come to perform the last rites. This cemented the association of him with the devil in the minds of many people.
Less than a hundred years later, legends about the devil's interference in


matters began again. In the 1920s and '30s, a pair of blues musicians from the Mississippi Delta are said to have had run-ins with the devil. First there was Tommy Johnson, a guitar virtuoso known for his eerie singing. Johnson's brother Liddell spread the legend of Tommy's Faustian bargain. One night, the story goes, Tommy Johnson went to the intersection shortly before midnight and played his guitar until a big black man approached him, took his guitar, and tuned it. After that, Tommy Johnson could play the guitar like no other man alive.
However, outside of his alleged deal with the devil and his influence on blues music, Johnson's life was uneventful. This cannot be said of Robert Johnson, unrelated to Tommy, another musician who apparently made a Faustian deal. Johnson was one of the most impressive guitarists of his time and one of the most important musicians of all time. And when he was young, in the late 1920s, he started playing the guitar, but apparently he had no talent for it. His blues partner Son House recalled Johnson playing guitar: "You've never heard that noise! ​​It would make people mad, you know?
They'd come out and say, 'Why don't you all come in and start looking for music?' Take that guitar away from that boy! He's driving people crazy with it! I came back and scolded him for it. Then one day Robert Johnson left Robinson Vale, where he had been living. When he came back, he was a changed man. had incredible guitar skills, necking smoothly, keeping steady rhythms. Legend has it that when Keith Richards first heard Johnson play, he thought they were two guitarists. Rumors began to grow that, like Tommy Johnson before him, Robert had sold his soul to the devil at midnight, a crossroads.
And if you listened to Robert Johnson's music, it's easy to believe it too. In addition to his virtuoso work, Johnson's lyrics have a haunting desperation and he even sings about his relationship with the devil. . masterful song, which takes the wandering blues man trope and gives it a new spin. The reason Johnson is a wandering vagabond is because he has hellhounds following him. of songs that narrate his encounter with the devil. "Cross Road Blues" is where he sells his soul, and then the trilogy ends with "Me and The Devil Blues," which has some of the most haunting opening lines ever: On August 16, 1938, the devil came for the soul of Robert Johnson.
Johnson was poisoned by a jealous husband and died at just 27 years old. Since Robert Johnson, the Devil has continued his relationship with music, but no Faustian pact was like that of Paganini or Robert Johnson. At least not that we know of. Although it's been almost a century since Johnson, perhaps it's time for the Devil to dive back into the music game. Thanks to Skillshare. The first 260 people to click the link in the description will have a head start on making their passion a full-time job. Whether it's creating your own successful YouTube channel, running a business, or simply starting a new hobby and becoming an expert in photography, writing, or videography, Skillshare has you covered.
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