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Halloween Special: Violin Demonology

The Devil's Violin

For many, the thought of the violin brings to mind pleasant images of angelic beings gently bowing away upon soft, puffy clouds. The mild expressions of these angels radiate warmth as their long, flowing robes cascade over feathered wings and tiny cherubs. These images are fairly considered, since the violin is often the angelic voice that has sung many a doe-eyed bride down the aisle; the instrument is also well-beloved on pieces such as Ave Maria and Panis Angelicus. The violin has such a tremendous range of expression that it wields an undeniably powerful emotive force. We may even do well to consider the violin as an instrument of the divine. Yet, dare we ignore the violin’s long-time affair with the devil himself? Perhaps this Halloween we should revisit this fiendish historical liaison as a more ghoulish alternative to carving pumpkins, bobbing for apples, or baking pie.

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