Tag Archives: dark music

The Devil Prefers the Sonata in G Minor

The Devil’s Trill,   Giuseppe Tartini (1769)

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror   September 15, 2015

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Come meet Giuseppe Tartini, the devil’s son, in the city of Padua, Italy. Giuseppe lived from 1692 to 1770 and is remembered famously for his violin Sonata in G Minor, known as The Devil’s Trill. Besides Giuseppe’s technical skills and the poetic qualities of his music, he is revered  as the godfather of modern violinists. He produced 200 sonatas and concertos but not a single one is comparable to The Devil’s Trill or as famous. Here is his true story as told to French astronomer Jerome Lalande and published in the Voyage d’un Français en Italie in 1769.

“One night I dreamed I had made a pact with the devil for my soul. Everything went as I desired: my new servant anticipated my every wish. I had the idea of giving him my violin to see if he might play me some pretty tunes, but imagine my astonishment when I heard a sonata so unusual and so beautiful, performed with such mastery and intelligence, on a level I had never before conceived was possible. I was so overcome that I stopped breathing and woke up gasping. Immediately I seized my violin, hoping to recall some shred of what I had just heard; but in vain. The piece I then composed is without a doubt my best, and I still call it “The Devil’s Sonata,” but it falls so far short of the one that stunned me that I would have smashed my violin and given up music forever if I could but have possessed it.”

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Some say it’s just legend. Some say this is a fiction. Some believe that dreams bring us to unknown worlds, just as music does, and that Giuseppe  was touched by the devil when he composed and played this sonata. The sonata is said to have no autograph on the sheet music written in Tartini’s hand.

And what about Paganini? Did he sell his soul to the devil to master the violin? That story is for another Tuesday.

If you like short stories about supernatural music, here is one that will strike the perfect note.

The Music of Erich Zann by H. P. Lovecraft.

Erich Zann is a Renaissance viol-player and a mute with a wrinkled satyr-like face. He lives in the one-windowed garret of the peaked boarding house on the Rue d’Auseil and every night plays his music. Our narrator in this story is a university student of metaphysics. The city is probably Paris, but the name  is not confirmed. The student takes a room in the boarding house on the Rue d’ Auseil, which is a steep and narrow street, a cliff actually that lies beyond the dark river, beyond the bridge made of dark stone—a perfect metaphor for the edge of madness that defines the story.

Read The Music of Erich Zann at HPLovcraft.com.

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Listen to the audio, read by Mike Bennett at YouTube.com

 

 

For you film fans, watch John Strysik’s adaptation in two parts (total time 17 minutes):

Part One: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xeMNDhTWJ-o

Part Two: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RqQWrZFHouA

Oh, and one more thing—while we are talking supernatural music from the other side—do keep in mind  my supernatural thriller about the dark powers of music, Greylock. Release in October.

Pianist Alexei Georg harbors a dark secret—he finds an old Russian sonata in a 19th-century sea chest. When Alexei plays this handsome music, a creature of darkness appears in the audience, in the aisle, and on the stage with him. This is no ghost.

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GREYLOCK … coming soon …

when the leaves fall.

 

Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Bibliophilica       Lovecraft Ezine     HorrorAddicts.net  

Horror Novel Reviews    Hell Horror    HorrorPalace

HorrorSociety.com        Sirens Call Publications

 Monster Librarian   Tales to Terrify       Spooky Reads

HorrorNews.net     HorrorTalk.com

 Rob Around Books     Sillyverse    The Story Reading Ape Blog

For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed

Don’t forget to view the INDEX above of more free Tales of Terror classic authors.

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Filed under dark fantasy, demons, fiction, horror, horror blogs, short stories, short story blogs, supernatural, supernatural music, supernatural thrillers, tales of terror

Dark Magic of Music

Music parallels the occult.

Can the notes we hear lead us into a dark abyss? Composer and music critic E.T.A. Hoffmann (1776-1882, known as “Ghost Hoffmann”) recognized the mysterious forces in music.  You might remember his name from his opera The Nutcracker. Hoffmann believed that music can “open to man an unknown realm.”  In his famous essay “Beethoven’s Instrumental Music” Hoffmann writes that while Mozart’s music evokes the super-human, Beethoven’s music brings us into the unfathomable … “we see gigantic shadows swaying back and forth” and become “seers of the realm of spirits.”  Nietzsche advises us to listen to music with our muscles. If we did, would we experience these musical shadows? Would we enter a realm of spirits?

Alexei Georg, pianist and composer, listens to music with not only his muscles but with the deepest elements of his mind and soul. What does he discover when he plays a forgotten sonata he found inside an old Russian sea chest? This sheet music carries with it, in Hoffmann’s words, “mists of fear, of horror, of terror.” And I promise you, the darkest of shadows.

Alexei Georg is a young man living in Boston and about to journey into the dark magic of music.

GREYLOCK

Supernatural thriller … soon … when the leaves fall.

MTGR-MA


			

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Filed under fiction, horror blogs, occult, paranormal, phantoms, supernatural, suspense

Ghost in the Machine

Midnight   by Jack Snow  (1946)

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror   August 5, 2014

 

images-1Do you believe in the theory of a ‘Ghost in the Machine,’ as British philosopher Gilbert Ryle coined the term in describing Descartes’ mind-body dualism (mind distinct from the body)? This is the belief that there is a non-biological entity underlying consciousness (the soul or spirit). Neuroscientists will argue that we are solely our physical brains trapped inside our own heads and nothing more than that. Jack Snow’s story Midnight brings up the questions: Are we sometimes operated by otherworldly phantoms—if we desire to call them up? Is there an immaterial realm we might tap into—if we desire to enter?

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What if there is a ghost in the human machine? And what if that ghost has evil powers?

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Meet John Ware who believes that the stroke of midnight has otherworldly powers and he wants in. He has an insatiable craving to know and experience evil directly. Ancient cults and their powerful secrets do not frighten him. So, he adventures into the darkest of realms. In his chamber is an old clock as tall as any person and owned by various Satanists, wizards, and alchemists. John stands before this clock at the stroke of midnight, his body etched with cabalistic markings, chanting unhuman phrases, and dancing grotesque gyrations as he steps into this mysterious band of time.

Do you think time ever stops?

Or are the grains of time an eternal abyss of madness? Tick-tock.

 

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Jack Snow (1907-1956) has written some twenty short stories and spectral tales as well as a fiction series called Oz Universe.

You can read Midnight at StoryOfTheWeek: scroll to download the PDF.

 

DO YOU LIKE TO READ SHORT STORY ANTHOLOGIES?

Every once in a while I come across a newly released anthology that I really like. Most of the time I’m in the old books but here a new anthology edited by Richard Thomas, The New Black. The selection of authors is impressive if  you’d like to experience some of today’s dark fiction writers.

The New Black is a collection of twenty neo-noir stories exemplifying the best authors currently writing in this dark sub-genre. A mixture of horror, crime, fantasy, science fiction, magical realism, and the grotesque—all with a literary bent—these stories are the future of genre-bending fiction.

REVIEW: “The New Black ought to be the New High Standard for dark fiction anthologies. It’s loaded with intelligence and talent. Every one of the pieces in this extraordinary compilation is worthy of your full attention.”   —Jack Ketchum

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On Amazon.com

Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Bibliophilica.com

Horror Novel Reviews   Hell Horror    HorrorPalace

 Monster Librarian  Tales to Terrify       Spooky Reads

 Lovecraft Ezine      Rob Around Books    The Story Reading Ape Blog

     The Gothic Wanderer   Sirens Call Publications  The Fussy Librarian

For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed

 

Don’t forget to view the INDEX above of more free Tales of Terror classic Authors.

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Filed under fiction, horror, horror blogs, literary horror, occult, quiet horror, short stories, supernatural, tales of terror