Deals with the Devil: A Brief Musical History

The first 260 people to click the link in the description, are gonna get a free two-month trial to Skillshare, where you can easily learn to start your own YouTube channel or business. If folktales are to be believed, the devil seems to have quite the interest in music. Whether it’s the satanic imagery, that’s ever pervasive in metal or the legendary fiddle duel in the Devil Went Down to Georgia, it would appear that the Prince of Darkness likes a good tune as much as you and I. But, there’s one tale of the Devil in music, that captivates like no other and it’s one that’s been told for centuries — the deal with the Devil. Nearly everyone knows this kind of story now, and that’s because it has a rich history dating back several centuries. Let’s take a closer look. [Polyphonic intro jingle plays] Deals with the devil have appeared in Western mythology for a long time, but they really first started catching on in the late 1500s thanks to a man named Johann Faust. Faust was a German Alchemist and magician, who was alleged to have made a pact with the demon Mephistopheles in return for his soul. His talent became famous after being documented in Christopher Marlowe’s play “The Tragical History of Dr. Faustus”. A hundred years later, the myth first made its way into music, thanks to Giuseppe Tartini. In 1713 the Devil appeared to Tartini in a dream, and Tartini made a pact for his soul. In the dream he gave the devil a violin, and the Devil performed 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 “… so inferior to what I had heard, that if I could have subsisted on other means, I would have broken my violin and abandoned music forever”. It would seem that the Devil’s interest in violin didn’t wane, as rumours of another violinist cohorting with the Devil came about a century later. Niccolò Paganini is considered by some to be the greatest violin virtuoso ever to have lived. He started music at the age of 5 on the mandolin, was composing by the age of 7 and performing live at 12. And he was such a virtuoso, that the public began to surmise that his talents must have come from dark dealings On top of his skills, Paganini had a pale lanky look with long fingers and flaming eyes. The legends of his performances are something else to behold. Some reports say audience has made the sign of the Cross as they watched him perform to protect themselves from evil. Other stories have him continuing to play flawless notes on broken strings and contorting his body into weird shapes while performing. One fan even left a Vienna concert, claiming he had seen the Devil aiding Paganini. At the age of 54 Paganini died. And one of the last things he did before he died, was send away a priest, who had come to perform last rites. This cemented his association with the devil in many people’s minds. Less than a hundred years later, legends of the Devil meddling in musical affairs started once more. In the 1920s and 30s pair of blues musicians in the Mississippi Delta are alleged to have run-ins with the Devil. First came Tommy Johnson — a guitar virtuoso known for his eerie yodeling. Johnson’s brother Liddell spread the legend of Tommy’s Faustian bargain. One night, the story goes, Tommy Johnson went to the crossroads just before midnight and played guitar until a big black man came up to him, took his guitar and tuned it. After that, Tommy Johnson could play the guitar like no man alive. Outside of the alleged deal with the Devil and his influence on blues music, Johnson’s life was rather uneventful though. That can’t be said for Robert Johnson — unrelated to Tommy — another musician, who apparently made a Faustian bargain. Johnson was one of the most impressive guitar players of his time and one of the most important musicians of all time. And when he was a young man in the late 1920s, he started to play guitar, but apparently he had no talent for it. Fellow blues man Son House famously remembered how Johnson played the guitar: “Such a racket you never heard! It would make the people mad, you know. They’d come out and say ‘Why don’t y’all go in and get that guitar away from that boy! He’s running people crazy with it.’ I’d come back in and I’d scold him about it Then one day Robert Johnson left Robinson Vale, where he had been living. When he came back, he was a changed man. Johnson returned with incredible guitar skills. Sliding around the neck seamlessly, while maintaining steady rhythms. Legend has it when Keith Richards first heard Johnson play, he thought it was two guitar players. Rumours started to grow that, like Tommy Johnson before him, Robert had sold his soul to the Devil at midnight at a crossroads. And if you listened to Robert Johnson’s music, it’s easy to believe it, too. Atop his virtuoso play Johnson’s lyrics have a haunting desperation to them and even sings of his relationship with the Devil. “Hellhound on My Trail” is a masterful song, that takes the trope of the rambling blues man and puts a new spin on it. The reason Johnson is a traveling wandering vagabond, is because he’s got hellhounds following him. You could even look at this song as the middle of a trilogy of songs chronicling his run-in 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: [Early this morning,] [Ooo] [When you knocked upon my door] [And I said “Hello, Satan,] [I believe it’s time to go.”] On August 16th, 1938 the Devil came for Robert Johnson’s soul. 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 bargain was like that of Paganini or Robert Johnson have been struck. At least not that we know of. Though it’s been nearly a century since Johnson, so maybe it’s time for the Devil to dip his toes back into the music game. Thanks to Skillshare. The first 260 people to click the link in the description, are gonna get a headstart on making their passion a full-time job. Whether it’s creating your own successful YouTube channel, business or even just taking up a new hobby and becoming an expert in photography, writing or videography, Skillshare have got you covered. People often ask me, how I make my videos. I use software in the Adobe Creative Suite like Premiere, After Effects and Photoshop These are really powerful tools that can make even the most ambitious projects a reality, but they come with a pretty steep learning curve. Skillshare has thousands of courses designed to help you learn a new skill. Learn to start your own YouTube channel with courses like “After Effects for Beginners” or “Premiere for Beginners” Whether it’s a school project, a business venture or even starting your own channel, these tutorials will give you a perfect headstart. Again, the first 260 who sign up with the link below, will get two months of learning for free. And after that it’s just $10 a month. Thanks to Skillshare for their support and to everyone else who helped make this channel reality.

100 thoughts on “Deals with the Devil: A Brief Musical History

  1. I have the thoughts selling my soul or having the deal to the devil.
    Because you don't know what its like being laughed by the people, society, and the world. Just because you are not good in certain things like singing, dancing, painting, or performing in school club like that makes you feel like you're being such an outcast and you lose trust to yourself even people lose trust in you especially those who expected so much from you. I'm saying this because I've come across with the most embarrassing situations I've ever had in my whole life. I was only 17 year old but I felt like my life is over, I want to commit suicide. The whole crowd booing at me –the teachers criticizing, classmates and friends laughing hysterically. And it was the moment I really wanted to escape that horrible place. I was so embarrassed. I've trusted my whole self, I workhard practice, motivated myself. Then it turns out I can't be that great. I guess I'm not really that person who I thought I was like all my celebrity Idols.
    I've asked myself: "Why am I like this?" "Why I don't have real friends" "Why I am such an untalented person" I'm trying the very best to fit in, I talked to new classmates liked I'd never done before. Days later I notice they're laughing secretly behind my back but when I turn my eyes on them they just pretend like they are not throwing things at me. I've been criticized by my voice they are mocking me because it's so deep like they don't wanna talk and have chat with me. I'm not great, smart, attractive. But this is not all about school. It's also about relationship with my friends and my families.

    I'm pretending to be somebody else just for them to accept me and like me, I act gracefully, I want new real friends. But it didn't worked out. I guess they don't like my personality.
    And so I take the name of God in vain and blaspheme. Blaming for not making me great atleast giving me one thing that everybody would appreciate and like.
    I hate God.
    Then I start searching for Satan, trying to know how to have deals with him. I know the consequences and payback.

    I guess I really want to gain the world, rather than to protect my soul.
    But it's not painful even the devil would torment my soul or burn through the pit of burning fire.
    What really painful for me is being laughed and judged by the other people.
    And so I'm having troubled with this circumstances.
    I want to be the better version of myself.
    And I know there are people out there who feels the same as I am.
    But different in situation and all we want to be the very best.

  2. There is no single entity known as Devil. There is only evil in the minds of men and women, for they are the devils.

  3. Every single entertainer in modern times has made a deal. A lot of them admitted to it on camera and some of them said on multiple occasions.

  4. What if Curt Cobain , Chester Bennington , Jon Lennon made a deal with the devil ?
    Nah they have natural talent

  5. what do you mean no deal has been dealt since Johnson?! I thought the most famous deals with the devil at the crossroads were Bob Dylan and James Brown!

  6. Fisher of men. beware of him for many shall fall before him ,The one that fooled the world. The Morning Star. Job 39,40,41 Habakukk chat 1,2,3 put the thorns on his head and board his jaw shut . For your sake.

  7. Making a deal with the "Devil" is signing a dark and deathly contract in blood with your full oath of your soul to them… 😐

    You mess around, or your usefulness is up, they'll kill and clone you or sacrifice you to the Reptile Overlords – who will literally eat you alive.

    Beware…. ☠️

  8. This was hilarious. And look at all the brainwashed fools in the comment section afraid to be on the wrong side of the mighty tormentor ..

  9. ALL OF YALL … Christians or Spiritualists or Whatever You Call YourSelves …
    Lucifer was of THE HIGHEST ORDER of ANGELS – (your) GODS FAVORITE , as a matter of Theological Belief – which goes against EVERYTHING that god SHOULD BE .
    So , Heres the Conundrum :
    god created all , god knows all , is omnipresent … omniscient …
    he gave ‘free will’ ONLY to humans – the reason that perpetuated ‘The FALL’ – so , HOW/WHY was LUCIFER even ABLE to question , much less Go Against the Word of god … ?
    & if god knows all before it happens doesnt that mean he knew LUCIFER would Fall – on fact : he had to have CREATED LUCIFER to FALL … therefore , EVERY SINGLE ACT or INFLUENCE that LUCIFER HAS EVER BEEN Credited or Blamed For Was/Is gods WILL .
    So , if You serve LUCIFERS Purpose & He serves gods Purpose … HOW ARE YOU NOT , ULTIMATELY , Serving gods Purpose … ?

  10. I got to tell you that Satan has been influencing musicians from the beginning and has never stopped. You play some of this backwards and there is a satanic message in there subliminally influencing the mind of the hearer. Turn the Lord Jesus Christ in faith and thou shalt be saved. God bless you all.

  11. Counterargument: Paginini was Satan.
    Also I wonder if this is why fundamentalists have such a strong resentment over pop culture. After all, music is second only to cave painting in the earliest forms of art.

  12. Fuck off with the first 200 plus people you are false !!! I dont need your video I have the KJV BIBLE the real truth the word of God! And yes I used profanity I'm not a perfect person neither are you!!!!

  13. This was an interesting video, too bad the comment section is ruined by people actually believing a fictional character resides in the music industry. The things people will believe out of fear continues to astound me.

  14. Enternal Hell Damnation Forever for all who don't walk in the light of the truth and you have to come to me the original father to join the family of Light and since you have never done this before you are fallin from the light and you will enjoy enternal hell Damnation forever as we promised everyone we would in the Holy Bible. Time up you all are wrong every religion failed God and work for Satan. This is Armageddon Forever Law Requires all Earth Kind for enternal hell Damnation forever. You all had a year to make it to heaven and for the 400th time no one has ever showed up so we all left you fake Earth's behind. After all only evil people ever die and good live forever and that is what is normal aka heaven. But you never wanted to be normal and your time is up. I am the Lord and you all are on your way for enternal hell Damnation forever because you all have forksaken me the original father aka God.

  15. "Another aspect of Paganini's violin techniques concerned his flexibility. He had exceptionally long fingers and was capable of playing three octaves across four strings in a hand span, an extraordinary feat even by today's standards. His seemingly unnatural ability may have been a result of Marfan syndrome."

    "Marfan syndrome (MFS) is a genetic disorder of the connective tissue.[2] The degree to which people are affected varies.[2] People with Marfan tend to be tall and thin, with long arms, legs, fingers and toes.[2] They also typically have flexible joints and scoliosis."

  16. Yea right … black man plays the guitar with unbelievable skills .. he sold his soul … it cant be hes just that dam good on his own .

  17. Call for the DEVIL…see the light in the EVIL…trust in the FREEWILL…ask and then HEWILL…make u understand the RIDDLE….

  18. The Devil seems to have a good taste in music,well maybe not the new stuff but a lot of old stuff and rock and roll

    Hey Johnson was in the 27club I think there is something about blues music because all the rockers I.e. Keith Richards used to Like it and was quite an influence on his own writing quite creepy stuff though wonder what they get up to now to call up the devil mind boggles 🙏🏻💞✝️💞✝️😜

    The reference to contorting bodies isn’t that how they dance now!
    And the playing music is how they play it now also
    Really interesting stuff but it’s a little bit creepy what happens when you play this stuff out loud does it call upon the devil and his minions

  19. Oh please. Virtually everybody out there has taken this deal with Satan. Madonna, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Jay-Z, Beyoncé, Fleetwood Mac, Santana, it just keeps going. All documented in the Goodfight videos. Videos are amazing actually!!!

  20. So you’re just gonna ignore the whole modern history of deals with the devil in music? Eminem and stuff like that or the whole 27 club, the doors, hendrix, joplin, cobain, winehouse and all them?

  21. Matthew 4:8
    ” 8Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9“All this I will give You,” he said, “if You will fall down and worship me.”…

  22. Just another thing about Tartini's devils trill, some people would say you could see or sense the devil himself when it was played in concert halls back then

  23. Greetings from the brotherhood Illuminati, Are you a Musician,Boxer Footballer, Student,Politician,Actor/Actress or Self Employed Business. This is a great Opportunity to be Rich and Famous and Powerful in everything by joining the ILLUMINATI to achieve your dreams inbox immediately if interested for more Info🔼🔺🔼
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  24. “Maybe it’s time for the devil to dip his toes back into the music game”…? Uhhh have you taken a good look at the music industry lately… dip his toes…? lol Devil’s never left the deep end of the music game.

  25. Yall wanna sell your soul?
    Okay here are the steps
    1. Be alone in your room
    2. Say "Satan, I summon you. I have a quality soul to sell if the price is right.”
    3. Try not to sound needy and desperate
    4. It may take dozens or hundreds of times, but eventually it will work
    Have I tried it? No, but good luck! And if I do, see you in hell 😈

  26. HELLO, Satan was the angel of music and the most powerful angel before he was kicked out of heaven due to jealousy of Jesus. Why do u think he uses music to destroy, he excels in it, he’s most familiar with it, he turned it into his most powerful weapon !

  27. Please listen… stay away from satan and go to Jesus Christ. If Christianity dies the world will go to hell before Jesus comes back. Also has anybody noticed that the violinists have the same rhyme and the blues the same last name. Somethings weird here

  28. The devil interested in music…? LOL… You bet !!! don't you know he gave us arts and mathematics… The fruit of knowledge, lost paradise, etc… you see ?

  29. There’s nothing “folklore” or “myth” about people making deals with the devil.
    This stuff has been going to for thousands of years.

  30. Satan is not the owner of our souls thats why GOD gave us freewill,free to chose who we will follow him or hell , he is a created being who rebelled against his creater the same thing we did , they didn't sell their souls they loved more their flesh of this world than GOD

  31. The ultimate narcotic for the masses is MUSIC. The devil knows this and that’s why he tries to influence people by it so many times. It’s not folklore, it’s a fact. The fact that you don’t believe in him is his greatest accomplishment….

  32. Although people believe they can sell their soul, and often do try, and the devil himself is willing to make this deal, you can't sell what you don't own. God owns all the souls created written in the book of life from the foundation of eternity. So if you are selling your soul, you don't even have the freewill to know what you are doing, and that it can't be done, thus demon possession. You don't so much lose your soul when you attempt to sell it as much as acquire multiple demons from a cleanly swept house and refusal to believe that God already owns your soul and it is not yours to sell in the first place.

  33. Everyone thought that Metal and Rock was from the devil, until they listened to modern Pop music. That is when everyone realised who the devil réálly was.

  34. Have you not seen some of these music videos these days with satanic symbolism and lyrics. it has never stoped for you to say nobody has made deal since back then the music industry is full of this crap right now

  35. God saint Michal Jesus and everyone holy in heaven our creator please protect and guide me ND please help others to see the light and live their life in the life with you ND walk with you God and heaven is real and forever hell is real and forever of horrible pain burning and sorrow

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