Thursday, August 22, 2013

How to Put People to Sleep with Music, 1661

Choose your sedative!
Gerard van Honthorst, Merry Violinist With a Wine Glass (1623)
"Fiddle strings must be made of Adders and Serpents, but of their guts, or membrane that joynes to the backbone, which you must take forth of a running River... fit these strings to a Fiddle or Cythern, and playing on it with your fingers, it will make a pleasing soft, gentle, sound, and will make those that hear it sleep soundly, that they will shut their eyes whether they will or no, and sleep will be propounded."  
Johann Jacob Wecker, Eighteen Books of the Secrets of Art & Nature (1661)
Musicians, just think how much fun this could be in a rehearsal: put these special serpent strings on your instrument and watch as the whole orchestra drifts off to sleep.

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