There’s a song out there literally written by the Devil

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Music, or at least kick-ass music, has long been associated with the Devil, Hell and the endless hoards of hellish minions that live there. Now while many musicians and acts have claimed to be in league with the Dark Lord in the past, only one has the dubious honor or co-writing a song with Lucifer himself. Giuseppe Tartini. 

A baroque composer born in the 17th century, Tartini was an exceptionally talented composer and virtuoso violinist widely considered one of the most talented of his era. So much so that Tartini was reportedly the first recipient of a violin made by the legendary luthier, Antonio Stradivari.

Yep, that’s a violin all right.

So where does Beelzebub’s thorny red dick come swaggering into Tartini’s life? Well, the story goes that some time in the early 18th century, Tartini was fast asleep in a thick-ass feather bed paid for by his many compositions when he was suddenly roused from his slumber by, depending on which interpretation of the Devil he saw, either the clickety clack of cloven hoofs and the fart-like whiff of burning sulfur or Elizabeth Hurley at the most fuckable point of her career.

Regardless, according to Tartini the Devil pledged to do his bidding for all eternity on the condition that Tartini became his student. Instead of violently shitting himself in fear like a  lesser man would, the composer calmly passed his violin to Satan and asked him to play something.

According to legend, the Devil proceeded to rip a violin solo so awe-inspiring and executed with such inhuman precision that Tartini almost died.

Artist’s impression.

To be clear, that’s not hyperbole because according to Tartini himself the solo was so hauntingly beautiful it literally took his breath away, causing him to wake up, at which point he reached for a piece of parchment and tried to feverishly transcribe what he’d just heard. The result was Tartini’s Violin Sonata in G minor aka Il trillo del diavolo or more simply and in English, The Devil’s Trill.

As you might expect for a piece of music credited to the Author of all Sin, The Devil’s Trill is an exceedingly complex piece largely considered one of the most difficult violin compositions for an individual to perform. A fact made even more hilarious when you consider that according to Tartini, The Devil’s Trill was a mediocre facsimile of the song he actually heard Lucifer play that evening meaning the real version of the song was so impossibly intricate even one of the greatest composers in history could barely replicate it. Knowing this it’s no surprise that the Devil is now so closely associated with heavy metal music since it’s apparent if he ever got a chance to compose a modern song it’d probably have a 5 minute guitar solo in it.