Surprisingly, singing and music sometimes are connected with poor or even lethal outcomes. One example is personified in the legend of Orpheus, who through the power of his songs, succeeded in leading the wild Thracians into the Greek religion. This did not save him, however, from being murdered by Thracian women probably because of his paedophilic tendency. The scene has been illustrated since 490 BC on Attic red-figure vases. The Sirens, with the body of a bird and the head of a female and dwelling in the Sicilian Sea, were creatures who attracted sailors by their song and devoured the unhappy wretches who had been unable to resist their seductive singing. This topic has also been depicted on ancient Greek vases as part of the Odyssey. The idea that beautiful singing with an instrument can also be a symbol of sin and a sign of the devil is deeply rooted in Christian thinking. This aspect of music as the power of evil is extensively depicted in Dutch and Flemish genre paintings where singing and playing string instruments were also common symbols of lust and vices, seduction and, therefore, moral decay. Some examples of the power of evil in singing in representative art are presented in this article.

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