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April 28, 2006

The Devil's Interval

Writing for the BBC, Finlo Rohrer explains a link between Black Sabbath, Wagner's Gotterdammerung, West Side Story and the Simpsons' theme. Tritones - "a musical interval that spans three whole tones" - have long been described in metal lore as Diabolus in Musica or the Devil's Interval supposedly banned from medieval music. It turns out they were not wrong.

It all sounds a little like the plot of a far-fetched Da Vinci Code sequel. But Professor John Deathridge, King Edward professor of music at King's College London, says the tritone had been consistently linked to evil.

"In medieval theology you have to have some way of presenting the devil. Or if someone in the Roman Catholic Church wanted to portray the crucifixion, it is sometimes used there."

Posted by Ghost of a flea at April 28, 2006 09:03 AM

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