Flute, Charm of the
The flute is often mentioned in history as being used for the
purpose of charming animals, and serpents were said to have
been peculiarly delighted with its music. It was claimed that adders
would swell at the sound of the flute, raising themselves
up, twisting about, and keeping proper time. An early Spanish
writer stated that in India he had often seen people leading enchanted
serpents, making them dance to the sound of a flute,
putting them around their necks, and touching them without
harm, and to this day a musical instrument of this nature is
used by the snake charmers of that country.
However, it is now known that serpents cannot hear music,
but instead are captivated by the swaying movements of the
snake charmer, although some have suggested it is possible
that snakes somehow perceive musical vibrations.