Do any research on “the Devil’s Box,” as fiddles were once known, and you will eventually stumble upon the Fiddle Legends, one of which is to place a rattlesnake rattle inside the fiddle. Fiddlerwoman has a nice story about this tradition and the upshot is this – the practice originated with bluegrass players/Creoles/Appalachians/somebody’s Grandpa because it brought good luck/keeps away mice/repels spiders/reduces moisture/sweetens the tone of the fiddle.

In short, no one knows exactly why, but everyone knows at least one person with a rattle in their fiddle.

The jury is still out on whether or not my particular fiddle sounds sweeter. I just thought it was a cool tradition.

What’s your fiddle-related Legend or Folk Tale?

* Where does one acquire a rattlesnake rattle when there are no rattlers for miles? Etsy, of course, where one may find pretty much any strange, exotic thing…