Several kinds of fiddles are played on the islands of Sevrin. It has long been observed that when a fiddler plays double stops–bowing two strings at one time–occasionally a third note can be heard. A similar phenomenon has been noted when a group of singers holds a well-tuned chord and hears a high, silvery note that no human voice is singing.
Adepts and scholars dismiss this as a matter of mathematics and the complex interplay of vibration frequencies, but legends of ghost song are familiar staples of Sevrin folklore.
One legend tells of a sailor, long thought to be lost at sea, whose wife fell to her death from the seaside cliff where she stood watching his ship sail into port. The grieving husband paid the town fiddler to play a lament at her grave. Never had the fiddler played so well, or with such rich and complex harmonies. At first people marveled at his skill, but as the ghost notes became more numerous and slowly took over the song, a murmur of unease ran through the gathered mourners. When the fiddler stopped playing, the music did not. The near-human voice of the fiddle moved from vocalize to ballad, and in a strange, silvery voice it sang the tale of the woman’s death. The ghost song accused the woman’s lover–the fiddler–of pushing her to her death in a frenzy of jealous rage.
Tales of this nature are so common that young fiddlers are often dared to play midnight recitals at the gravesides of recent dead. Pranks played under these circumstances are so common that they’re considered a form of initiation.