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[[quoteright:350:[[ComicBook/TheFlash http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/fiddlers_fiddle_0001.png]]]]

->''"Using music to control people. Why does that sound so familiar?"''
-->-- '''Tucker''', ''WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom'', "Pirate Radio"

Music has great power. It can [[MusicSoothesTheSavageBeast Soothe the Savage Beast]], it can inspire courage in the hearts of men with a [[MusicToInvadePolandTo stirring march]], or bring tears to your eyes with an eulogy of loss and longing. Is it really such a stretch to assume that, with the right resonance, the right voice, the right instrument, it can fully control the very hearts of man?

Quite often, however, the enchantment lasts only as long as the song does... but depending on the particulars, it may do anything from simply putting everyone who hears it into a paralytic trance, to inflicting a specific, overpowering compulsion ([[EmotionBomb such as homicidal rage or suicidal despair]]) to putting them under full and permanent MoreThanMindControl.

This is the preferred method of the EnthrallingSiren, and indeed pops up a lot in mythology. The EvilDiva also has a good chance of utilizing her music to enslave her fans. A SnakeCharmer often uses this kind of music as well. Subtrope of MagicMusic. Inverted by the TheMusicMeister who uses MindManipulation to make music (although the TropeNamer did both).



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* The second season of ''Manga/BlackButler'' featured an Armonica (also known as a Glass Harmonica or a Hydrocrystalophone) being used to control a ballroom filled with noble guests, turning them into savage killers. Amusingly enough, it was countered by Sebastian playing a Glass Harp, also known as an Angelic Organ - an instrument that uses a similar principle.
* The Parapara brothers from ''Anime/DragonballGT'' use a stereo to cause their opponents to uncontrollably mimic their dancing, leaving them open to attack.
* ''Anime/KiddyGrade'' features one instance where a song is used to broadcast a mind-control signal.
* Used in episode 79 of ''Anime/LupinIIIRedJacket'' by Kyoransky, an eccentric musician and the episode's villain. Whomever hears Kyoransky's music sets out to attack Lupin in a violent rage.
* ''Anime/{{Macross}}'':
** ''Anime/MacrossPlus'' has [[AIIsACrapShoot Virtual Idol]] Sharon Apple paralyze an entire world with her hit single, 'Information High'. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NMczRJh_OeI Listening to it]], you can kinda' feel how it might work. It's strangely hypnotic, especially when combined with her lightshow.
** In ''Anime/MacrossDelta'', it's revealed that those infected by [[HatePlague Var Syndrome]] are [[spoiler:susceptible to being mind-controlled by the songs of Windermere's Wind Singer; in fact, Windermere is deliberately spreading Var for this very reason]].
* Brook from ''Manga/OnePiece'' plays music that can influence the actions of others by "reaching to their very souls". This is seen when he causes an entire stadium to riot against the Marines.
* The original ''Anime/ReadOrDie'' OVA was centered around a group of villains trying to put together a particular, lost symphony by Mozart, which had the power to make anyone who heard it so utterly depressed that they would instantly commit suicide by whatever means was closest at hand. Dubbed 'The Suicide Symphony', for obvious reasons.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In ''ComicBook/{{Superlopez}}'', a rock band allied with the mob uses this.
* On [[http://superdickery.com/images/stories/monkeys/1244_4_152.jpg the cover of issue #152]] of ''ComicBook/HouseOfMystery'', an organ grinder's music causes people to give his monkey money.
* ''ComicBook/TheFlash'':
** The villanous Fiddler is a master hypnotist who can focus his abilities through his violin.
** An ex-villain and ally, the Pied Piper. He can control people with his music from his sophisticated flute capable of hypnotizing anyone within range of its sound.
* In "[[http://glenweldon.tumblr.com/post/53601829035/clark-kent-goes-to-woodstock-part-the-first The Pied Piper of Steel]]" (''Action'' 398, March 1971), Clark's first television assignment is to cover a Woodstock-like rock concert, where he observes that "the kids" mindlessly obey whatever the lyrics say. The "hypnotic power of rock" was an actual concern of MoralGuardians at the time. In the story, it turns out to be a MadScientist with a Fiendish Machine.
* In ''Comicbook/BillyBatsonAndTheMagicOfShazam,'' a villain named Axe has a guitar that can hypnotize people. He gets a whole crowd of adults and [[{{Sidekick}} Mary]] under his spell, forcing [[KidHero Billy]], who temporarily has to avoid [[HenshinHero turning into]] [[SuperPoweredAlterEgo Captain Marvel]], to figure out how to stop him alone.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* "The Smurphony of the Night" from the ''Fanfic/EmpathTheLuckiestSmurf'' story of the same name was used by Lord Vladimir Smurfula to control Smurfette's mind to draw her closer to him. Near the end of the story, Empath is able to disrupt its effect on Smurfette by whistling [[ThemeTuneCameo the Smurfs theme song]].
* [[SpoiledBrat Lullaby]] from ''Fanfic/UltimateSleepwalker'' uses her singing to brainwash people into being her personal thugs (or, in Rick's case, her boy toys). Sleepwalker is immune to her singing, being an alien, and Lullaby's control is usually broken when she is silenced.
* ''Fanfic/TheLifeAndTimesOfAWinningPony'': The [[Myth/SlavicMythology rusalka’s]] song in the side story “The Incredibly Thrilling Investigation of Storm Kicker”, which hypnotizes ponies and turns them into thralls under the rusalka’s control.
* A good example would be the Soviet Villains from ''{{DarthWiki/TheGingerverse}}''. They can even make their songs heard in several countries at once!

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* The Dazzlings from ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyEquestriaGirlsRainbowRocks'' naturally employ this, as the three of them are both {{Enthralling Siren}}s and {{Evil Diva}}s. They mostly use it as a HatePlague, but the influence they exert on Principal Celestia and Vice-Principal Luna heavily implies that they're capable of more traditional mind control as well.
** One of their songs, "[[VillainSong Under Our Spell]]," is ''about'' this in addition to ''being'' it. Of course, they don't perform it until it's already too late to resist.
* The villain in ''Disney/HomeOnTheRange'' uses mind-control ''yodeling''.
* The plot of ''Project Itoh: Genocidal Organ'' involves the hunt for a linguistics expert who's discovered a [[LanguageEqualsThought language of genocide]] and is using it as a HatePlague. It's implied at one point that this can be spread via music, and the protagonist has to kill a fellow soldier when he's affected.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* In ''Film/{{Zoolander}}'', the MusicalTrigger for Derick's brainwashing to kick in and have him assassinate the Prime Minister of Malaysia was a remix of the song "Relax" by Frankie Goes To Hollywood, which they also played while brainwashing him.
* In the Japanese horror film ''Film/SuicideCircle'', it's implied a popular music group may be subliminally responsible for all the suicides.
* In ''Film/HocusPocus'' the witches keep the adults from stopping them using the song "I Put A Spell On You". The youngest later uses her own siren-like singing to lure children to the witches' house.
* The movie of ''Film/JosieAndThePussycats'' features a plot to build subliminal messages into the music of manufactured pop bands.
* ''Film/{{Help}}'': In an scene dropped from the final movie, Music/TheBeatles, at an acting school, are put into a trance by droning music played by Clang and his thugs. A scene that was used has them trying again, all crammed in a phone booth calling the band up while they're in Scotland Yard. Clang intones "Go... to... the... ''window!''... Go... to... the... ''window!''"
* The song "Gloomy Sunday" is used as a suicide trigger in the film ''Film/TheKovakBox''.
* [[MindControlDevice The Genie]] in ''Film/PrettyCoolToo'' works by emitting a special noise that forces anyone who hears it to obey any command they hear, but it can also contain commands in itself.
* ''Film/Siren2010'': Silka is a siren, and her song has magical properties. Sung softly, it can hypnotise. Sung loudly, it can deafen and drive mad.

* Creator/SusanCooper's novel ''Literature/TheDarkIsRising''. Will is about to experience the power of the Dark.
-->''And the singing began.\\
It was wordless; it came in the wind; it was a thin, high, cold whine with no definable tune or pattern. It came from a long way off, and it was not pleasant to hear. But it held him transfixed, turning his thoughts away from their proper direction, turning them away from everything except contemplation of whatever happened to be closest at hand. [snip] As he listened to the singing, he saw a twig on a low branch of the beech close to his head that seemed for no reason so totally enthralling that he could do nothing but gaze at it, as if it contained the whole world. He stared for so long, his eyes moving very gradually along the tiny twig and back again, that he felt as if several months had passed, while the high, strange singing went on and on in the sky from its distant beginnings. And then suddenly it stopped, and he was left standing dazed with his nose almost touching a very ordinary beech twig.\\
He knew then that the Dark had its own way of putting even an Old One outside Time for a space, if they needed a space for their own magic.''
* ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings''.
** In ''The Fellowship of the Ring'' both Tom Bombadil and Old Man Willow can affect other creatures' minds by singing.
** In ''Literature/TheSilmarillion'' Lúthien Tinúviel gains control over Morgoth himself by singing to him.
* This trope is the focus of ''Trill'', a short [[http://www.amazon.com/Lure-Dangerous-Women-Shanna-Germain-ebook/dp/B008P1228O story]] by Shanna Germain. The protagonist is something of a Pied Piper analogue.
* ''Literature/{{Coda}}'' has this with the Corp's music being equivalent to a drug. It can control what you see, think, and feel, and can even [[spoiler: kill you]].
* [[HotWitch The Lady of the Green Kirtle]] in ''Literature/TheSilverChair'' used a monotonous melody played on a mandolin-like instrument (combined with a sweet-smelling powder) to make her victims receptive to her suggestions. The effect can be resisted, but doing so takes '''phenomenal''' willpower.
* Implied in ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheOrderOfThePhoenix''. One of the magical items found in the Order's headquarters is a music box that, when played, makes the listeners feel drowsy and sluggish. Snapping it shut ends the enchantment, which allows them to throw the music box out.
* In ''Literature/CaptainUnderpants and the Perilous Plot of Professor Poopypants'', the professor plays Music/{{Cher}}'s greatest hits to the gerbils in order to make them turn evil.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* Series/DoctorWho
** One (lost) episode of First Doctor serial "The Celestial Toymaker", has Dodo and Steven come to a dance-floor, with the supposed prize of the TARDIS and possible escape waiting on the other side of the room. But as soon as they come into contact with the dance-floor, music starts to play and they find their feet magically compelled to dance. Steven and Dodo must find a way to overcome the magic power of the music long enough to make it to the other side of the floor and their chance at escape.
** [[PresidentEvil Harold Saxon]][=/=]TheMaster uses a downplayed example in "The Sound of Drums". He uses a worldwide network of satellites to project the four-tick drumbeat he hears onto the population, with their subconscious absorbing the rhythm and the messages that come with it, telling them to "Vote Saxon", and "Believe in Me". The Doctor explains that anything more powerful would be questioned, but something so subtle would go unnoticed by most.
* An episode of ''Series/GetSmart'' had Max and 99 fighting "The Groovy Guru" (played by [[Series/FTroop Larry Storch]]), who was producing music with subliminal messages aimed to get kids to overthrow the government and authorities. While the kids were supposed to be affected by subliminal mind control signals, the lyrics weren't too subtle, either.
-->''Thrill, thrill, thrill!\\
Kill, kill, kill!\\
Make a scene,\\
Knock off the Dean.\\\
Yea yea yea,\\
Bump off a square,\\
That's what it's about\\
Hate is in.\\
Love is out.''
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'': In season 7, the First Evil brainwashes [[FriendlyNeighborhoodVampire reformed vampire]] Spike into killing humans again; the trigger is the folksong "Early One Morning."
* One episode of ''Series/WonderWoman'' featured a flute-playing rock star who could control his female fans with his music.
* Similarly, the villain Glitter Rock uses mind-control music in one episode of ''Series/ElectraWomanAndDynaGirl''.
* The first episode of the short-lived Fox show ''Series/TheNewAdventuresOfBeansBaxter'' had the villain using a singer's music to control the minds of teenagers.
* ''Series/AdamAdamantLives'': The villains in "Sing a Song of Danger" plan to use a subliminal message embedded in records to cause fans to rob banks and deliver the money to them through fan clubs. They use another album to try to compel Adam to murder Georgina.
* A story arc on ''Series/{{NCIS}}'' involves the BigBad using music to brainwash children into becoming ChildSoldiers. [[spoiler:And one of them shoots Gibbs.]]
* ''Series/WarOfTheWorlds''. This is the EvilPlan in "Choir of Angels", though only one person is the specific target -- a scientist working on the serum what will make the Martians immune to Earth's bacteria. Harrison inadvertently listens to the music and becomes affected, [[FantasticDrug leading to a painful withdrawal.]]
* ''Series/{{Heroes}}'' has a downplayed example with Emma, a deaf woman whose main power of "enhanced synesthesia" allows her to see sound waves as bright, flowing colors. A secondary power, though, gives her the ability to naturally draw others to her while she plays her cello. It's not exactly mind control, in that people aren't being robbed of their free will--they simply gather around to listen. Regardless, it's still [[LethalHarmlessPowers incredibly dangerous]] when combined with the villainous Samuel Sullivan's [[DishingOutDirt terrakinesis]]--he grows stronger as more individuals with enhanced abilities gather around him, so his EvilPlan in Season Five is to use Emma's "siren song" to bring thousands of people to the carnival he runs, which would supercharge his power to unstoppable levels.

* Music/TheLonelyIsland:
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8yvEYKRF5IA "Boombox."]] The eponymous box causes people to lose control when they hear music coming from it.
--->''A boombox can change the world\\
But you've gotta know your limits with a boombox\\
This was a cautionary tale\\
A boombox is not a toy''
** The song in "Go Kindergarten" convinces the audience to do all sorts of weird things, including things which shouldn't even be possible, like making their butts drink helium and speak in a high-pitched voice.
* The music video for Music/FatboySlim's "Ya Mama" shows people losing control of their limbs whenever they hear the tune. HilarityEnsues.

[[folder:Myths & Religion]]
* The title character of ''Literature/ThePiedPiperOfHamelin''. Initially, it seems like he's limited to controlling rats, but when the town stiffs him on his bill, he reveals similar hypnotic power over children. (This is, of course, where the old saying "Time to pay the piper" originated, meaning that going back on a deal can have consequences.)
* [[EnthrallingSiren Sirens]] in Myth/GreekMythology. Listening to their song causes sailors to wish to dash their ships on the rocks just to get closer.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'':
** The singing and music of bards can charm (control) other creatures.
** Some magical musical instruments can do this even if played by someone other than a bard.
* ''TabletopGame/CallOfCthulhu''. The spell Soul Singing requires the caster to play a bone whistle. It allows the caster to control the target's mind, leading them in a trance-like state to their doom.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Champions}}'' supplement ''C.L.O.W.N.'' has two of these.
** One of Merry Andrew's gadgets is a crank organ that plays "The Merry-Go-Round Broke Down" tune. Anyone who hears it starts to act like a monkey.
** Beuford the Bard has a magical mandolin which controls the minds of people who listen to its music.

* ''Theatre/ThePhantomOfTheOpera'': The Phantom hypnotises Christina in the [[DarkReprise reprise]] of angel of music.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/AdventureQuestWorlds'' has Discordia, the Sixth Lord of Chaos from the Mythsong saga, whose music has the power to control people. [[spoiler:It turns out that he himself is being controlled by Kimberly of One Eyed Doll, the true Chaos Lord]].
* Shiho of ''VideoGame/ValkyrieProfile'', a 'songmistress' whose singing instills her countrymen with burning fury and bloodlust, turning them into unstoppable berserkers in combat. She's wrought with guilt, however, since her song doesn't make them invulnerable, just fearless, leading most of the soldiers to their death.
* How the tikis mind control the animals in ''VideoGame/DonkeyKongCountryReturns''. The Kongs are unaffected.
* In ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'', Psycho Mantis uses a distinctive 'hymn' based on Russian choral music to control people's minds, referred to by Naomi as "mind control music" and supposedly a favourite song of his childhood. It is first played in-game as apparently ordinary in-game music, but when it stops, Snake and Meryl both comment on it and get justifiably worried (when it begins again, it is Mantis attempting to possess Meryl). Spoofed in ''Webcomic/TheLastDaysOfFoxhound'' where Mantis accidentally discovers he can do this by whistling.
* Before she escaped him, this is how [[EnslavedElves Sebille's]] master controlled her in ''VideoGame/DivinityOriginalSinII'', in combination with her SlaveBrand. He would sing a song that would control her thoughts and make her do his bidding (specifically assassinating other elves). When she meets him again on The Nameless Isle, the first thing she does, after their rather tense "chat" in which he demonstrates his power over her, is stab him in the throat with her needle to keep him from singing.

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* In ''VisualNovel/ChaosHead'', the band Phantasm - or perhaps just their enigmatic lead singer, FES - can reduce a whole roomful of rowdy concertgoers to hypnotized zombies with their strange, prophetic goth-punk-rock. Or maybe [[ThroughTheEyesOfMadness you just imagined it]]...

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* In the ''Webcomic/FreeSpirit2014'' comic "[[http://www.platypuscomix.net/freespirit/index.php?issue=4&page=0 Song of the Siren]]", Winnie accidentally discovers that her singing can hypnotize mortals into performing such activities as giving her nice things or breaking into SpontaneousChoreography.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* ''WebAnimation/DSBTInsaniT'': This is Stephanie's specialty, and it gets stronger the more people who join in.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* The ''WesternAnimation/AdventuresOfTheGummiBears'' episode "Music Hath Charms" had Duke Igthorn use a set of magical bagpipes to hypnotize anyone who heard its music (with the exception of the ogres}, especially the Gummis.
* One Pinky & the Brain short on ''WesternAnimation/{{Animaniacs}}'' featured Brain developing a mind-control scheme using subliminal messages played through generic country music songs.
* One episode of the first season of ''WesternAnimation/AquaTeenHungerForce'' features a villain named MC Pee Pants who releases a rap song called "I Want Candy" that causes anyone who hears it to crave sweets non-stop. It turns out that this is a ploy to raise people's blood sugar to insanely high levels, allowing MC Pee Pants to use it to power a drill and release demons from Hell, who would in turn run a global diet pill pyramid scheme. And all of this is ''expressly spelled out in the lyrics.''
* ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheBraveAndTheBold'' has a CanonForeigner named TheMusicMeister, whose singing hits a certain frequency to mind control anyone who hears it. Another effect: those who fall under his spell [[MusicalEpisode burst into song themselves]]. Franchise/{{Batman}} is able to create a device which dampens its power, though.
* There was a ''WesternAnimation/ChipNDaleRescueRangers'' episode in which the villainess controlled a swarm of bees via ([[StylisticSuck awful]]) rock music.
* As the page quote indicates, ''WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom'' features recurring villain Ember [=McLain=], a ghostly punk rocker with the ability to control people's emotions via a spectral guitar; she also [[SayMyName draws power from people chanting her name]], and so brainwashed teenagers into a frenzy in her first appearance. In this case, Sam was the only person unaffected as she was wearing Fenton Phones (noise-cancelling, ghost-repelling earplugs) throughout the episode. Later, she used a more traditional method--backmasked messages in records--to hypnotize the adults of Amity Park into abandoning their children and powering a fleet of ships for Youngblood the Pirate, another ghost.
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Detentionaire}}'', there is a song called the Prank Song that puts most people into a highly suggestible state. Some people are naturally immune to the effects, though.
* ''WesternAnimation/DextersLaboratory'': A one-shot villain named "Organ Grindor" used his titular instrument to hypnotize the heroic Monkey into becoming a thief for him.
* The Magical Mandolin from the ''WesternAnimation/DorothyAndTheWizardOfOz'' episode of the same name works this way. When played during the day, it causes people to dance merrily, but when played at night, it puts anyone who hears it in an obedient trance.
* In ''WesternAnimation/GIJoeARealAmericanHero'', terrorist leader [[BigBad Cobra Commander]] hires Zartan and the Dreadknocks (a group of mercenaries) to form a band called "Cold Slither" so that [[SubliminalAdvertising subliminal messages]] can be put into their recording.
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/GarfieldAndFriends'' involves a Tyrannosaurus Rex who, after awakening from being sealed in a cave, attempts to take over the world by hosting a children's television program as "Sidney the Pink Dinosaur" and singing an insipid song titled "Good is Better Than Bad." Anyone who hears it (and looks into the dinosaur's HypnoticEyes) becomes a blithering moron who agrees with everything Sidney says. Garfield avoids the hypnosis (a combination of not looking at the screen and realizing how stupid the idea is) and ends up having to save the world...again.
* Used by Robbie in the ''WesternAnimation/GravityFalls'' episode "Boyz Crazy".
* Used by Dr. Wily in ''WesternAnimation/MegaMan''.
* Happens a couple times in ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb''.
** This trope was also parodied in "Bubble Boys." The tone-deaf Dr. Doofenshmirtz invents a hat that makes him a great country singer, and plans to brainwash the tri-state area with his song "Yodel-Odel Obey Me." The parody comes into play when the song's lyrics explicitly state that the listeners are being hypnotized: "You'll be my obedient mindless slaves, and nobody will blame me..." Despite the blatant mentions of mind control, it still works:
--->'''Country Music Fan One:''' I like him!\\
'''Country Music Fan Two:''' YEAH! LET'S DO WHATEVER HE SAYS!
* ''WesternAnimation/SamuraiJack'' has an episode called "Jack and the Rave", in which an evil DJ who works for [[BigBad Aku]] plays rave music that hypnotizes teenagers into becoming violent hoodlums.
* The main premise of the episode "New Kids on the Blecch" of ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons''. Bart joins the boy band "The Party Posse", a project by the Navy to use subliminal messages in music to get more recruits. Their first song contains the lyrics "Yvan eht nioj" ("Join the Navy" backwards).
* Madame Trilby's magic flute (no relation to [[WesternAnimation/TheSmurfsAndTheMagicFlute the other magic flute]]) that Gargamel used on the Smurfs to make them sleepwalk in ''WesternAnimation/TheSmurfs'' episode "Sleepwalking Smurfs". Also the Ghoulliope from the cartoon special "Smurfily Ever After".
* In the ''WesternAnimation/SonicBoom'' episode "Battle of the Boy Bands", [[NoCelebritiesWereHarmed Justin Beaver's]] music can hypnotize females.