We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Type of Music Works Best for Snake Charming?

For much of the 20th century, snake charmers were a fixture at markets and festivals in India and other Asian nations, entertaining crowds with their apparent ability to control some of the world's most dangerous reptiles. A snake charmer would appear to hypnotize a snake by playing a flute-like instrument called a pungi or bansuri. The snake would then sway, as if mesmerized by the music. But herpetologists say that snakes can’t hear sounds in the same frequency range as humans, and that their “dance” was simply a reaction to the movement of the instrument by the snake charmer.

An ancient tradition, fading away:

  • In India, the practice of catching snakes and training them to perform was traditionally passed on from father to son. For generations, it provided reliable income for many families.
  • India's snake charmers have pointed out that wildlife protection laws have contributed to the practice's marked decline.
  • Another reason: “After seeing so many wildlife shows on television, city folk are losing the fear and awe they used to have of snakes," says snake charmer Pitam Nath.
Discussion Comments
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.