1. Hymn to Ares
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Hymn to Ares

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My evocation of the type of melody which may once have accompanied a recitation of the Homeric Hymn 8 to Ares, the ancient Greek god of war (Greek epic,7th to 4th centuries BCE):

“Ares, exceeding in strength, chariot-rider, golden-helmed, doughty in heart, shield-bearer, Saviour of cities, harnessed in bronze, strong of arm, unwearying, mighty with the spear, O defence of Olympus, father of warlike Victory, ally of Themis, stern governor of the rebellious, leader of righteous men, sceptred King of manliness, who whirl your fiery sphere among the planets in their sevenfold courses through the aether wherein your blazing steeds ever bear you above the third firmament of heaven; hear me, helper of men, giver of dauntless youth! Shed down a kindly ray from above upon my life, and strength of war, that I may be able to drive away bitter cowardice from my head and crush down the deceitful impulses of my soul. Restrain also the keen fury of my heart which provokes me to tread the ways of blood-curdling strife. Rather, O blessed one, give you me boldness to abide within the harmless laws of peace, avoiding strife and hatred and the violent fiends of death”

This track is in the Greek Dorian mode (misnamed the ‘Phrygian’ mode in the Middle Ages), which according to Plato in the Republic was the most masculine and war-like of the musical modes. The piece features rapid finger style passages, to evoke the feeling of movement in battle.