Mars: Bringer of War


Based on the title of this course, I expected the reading to be less about the atmosphere and geology of Mars and more about how Holst’s piece depicts Mars as the “bringer of war.”  Since I do not come from a music background, it would have been nice to see how others interpret the Holst piece and how it describes Mars.  However, because I do come from a science background, the assigned reading was quite interesting and easy for me to understand.  I just had a hard time connecting the reading with the music.

What interested me most about the reading was the fact that Mars used to have water, and still does, although it is hidden.  I was not aware of this fact and it made me wonder about whether life on Mars could have existed at one point, which is something that has always fascinated me.  The article as a whole does a good job of explaining why Mars is the way it is and why it is different from Earth.  Comparing Mars to Earth is a helpful way to understand all of the scientific aspects of the article.

Listening to Holst’s piece about Mars made me think of Mars as gigantic, intimidating planet, while reading the article makes me think just the opposite.  Essentially, the article describes Mars as a lesser version of Earth while Holst describes Mars as something to be feared, which is evident in the music.  However, the article does not translate the same feeling, making it hard to connect the reading with the music