Neptune Response Paper

03/07/2011

 

It is interesting to think about how the discovery of Uranus could be considered something of an accident (simply because Herschel had not set out to find a planet), but that Neptune had been suspected of being a planet (had already been in place as a star) and that Newton’s laws were used to confirm that it was actually a planet. In times like that, one can’t help but smile that mankind managed to understand the ways of the universe well enough to predict something like that. Of course, we do so much more than that now, but it is still really awe inspiring to think about.

I never knew that Neptune had any rings. I’m surprised that I never learned that. I hadn’t known about Uranus’ rings either, though, so I suppose it shouldn’t surprise me. So much has been made of Saturn’s rings that it seems none of the other planets which have them get any mention of that at all.

Holst’s representation of the planet Neptune seems very apropos. It seems like we don’t know that much about Neptune (as with Uranus) because it’s so far away and fairly small. I’m not sure why Neptune was called “the mystic”, but this music fits that very well, and it fits what we know of the planet. Is the god Neptune known for being a mystic? I can only think of water when I think of Neptune. At any rate, the music is pleasant, but doesn’t seem to go anywhere. It is ethereal and mysterious, but lacks direction. It does sound a bit familiar and I wonder if any movies have taken this score and modified it or taken themes from it to use for their soundtracks—the opening melody is especially familiar seeming.

Is this the only one of the suite to use human voices? It adds a very eerie effect, but since that is what is being gone after (I would assume) it works well. It’s kind of haunting. I like that much of it, even if I feel the rest of it didn’t really go anywhere.

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