Paean to Ares

Michael Levy
Michael Levy


Track 7, "Kithara of the Golden Age"...

In Classical Greece, a Paean was a song or lyric poem expressing triumph or thanksgiving. Ares was the ancient Greek god of war.

This piece is therefore in the ancient Greek Dorian Mode - which according to Plato, was the most manly of all the musical modes, capable of even inspiring bravery in battle, Misnamed the 'Phrygian' mode in the Middle Ages, the intensely introspective ancient Greek Dorian mode is the equivalent intervals as E-E on the white notes of the piano. I also use authentically pure intervals tuned in just intonation.

In his philosophical analysis of the 'manly' qualities of the ancient Greek Dorian mode "The Republic" by Plato, Book III (398-403), in a classic philosophical dialogue of argument and counter-argument between the characters in this passage, the text is as follows:

"The harmonies which you mean are the mixed or tenor Lydian, and the full-toned or bass Lydian, and such-like.
These then, I said, must be banished; even to women who have a character to maintain they are of no use, and much less to men.


In the next place, drunkenness and softness and indolence are utterly unbecoming the character of our guardians.

Utterly unbecoming?

And which are the soft and convivial harmonies?

The Ionian, he replied, and some of the Lydian which are termed “relaxed”.

Well, and are these of any use for warlike men?

Quite the reverse, he replied; and if so the Dorian and the Phrygian are the only ones which you have left."


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