Categories
Mixtape

Scene 01 – Invocation

You can listen here to the original song “Invocation”, which is the opening of Scene 1 of Iliad The Musical.

Lyrics

You can also follow along with the libretto for lyrics and context.

Context

The show begins with the invocation of the muse.

The curtains open, revealing the Achaeans in council. Calchas holds the staff that commands the council’s attention. Hitting the staff on the ground on the first of every six beats, Calchas invokes the godess.

In Ancient Greece, a staff was pounded on the ground to mark the start of each verse (that’s why, even today, we draw a “staff” between measures).

According to legend, Homer sang the Iliad in a cobbler’s shop to people getting their shoes fixed. He played a seven-string lyre in the enharmonic genus tuned to the dorian scale.

He sang non-rhyming verses called “heroic verses” or Homeric verses. They’re kind of like dactyllic hexameters, except a few additional rules also apply (for example, the second-to-last foot must be a dactyll and the last foot must be either a spondee or trochee — that way, every verse ends with the same “shave-and-a-haircut” rhythm).

The song grows into a full orchestra of Ancient Greek instruments, but begins with an attempt to recreate exactly how Homer actually sounded in the cobbler’s shop 2,800 years ago.

Harmonics

“Invocation” is composed in the Ancient Greek enharmonic genus, tuned to the ancient hypodorian scale.

Instrumentation

“Invocation” is arranged for Ancient Greek instruments:

  • Aulos I
  • Aulos II
  • Monaulos I
  • Monaulos II
  • Proslambenomenos Aulos
  • Cithara I
  • Cithara II
  • Hydraulis
  • Crotales
  • Timpani
  • Hand claps
  • Foot stomps
Categories
Mixtape

Scene 22 – Hector

You can listen here to the original song “Hector” from Scene 22 of Iliad The Musical.

Lyrics

You can also follow along with the libretto for lyrics and context.

Context

This is Hector’s last song before he dies. His mother and father beg him not to walk outside the walls of Troy to face Achilles alone — but he does so anyway.

He walks outside the walls of Troy. The Scaean Gates close behind him. He has a moment of hesitation and reflect on his life in this song.

Right after this song, Achilles enters. They fight the final duel and Hector dies. As he himself famously foretold, Hector “trusted his strength and ruined his army.”

Harmonics

“Hector” is composed in the Ancient Greek diatonic genus, tuned to the ancient hypolydian scale.

Instrumentation

“Hector” is arranged entirely for Ancient Greek instruments:

  • Panpipes
  • Aulos I
  • Aulos II
  • Monaulos I
  • Monaulos II
  • Proslambenomenos Aulos
  • Cithara
  • Hydraulis
  • Crotales
  • Timpani
  • Hand claps
  • Foot stomps
Categories
Mixtape

Scene 02 – Never Forget

You can listen here to the original song “Never Forget” from Scene 2 of Iliad The Musical.

Lyrics

You can also follow along with the libretto for lyrics and context.

Context

This is the big opening number (about 8 minutes into the show), during the famous Catalog Of Ships from Book 2 of Homer’s Iliad.

Ten years earlier, the Achaean alliance invaded Troy with 1,000 ships. In this song, the leaders of these ships march to war, announce themselves, and give a shout out to their homelands. Athena leads the chorus in song.

In Ancient Greece, heroes who won their glory were welcomed back home with a song written just for them — played on pipes called auli. The pipers and singers played together as family and friends celebrated the soldier’s homecoming.

Harmonics

“Never Forget” is composed in the Ancient Greek chromatic genus, tuned to the ancient hypophrygian scale.

Instrumentation

“Never Forget” is arranged entirely for Ancient Greek instruments:

  • Aulos I
  • Aulos II
  • Proslambenomenos aulos
  • Cithara
  • Hydraulis
  • Crotales
  • Timpani
  • Hand claps
  • Foot stomps
Categories
Mixtape

Scene 24 – Charge Of God

You can listen here to the original song “Charge Of God” from Scene 24 of Iliad The Musical.

Lyrics

You can also follow along with the lyrics in the libretto.

Context

Iliad The Musical ends here, in Scene 24, when the Trojan king Priam meets Achilles.

Priam, catching Achilles unaware, clasps Achilles’s knees and kisses Achilles’s hands. Achilles and his two comrades are startled, as Priam explains who he is and why he’s done what no human is capable of doing: kissing the hands of the one who killed his sons.

Then this song begins.

After witnessing the rage of Achilles for the entire show, we at last see Achilles soften his anger – when he gives Hector’s body to Priam. Achilles does this after reflecting on his own father and crying with Priam over the suffering caused by the war.

After this song the show ends, but not before Priam takes Hector’s body back to Troy where Hecabe, Andromache, and Helen mourn and bury Hector in a proper ceremony.

Harmonics

“Charge Of God” is composed in the ancient enharmonic genus, tuned to the ancient hypophrygian scale.

Instrumentation

“Charge Of God” is arranged entirely for Ancient Greek instruments:

  • Aulos I
  • Aulos II
  • Proslambenomenos Aulos
  • Cithara
  • Hydraulis
  • Crotales
  • Timpani
  • Hand claps
  • Feet stomps