Evaluating The Usefulness of The Sources

Source 1

Neil Arthur Williams (2014). Pop Goes The Planets . Staffordshire: Birthplace Museum Cheltenham. 28 – 36

Record the information you have found in response to specific questions

In question 2, I asked if any contemporary musical had been inspired or influenced by Holst’s ‘The Planet’s, in my source I discovered that many contemporary rock and pop songs have been either inspired by or borrows melodies from ‘The Planets’. This includes songs by Black Sabbath, Led Zepplin, ELO and many other examples. Many of these songs were influenced by the Mars movement in particular.

Evaluate the usefulness of the source

This source was very effective in answering question 2, it provided in depth details about many contemporary artists and songs that have been influenced by Holst’s ‘The Planets’. The source was a piece of literature created for an event, ‘Pop Goes The Planets’ an illustrated talk about Holst’s ‘The Planets’ hosted by Neil Arthur Williams, a ‘musicologist, composer and Holst expert’ and also the author of the source. Therefore I believe the source to be reliable as it is within the expertise of the author, all information in the resource was supported by it’s own outside sources of information provided in a bibliography at the end. The intended audience for this text can be assumed attendees of the talk, and therefore interested in Holst, the tone of the text is very celebratory of ‘The Planets’. As this source specifically spoke about Holst’s influence on contemporary culture, it was only useful in answering my second question. However, it did prompt me to look further into songs specifically influenced by Neptune and to discover further information about this.

Source 2

Faber. (2007). Compositions, The Music of Gustav Holts. Available: http://www.gustavholst.info/compositions/listing.php?work=18. Last accessed 24th Apr 2018.

Record the information you have found in response to specific questions

In question 1, I asked what inspired ‘The Planets’, within this source I was able to identify that Holst was like inspired by a trip he took to Italy with Clifford Bax, an astrologer. This lead to Holst gaining an interest in astrology himself and rediscovering his ‘childhood intrigue’ with theosophy.
In question 5, I asked what inspired Neptune’s composition, and from the source I discovered Holst may have been influenced by Alan Leo’s book about astrology, ‘The Art of Synthesis’ as many of the chapter titles are mimicked in the titles of Holst’s songs and specifically for ‘Neptune, The Mystic’. From the source I also learnt that Holst ‘borrowed ideas’ from his contemporaries, Schoenberg, Stravinsky and Debussy, with Debussy’s piano pieces very likely influence his Neptune piece.
For question 3, I asked where ‘The Planet’s had been performed and this source informed me that it was first performed in a private concert in 1918 and first performed in public in Queen’s Hall in 1920.

Evaluate the usefulness of the source

I was able to find a lot of information for a few of my questions from this source, therefore making it an invaluable resource. I believe the source is reliable as the website serves to provide in-depth information about Gustav Holst, with a variety of different resources linked into the website itself. The website is contributed to and updated by a variety of different authors, that includes historians and musicians among them.


Source 3

Ivan Hewett. (2012). Gustav Holst: so much more than ‘The Planets’.Available: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/music/classicalmusic/9365408/Gustav-Holst-so-much-more-than-The-Planets.html. Last accessed 24th Apr 2018

Record the information you have found in response to specific questions

This source gave me a great deal of information about Holst’s early years and earlier compositions. From the source I identified that throughout his career Holst was inspired by a variety of different things, including ‘ancient Hindu scriptures’ that likely influenced his work this answers question one about Holst’s inspirations.

Evaluate the usefulness of the source

Although this source was informative and provided a lot of Holst’s history, it was limiting  as it only provided information for one of my questions. The Telegraph is an credible source and therefore useful, however, in comparison to my other two sources, source 3 simply did not provide as much information.

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