Mars, the Bringer of War hammers a fearsome, relentless 5/4 rhythm. Long unending phrases contrast with glittering martial fanfares, suggesting the "horror" and the "glory" of war. Interesting this piece was written before World War I commenced in 1914.

Three musical ideas are used to create this martial piece:

A brutally rhythmic figure of five beats relentlessly hammered out as an ostinato. Note this pattern is a distortion of a mark rhythm and heard in timpani, harps and strings who play the rhythm tapping the back of their bows on their strings. This is accompanied by a rumbling gong.


Opening theme A is introduced by bassoons, contrabassoons and horns.


Theme B introduced by trombone, tenor tuba and horns.


Theme C introduced in bar 66 by tenor tuba and trumpets with strong beats in the strings. It sounds like a battle fanfare and repeats a number of times with changes to the accompaniment.

Ends with the original ostinato but even more warlike in character. The warlike images in this movement are created by:

·       the use of brass instruments
·       march like themes
·       loud dynamics and lots of clashing chords
·       predominance of low register (pitch)  instruments
·       trumpet fanfares