Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity – Music of the Planets
Jupiter is the planet named after the ancient Roman god Jupiter, equivalent of the Greek Zeus. He was the king of the gods and the god of sky and thunder. In astrology, Jupiter is associated with the principles of growth, expansion, prosperity and good fortune. He governs long distance and foreign travel, higher education and spirituality.
The English composer Gustav Holst wrote, between 1914 and 1916, a seven-movement orchestral suite – The Planets, Op. 32. Each movement of the suite is named after a planet of the Solar System and its corresponding astrological character.
The fourth movement of the suite has the title „Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity“ and was written in 1914. The title refers to the Greek and Roman mythology, where jollity was one of the god’s characteristics. The adjective «jovial» originally described those born under the planet of Jupiter, reputed to be jolly, optimistic, and buoyant in temperament.
Holst conceived the idea of „The Planets“ in 1913, partly as a result of his interest in astrology. The writer and journalist Clifford Bax introduced Holst to astrology, in the spring of 1913, in Majorca. Then, Holst became a devotee of the subject, studying natal charts of his friends. He also read the works of the British astrologer Alan Leo (1860-1917), author of „Practical Astrology“, „How to Judge a Nativity“, „The Key to your own Nativity“ or „What is the Horoscope and How is it Cast“.