"I started up with a strange sense of having literally slept at my post"

Whilst the tune with which David cheers Saul is a means of casting out demons, Miles's playing has more in common with that of the countless figures in myth and folklore who use music to bewitch others. In Greek mythology, for instance, the sirens' sweet singing so enchants all who hear it that they willingly allow themselves to be drawn to their deaths. In the old legend of the Pied Piper of Hamelin, meanwhile, the piper musically enchants all the children of the town, luring them into a mountain which magically opens up to engulf them. 

You can read Book XII of Homer's Odyssey, which tells of the sirens, here, and Robert Browning's poetic rendering of the Pied Piper of Hamelin here.

The Odyssey on Book Drum


Ulysses and the Sirens (1891)
Public DomainUlysses and the Sirens (1891) - Credit: John William Waterhouse