Aaron Copland 1900-1990 Was an Research Paper
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Besides other awards, he was given a special Congressional Gold Medal by the United States Congress in 1986-87. Copland left an endowment from his estate to a Fund for Composers, which gives $600,000/annum to promote new compositions and performances (Congressional Gold Medial Receipients; Trudeau; Pollack, 548; Rockwell).
Copland was an active composer of numerous genres from 1925 to the mid-1960s. His works expressed a new semblance of Americana so easily identifiable that even when performed by foreign orchestras there is a sense of the pioneer days, of American patriotism, and even retelling of American mythology. A few seminal examples of this are:
Fanfare for the Common Man was written in 1942 for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and was inspired by a speech by Vice-President Henry Wallace called the era the "Centruy of the Common Man." The piece was part of a program supoprting the American entry into World War II, but was also used as the main theme for the 4th Movement of Copland's Third Symphony. It has been used globally in movies and television and even has rock versions (Emerson Lake and Palmer). The piece is scored for brass and percussion, and has a mixture of pathos as well as celebration. Copland noted that the piece should be "Very Deliberate" - building from an opening percssion note to the open 4th and 5th of the brass, building from a single trumpet to the brass ensemble (Copland,...
...The theme is taken from a Shaker Hymn called "Lord of the Dance," or "Simple Gifts," and is both lyrical and haunting. This is due to Copland's combination of triads and slightly dissonant chords -- sparse and simplistic like the Fanfare, but spinning the Shaker Hymn variations so that the result is quite moving. The actual "tune" was written in 1848, again, simple C major progressions that are both memorable and, when scored for orchestra, indicative of the American pioneer spirit (Copland, Simple Gifts from Appalacian Spring; Woodstra, Brennan and Schrott, pp. 309-10):
"Congressional Gold Medial Receipients." 23 September 1986. artandhistory.house.gov. .
Copland, a. Aaron Copland: Selected Writings: 1923-1972. Ed. R. Kostelanetz. New York: Routledge, 2004.
-- . "Day and Night: Aaron Copland." March 1975. Youtube.com. .
-- . "Fanfare for the Common Man." June 2001. YouTube. .
-- . "Simple Gifts from Appalacian Spring." September 2007. YouTube. .
Hoffer, C. Music Listening Today. New York: Schirmer/Cenage, 2007.
Lazo, C. Leonard Bernstein - in Love with Music. Minneapolis, MN: Lerner Publications, 2003.
Murchison, G. American Stravinsky: the Style and Aesthetics of Copland's New American Music. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 2012.
Pollack, H. Aaron Copland. New York: Henry Holt, 1999.
Rockwell, J. "Copland, Dean of American Music, Dies at 90." 3 Dember 1990. The New York Times. .
Smith, J. Aaron Copland. New York: EP Dutton, 1953.
Trudeau, a. "The Copland Story: An Artistic Biography." 8 November 2004. NPR Music. .
Woodstra, Brennan and Schrott. All Music Guide to Classical Music. San Francsicso, CA: BackBeat Press, 2005.
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