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Term Paper On Aaron Copland

893 words - 4 pages

Aaron Copland was the embodiment of what a composer can hope to become. Copland was very much in touch not only with himself and his feelings, but with the audience he intended to reach. Very few composers have a concrete idea of what 'types' of people they wish their music to reach. Copland was one of these few. The 'Common Man' was the central part of much of his volumes of music strived to reach. Copland felt that, '. .everyone should have a chance to see things through this music. Limiting who can understand it only limits your usefulness' Throughout his 75+ years as a composer and conductor, he touched the lives and hearts of as many people as he could.Copland was born in Brooklyn, New ...view middle of the document...

He created Billy The Kid in 1938, producing the first 'Western' musical. The score achieved a remarkable balance between outright humor and pathos, and oftentimes bordered on tragic. It was this base understanding of humanity that made Copland's music what it is. Many texts also refer to a certain built in sympathy that Copland may have had for the main character, citing his homosexuality as a cause for his deep understanding of what it is to be looked down upon by society.Another rowdy musical followed, entitled Rodeo. This piece was comprised of a similar hybrid of popular western themes, and used as a story line the universally known as 'The Ugly Duckling'. Rodeo had it's premiere in 1942 at the Metropolitan Opera House, and was judged as an unqualified success.Copland was clearly breaking down barriers with his 'common' music. The Metropolitan Opera was known at this time for it's stuffy renditions of Verdi and Puccini's operas, and not for the joyful playfulness of such a work.The warm exuberance of Copland's music attracted Martha Graham in 1943. She commissioned him to write a score for her ballet entitled Appalachian Spring, which is impossible not to mention. (despite the fact that we heard it in class) Appalachian spring brought nothing but good fortune to Copland, assuring him an eternal place in classical music. It was after the...

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