Aaron Copland Essay

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Aaron Copland Aaron Copland was one of the most respected American classical composers of the twentieth century. By incorporating popular forms of American music such as jazz and folk into his compositions, he created pieces both exceptional and innovative. As a spokesman for the advancement of indigenous American music, Copland made great strides in liberating it from European influence. Today, twenty two years after his death, Copland’s life and work continue to inspire many of America’s young composers, which shows the true power of his musical skill. Though Copland began writing his music in the mid 1920s it was in 1935 with “El Salón México” that Copland began his most productive and popular years. The piece presented a new sound that had its roots in Mexican folk music. Copland believed that through this music, he could find his way to a more popular symphonic tune. Some agree that Copland’s best works were his scores for ballets. He composed scores for a number of ballets, including two of the most popular of the time: “Agnes DeMille’s Rodeo” (1942) and Martha Graham’s “Appalachian Spring” (1944), for which he won the Pulitzer Prize. Probably the most important and successful composition from this time was his patriotic “A Lincoln Portrait” (1942). The piece for voice and orchestra presents quotes from Lincoln’s writings narrated over Copland’s musical composition. Throughout the 1950s, Copland slowed his work as a composer, and began to try his hand at conducting. He began to tour with his own work as well as the works of other great American musicians. By the early 1970s, Copland had almost completely stopped writing original music. Most of his time was spent conducting and reworking older compositions. In 1983 Copland conducted his last symphony. For a large portion of the twentieth century, Aaron Copland pioneered the American musical frontier,
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