FREE Aaron Copland's Quiet City Essay - Example Essays

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.

Free Essays from Bartleby | Aaron Copland was born November 14th 1900 in Brooklyn, New York

Copland's Jewish identity receives enlightening treatment in Leon Botstein's "Copland Reconfigured," Pollack's "Copland and the Prophetic Voice," and Levy's "From Orient to Occident: Aaron Copland and the Sagas of the Prairie." Pollack summarizes the Copland family's Jewish background and examines the attribution of "Hebraic" and "prophetic" qualities to Copland's work. Through the lens of Copland's Music for Radio, Levy's nuanced study shows Copland constructing an American identity that includes both the Jew and the American West. Botstein's essay elucidates the diverse Jewish-American communities of Copland's day, comparing Copland's experiences with other musical figures including Irving Berlin, Leonard Bernstein, Ernest Bloch, George Gershwin, Oscar Hammerstein, Lazare Saminsky, and Paul Rosenfeld. Copland "grew up in a professional context in which being Jewish was not exceptional" (p. 457), Botstein concludes. Similarly, he deems Copland's homosexuality an "unproblematic" non-issue; though this position overlooks significant societal prejudices that surfaced at different points in Copland's career, Botstein's point that neither should be considered Copland's primary driving force holds true.


Term Paper On Aaron Copland Essay Research

Creighton, Stephen David. 1994. “A Study of Tonality in Selected Works of Aaron Copland.” Ph.D. diss., University of British Columbia.

“I remember in an early lesson my bristling when he said, ‘How come you always use intervals like minor thirds and major sevenths? Why don’t you ever use a perfect fifth?’”
—Jacob Druckman on Aaron Copland (Copland and Perlis 1989, 129)


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Aaron Copland was born on November 14, 1900, in Brooklyn, New York, the youngest of five children born to Harris Morris Copland and Sarah (Mittenthal) Copland. He attended Boys' High School and studied music privately (theory and composition with Rubin Goldmark, beginning in 1917). In 1921 he went to France to study at the American Conservatory in Fontainebleau, where his principal teacher was Nadia Boulanger. During his early studies, he had been much attracted by the music of Scriabin, Debussy, and Ravel; the years in Paris provided an opportunity to hear and absorb all the most recent trends in European music, notably the works of Stravinsky, Bartók, and Schoenberg.

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Because the question of Copland's consistency arises on so many levels, to this reader, the most stimulating essay in the collection is by Paul Anderson: "'To Become as Human as Possible': The Influence of André Gide on Aaron Copland." Anderson convincingly argues that Gide's thought was at the core of Copland's approach to life, human relationships, aesthetics, and composition. Certainly Gide profoundly influenced Copland's self-accepting views of homosexuality; Anderson describes the margin notes in Copland's copy of Gide's Corydon in support. But it is Gide's acceptance of his own "contradictory convictions" (p. 63) that Anderson concludes had the most far-reaching effects on Copland: "what Copland ultimately inherited from Gide was a kind of...