Aaron Copland (November 14, 1900 – December 2, 1990) was an American composer of modern tonal music as well as film music. Copland's music achieved a difficult balance between simple and effective composition. His often slow harmonies were near motionless recalling the vast American landscape. He incorporated percussive orchestration, changing meter, polyrhythms, polychords and tone rows. Outside of composing, Copland often served as a teacher and lecturer. During his career he also wrote books, articles and served as a conductor.
Copland born in Brooklyn, New York. Of RussianJewish descent, he spent his childhood living above his parents' Brooklyn shop. Although his parents never encouraged or directly exposed him to music, at age fifteen he had already taken an interest in the subject and aspired to be a composer. His music education included time with Leopold Wolfsohn and Rubin Goldmark, also one of George Gershwin's teachers, and with Nadia Boulanger in Paris from 1921.
Upon his return from his studies in Paris, he decided that he wanted to write works that were 'American in character' and thus he chose jazz as the American idiom. His first significant work was the necromantic ballet Grohg which contributed thematic material to his later Dance Symphony. Other major works of his first (austere) period include the Short Symphony (1933), Music for Theater (1925) and Piano Variations (1939). This jazz inspired period was brief, however as his style evolved toward the goal of writing more accessible works.
Many composers rejected the notion of writing music for the elite during the depression, thus the common American folklore served as the basis for his work along with revival hymns, cowboy and folk songs. Copland's second (vernacular) period began around 1936 with Billy the Kid and El Salon Mexico. Perhaps Copland's most famous work, Fanfare for the Common Man, scored for brass and percussion was written in 1942 at the request of the conductor Eugene Goossens. The fanfare was also used as the main theme of the fourth movement of Copland's Third Symphony. The same year Copland wrote Lincoln Portrait which became popular with a larger amount of the public leading to a strengthing of his association with American music. He was commissioned to write a ballet, Appalachian Spring, which later he arranged as a popular orchestra suite.
Copland was an important contributor to the film score genre. Several of the themes he created are encapsulated in the suite, Music for Movies, and his score for the film of Steinbeck's novel, The Red Pony, one of Copland's favourite scores, was given a suite of its own.
Having defended the Communist Party USA during the 1936 presidential election, Copland was investigated by the FBI during the red scare of the 1950s. In 1953, his music was pulled from President Eisenhower's inaugural concert due to the political climate; that same year Copland testified before U.S. Congress that he was never a Communist. The investigation went inactive in 1955 and was closed in 1975. Copland's membership in the party was never proven.
Fanfare for the Common Man "(Score and Parts). By Aaron Copland (1900-1990). For 4 F horns, 4 Bb trumpets, 2 trombones, tuba, timpani and percussion (Set). Boosey & Hawkes Chamber Music. 20th Century. Score and Parts. 17 pages. Boosey & Hawkes #M051100200. Published by Boosey & Haw
The Cat and the Mouse By Aaron Copland (1900-1990). Edited by Jane Magrath. For solo piano. Masterworks; Piano Solo; Solo. Alfred Masterworks Editions. Early Advanced level piece for the Piano Solo event with the National Federation of Music Clubs (NFMC) Festivals Bulletin 200
Concerto for Clarinet and String Orchestra with harp and piano (reduction for clarinet and piano). By Aaron Copland (1900-1990). For clarinet and piano accompaniment (Clarinet). Boosey & Hawkes Chamber Music. 20th Century. Difficulty: medium. Set of performance parts. 27 pages. Boosey & Hawkes #M051580088. Published
Twelve Poems of Emily Dickinson "(Voice and Piano). By Aaron Copland (1900-1990). For Medium Voicepiano, (Medium Voice). Boosey & Hawkes Voice. 20th Century. Songbook. Vocal melody, lyrics and piano accompaniment. 48 pages. Boosey & Hawkes #M051904709. Published by Boosey & Hawkes"
Duo By Aaron Copland (1900-1990). For flute and keyboard (Flute). Boosey & Hawkes Chamber Music. 20th Century. Difficulty: medium. Piano/flute book (includes separate pull out performance part for flute). Introductory text. 29 pages. Boosey & Hawkes #M0515901
Fanfare for the Common Man "(Piano Solo). By Aaron Copland (1900-1990). Edited by Roger Brison. For solo piano (Piano). BH Piano. 20th Century. SMP Level 7 (Late Intermediate). Single piece. Standard notation, fingerings and introductory text (does not include words to the songs).
Variations On A Shaker Melody - One Piano/Four Hands "(One Piano, Four Hands). By Aaron Copland (1900-1990). Arranged by Bennett Lerner. For piano four-hands (Piano). BH Piano. 20th Century. Difficulty: medium. Piano duet book. Introductory text. 12 pages. Boosey & Hawkes #M051250592. Published by Boosey &
"Hoe Down from ""Rodeo"" (Violin/Piano)" "(from Rodeo). By Aaron Copland (1900-1990). For violin solo and piano accompaniment (Violin). Boosey & Hawkes Chamber Music. 20th Century. Difficulty: difficult. Violin solo single. Solo part, standard notation, bowings and piano accompaniment. 12 pages.
Piano Variations "By Aaron Copland (1900-1990). For solo piano (Piano). BH Piano. 20th Century. SMP Level 10 (Advanced). Collection. Standard notation, fingerings and introductory text (does not include words to the songs). 16 pages. Boosey & Hawkes #M051281794. Published
Quiet City "(Parts). By Aaron Copland (1900-1990). Edited by J. Brodbin Kennedy. English horn, trumpet and piano. Boosey & Hawkes Chamber Music. Parts, Softcover. 16 pages. Boosey & Hawkes #M051101801. Published by Boosey & Hawkes"