Copland Essay

Decent Essays

Copland wrote a ballet about one of the most famous "western gangsters" in history: Billy the Kid. The work was written in 1938 and remained popular for over a decade. Unfortunately, his works are no longer heard or performed often enough today. In my opinion, Copland is one of the greatest American performers in music history, but he is not given the recognition he deserves by today's society. By looking at Copland's works and analyzing his "Billy the Kid," the necessary proof of his greatness will, without question, show the fact that he is one of the greatest American composers of all time.

Aaron Copland, whose family name was changed from Kapland by immigration officials in New York, was born on November 14,
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Finally his studies led him to France at the age of 21, where he studied under Paul Vidal for a short period of time and then under Mlle. Boulanger for three years. Before returning to America, in 1924, Mlle. Nadia Boulanger asked Mr. Copland to write her a piece to perform on an American tour. He accepted and wrote "Symphony for organ and orchestra, with Walter Camrosch as conductor and
Nadia Boulanger as soloist...." Also during this time, he wrote The Cat and the Mouse and a Passacaglia which "made him known to a large and influential public and definitely established his position in American musical life."
His musical career took off from there with invitations to write original pieces for concerts, tours, and such groups as the Boston Symphony. In 1938, Copland wrote a ballet about William Bonney. William grew up in Brooklyn, New York, Aaron's hometown. At the age of 12 he saw his mother shot by a wayward bullet during a street brawl. Following this he stabbed the man responsible for his mother's death. This is the first of several murders William commits. Later in life he is accused of cheating during a card game and kills the accuser. Finally, he is captured after a showdown and jailed. To flee from prison, he slayed his jailer and escaped.
William then meets his lover in the desert and is murdered by his
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