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Life of Aaron Copland

Book Reports: Copland: 1900 through 1942 and Copland: Since 1943 In their books: Copland: 1900 through 1942 and Copland: Since 1943, Aaron Copland and Vivian Perlis give a detailed account of the life of one of Americas most influential composers. The books are arranged similarly to the Shostakovich biography that our class reviewed earlier this semester. That is, through personal accounts by Copland himself along with accounts of Coplands friends and acquaintances, the authors manage to paint an accurate and interesting picture detailing the life of the great composer. When combined, the two books recount Coplands entire life, dividing it into two periods for the purpose of easier organization and reading. Copland was born in New York City in 1900. Copland had a large and loving family in New York. His childhood was comfortable, as his father owned a department store where Copland worked for much of his young life. Coplands mother is described by the composer as "affectionate and a very nice mother to have" (pp. 18) Copland showed an early interest in music, and by the age of eleven, he had surpassed the knowledge of his older sister in the ways of the piano. As a child, he had taken lessons from his sister, but by eleven, he felt that he needed to consult an outside source in order to learn more.At the age of eighteen, Copland graduated from high school. He pursued his interest in music and began to search for a teacher who could teach him musical harmony. Coplands piano teacher suggested that he study under Rubin Goldmark who had a studio in Manhattan. Copland found Goldmark to be a very effective teacher. However, Copland and his piano teacher decided to part ways so that Copland could expand his horizons. Under Goldmark, Copland learned very effective methods of composition, but sometimes felt bogged down. Goldmark did not approve of some of Coplands interest in the more modern musical works, and Copland found this ...

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