Fanfare For The Common Man – Aaron Copland

The AWESOME! page has random music stuff that I think is cool. You never know what you will find here!

The biggest names in Classical Music composers tend to be European and date back to the 18th or 19th centuries – Beethoven, Bach, Mozart, etc. – all rock stars long before there was such a thing as rock & roll!

There are several 20th century American composers that give these old timers a run for their money. One of the greatest is Aaron Copland. Copland was referred to by his peers as “The Dean of American Composers.” His compositions have a quality about them that just feel like the American spirit. This is particularly true of some of his most well known works – Appalachian Spring, Billy The Kid, Rodeo, A Lincoln Portrait, and Fanfare For The Common Man. 

His earliest works were done when he was 18 years old. Ultimately, he published 123 compositions in his life. Later in his life, he often conducted his own music at concerts – I was fortunate enough to see him conduct the National Symphony at a free Memorial Day concert in Washington D.C. in 1979. They performed A Lincoln Portrait – I love this composition, very neat to hear it in the shadows of the Lincoln Memorial.

Aaron Copland died in 1990, at the age of 90.

For your clip, I chose Fanfare For The Common Man – a beautiful piece of classical music, and short at only three and a half minutes. It was written in 1942 for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, in response to the U.S. entry into World War II. Its title was inspired by a speech from Vice President Henry Wallace, where he proclaimed the dawning of the “Century of the Common Man.”  This version was performed at the conclusion of the opening ceremony of the 911 Memorial Museum in New York City, in 2014. You will be moved, and you will feel that American spirit when you hear this!




1 thought on “Fanfare For The Common Man – Aaron Copland”

  1. Thanks for featuring this guy! His music took the ideas of being American and put them into notes. He was also an amazing teacher and advocate of the importance of music in our schools.

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