Epic Beginnings: A Symphonic Work and Aaron Copland (the American Stravinsky) versus Igor Stravinsky
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
The first part of my dissertation is the original music written for this dissertation, which consists of tonal music that describes my life’s journey. I wanted to write something dark, melodic, and very energetic that described my struggles and shows the road I have taken. It exhibits everything that I have learned from my time here at the university. One of the many things that makes my passion so strong is the desire to express myself through music written for ensembles and used in films. The piece is entitled “Epic Beginnings.” Originally, it was named “The Last Dance,” a title that did not make sense because it implied the end of creativity. “Epic Beginnings,” on the other hand, shows the promise of remarkable energy and drive. The second part of my dissertation discusses the approaches to composition used by two composers, Aaron Copland and Igor Stravinsky. This discussion is meant to draw parallels between any similar traits or influences of the two composers. My main reason for choosing these two composers is to compare their musical development. Copland turned to serialism to revive his music1 after originally stating he did not like that form of music. Stravinsky continued evolving and adapting his musical style throughout his three periods of output. My analysis of their music will lead to a dialogue about my findings. All composers can be found to be similar to or different from other composers at the same time. Stravinsky’s famous quote, “Lesser artists borrow, great artists steal,” is very well known. In comparison, Copland stated, “I don’t compose. I assemble materials.” These statements exhibit how the composers viewed their musical focuses and influences quite differently. The goal of a composer is to express an opinion and bring people into his or her world for the duration of the piece. Hopefully, as a side effect, people perceive the subject matter expressed by the composer differently, from a fresh new perspective. The reason to study this topic is to learn more about Stravinsky’s and Copland’s ideas in composition. Also, I want to know more about the music both composers wrote for the theater. For this latter part, I also will introduce but not fully explore the theatrical works of the composers.
Jones, Terrell O., "Epic Beginnings: A Symphonic Work and Aaron Copland (the American Stravinsky) versus Igor Stravinsky" (2019). LSU Doctoral Dissertations. 4835.
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