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American Composers 1
Transcript of American Composers 1
Write each composer's name
on a separate page in your
composition book. George Gershwin
John Philip Sousa
Cole Porter George Gershwin
George Gershwin was an American composer and pianist. Gershwin's compositions spanned both popular and classical genres, and his most popular melodies are widely known.
Born: September 26, 1898, Brooklyn
Died: July 11, 1937, Hollywood
Compositions: Rhapsody in Blue, Porgy and Bess, Summertime...
Siblings: Ira Gershwin, Frances Gershwin, Arthur Gershwin
Parents: Rosa Bruskin Gershvin, Morris Gershvin Aaron Copland
Aaron Copland was an American composer, teacher, writer, and later in his career a conductor of his own and other American music.
Born: November 14, 1900, Brooklyn
Died: December 2, 1990, Sleepy Hollow
Education: Fontainebleau Schools
Compositions: Appalachian Spring, Rodeo,
Awards: Guggenheim Fellowship, Pulitzer Prize for Music...
Siblings: Ralph Copland, Laurine Copland Leonard Bernstein
Leonard Bernstein was an American composer, conductor, author, music lecturer, and pianist. He was among the first conductors born and educated in the United States of America to receive worldwide acclaim.
Born: August 25, 1918, LawrenceDied: October 14, 1990, New York CityCompositions: Candide, MASS, Chichester Psalms, Maria, Tonight, MoreChildren: Jamie Anne Maria Bernstein, Alexander Serge Leonard Bernstein, Nina Maria Felicia Bernstein, Alexander BernsteinSiblings: Burton Bernstein, Shirley Anne BernsteinEducation: Curtis Institute of Music, Harvard University, Boston Latin School Scott Joplin
Scott Joplin was an African-American composer and pianist. Joplin achieved fame for his ragtime compositions, and was later dubbed "The King of Ragtime".
Born: 1867, TexasDied: April 1, 1917, New York CityEducation: George R. Smith CollegeLast album: The Best of Scott JoplinAlbums: King of Ragtime, Ragtime Piano Roll, More John Philip Sousa
John Philip Sousa was an American composer and conductor of the late Romantic era
known primarily for American military and patriotic marches.
Born: November 6, 1854, Washington, D.C.
Died: March 6, 1932, Reading
"Semper Fidelis" (Official March of the United States Marine Corps),
"The Stars and Stripes Forever" (National March of the United States of America). Igor Stravinsky
Igor Fyodorovich Stravinsky was a Russian, and later French and American composer, pianist and conductor. He is widely considered to be one of the most important and influential composers of the 20th century.
Born: June 17, 1882, LomonosovDied: April 6, 1971, New York CityCompositions: The Rite of Spring, The Firebird, Petrushka,
Children: Soulima Stravinsky, Ludmila Stravinsky, Maria Milena Stravinsky, Fyodor StravinskyEducation: Saint Petersburg State University, Saint Petersburg Conservatory John Cage
John Milton Cage Jr. was an American composer, music theorist, anarchist, writer, and artist. A pioneer of indeterminacy in music, electroacoustic music, and non-standard use of musical instruments, ...
Born: September 5, 1912, Los AngelesDied: August 12, 1992, New York CitySpouse: Xenia Andreyevna Kashevaroff (m. 1935–1945)Compositions: 4′33″, Sonatas and Interludes, MoreMovies: At Land, John Cage: One 11 with 103Education: University of California, Los Angeles, Pomona College, Los Angeles High School, The New School Stephen Foster
Stephen Collins Foster, known as the "father of American music", was an American songwriter primarily known for his parlour and minstrel music. Foster wrote over 200 songs; among his best known are "Oh! Susanna” and "Camptown Races"
Born: July 4, 1826, Pittsburgh
Died: January 13, 1864, New York City
Education: Washington & Jefferson College
Spouse: Jane McDowell (m. 1850–1864)e
Songs: Beautiful Dreamer
Old Folks at Home
Camptown Races Béla Bartók
Béla Viktor János Bartók was a Hungarian composer and pianist. He is considered one of the most important composers of the 20th century and is regarded, along with Liszt, as Hungary's greatest composer.
Born: March 25, 1881, Sânnicolau MareDied: September 26, 1945, New York CityNationality: HungarianEducation: Franz Liszt Academy of Music, BudapestCompositions: Concerto for Orchestra, Romanian Folk Dances, MoreChildren: Peter Bartok Cole Porter
Cole Albert Porter was an American composer and songwriter. Born to a wealthy family in Indiana, he defied the wishes of his domineering grandfather and took up music as a profession. Classically trained, he was drawn towards musical theatre.
Born: June 9, 1891, PeruDied: October 15, 1964, Santa MonicaSpouse: Linda Lee Thomas (m. 1919–1954)Music group: Yale University WhiffenpoofsMovies: Fifty Million Frenchmen, Cole Porter: An All-Star Tribute
SongsAnything GoesYou're the TopBegin the Beguine
Let's Do It
Juke Box Dance George left school at the age of 15 and found his first job as a "song plugger" for a publishing firm in New York City, where he earned $15 a week.
His first published song was "When You Want 'Em, You Can't Get 'Em, When You've Got 'Em, You Don't Want 'Em."
It was published in 1916 when Gershwin was only 17 years old and earned him $5. Between 1916 and the mid 1920s Gershwin wrote dozens of songs and recorded hundreds of piano rolls.
This was all 'popular' music that was played in bars and restaurants, as well as at music and dance halls.
We worked with his brother, Ira, on much of the music, as well as other musical friends. Although he was a very successful popular musician and composer, George Gershwin is best known today for his classical compositions.
These was some of the first American Classical music with an 'American feel', different from European Classical music. In the 1920s Gershwin traveled to Paris to study classical music.
During this time he wrote two of his most famous pieces: Rhapsody in Blue and An American In Paris.
After he returned he worked briefly in Hollywood writing music for movies. Perhaps the most culturally significant composition of Gershwin's was the opera Porgy and Bess (1935).
The opera tells the story of an African-American couple living in South Carolina.
The entire cast was African-American, something which had never occurred in opera.
Even though it is considered his most important work, when it was first performed in 1935 it was a failure. Aaron Copland was born into a Conservative Jewish family of Lithuanian origins.
Before emigrating from Russia to the United States, Copland's father, Harris Morris, anglicized his surname "Kaplan" to "Copland".
Throughout his childhood, Copland and his family lived above his parents' Brooklyn shop. Copland's father had no musical interest at all.
His mother, Sarah Mittenthal Copland, sang and played the piano, and arranged for music lessons for her children. Copland attended Boys' High School and in the summer went to various camps.
Most of his early exposure to music was at Jewish weddings and ceremonies, and occasional family musicales. By the age of 15, after attending a concert by composer-pianist Ignacy Jan Paderewski, Copland decided to become a composer. Copland took formal lessons in harmony, theory, and composition from Rubin Goldmark, a noted teacher and composer of American music (who had given George Gershwin lessons). Copland's passion for the latest European music, plus glowing letters from his friend Aaron Schaffer, inspired him to go to Paris for further study in 1921. Upon returning to the US in1925, Copland was determined to make his way as a full-time composer.
He rented a studio apartment on New York City's Upper West Side, which kept him close to Carnegie Hall and other musical venues and publishers.
He remained in that area for the next thirty years, later moving to Westchester County, New York. Most of Copeland's compositions were written between 1925 and 1960.
It was during this time that we was influenced by American artists, photographers, and dancers, as well as the inspirational beauty of the United States landscapes. From the 1960s until his death he composed very little, but spent most of his time conducting orchestras and recording his music. Famous works:
Copland wrote El Salón México between 1932 and 1936. Copland achieved his first major success in ballet music with his groundbreaking score Billy the Kid Fanfare for the Common Man, scored for brass and percussion, was written in 1942 In 1942 Copland composed the ballet Rodeo, a tale of a ranch wedding, written around the same time as Lincoln Portrait. Copland was commissioned to write another ballet, Appalachian Spring, originally written using thirteen instruments Aaron Copeland combined the style and complexity of European classical music with the spirit and mood of the American experience. Sousa's father was Portuguese, and his mother of Bavarian ancestry.
He was found to have absolute pitch.
During his childhood, Sousa studied voice, violin, piano, flute, cornet, baritone horn, trombone and alto horn.
At the age of 13, his father, a trombonist in the Marine Band, enlisted Sousa in the United States Marine Corps as an apprentice to keep him from joining a circus band. Several years after serving his apprenticeship, Sousa joined a theatrical orchestra where he learned to conduct.
He returned to the U.S. Marine Band as its head in 1880 and remained as its conductor until 1892.
Sousa led "The President's Own" band under five presidents from Rutherford B. Hayes to Benjamin Harrison.
The sousaphone was designed by Sousa. He wanted a tuba that could sound upward and over the band whether its player was seated or marching. Military service
Sousa served in the U.S. Marine Corps, first from 1868 to 1875 as an apprentice musician, and then as the head of the Marine Band from 1880 to 1892; he was a Sergeant Major for most of his second period of Marine service.
During World War I, he was a Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Naval Reserve and led the Navy Band.
Being independently wealthy, he donated his entire naval salary minus one dollar a year to the Sailors' and Marines' Relief Fund.
After returning to his own band at the end of the war, he continued to wear his naval uniform for most of his concerts and other public appearances. Trapshooting
As a trapshooter, he ranks as one of the all-time greats, and is enshrined in the Trapshooting Hall of Fame.
He organized the first national trapshooting organization.
He also wrote numerous articles about trapshooting.
Available records indicate that Sousa registered more than 35,000 targets during his shooting career. Sousa held a very low opinion of the emerging and upstart recording industry. In a submission to a congressional hearing in 1906, he argued: These talking machines are going to ruin the artistic development of music in this country. When I was a boy...in front of every house in the summer evenings, you would find young people together singing the songs of the day or old songs. Today you hear these infernal machines going night and day. We will not have a vocal cord left. The vocal cord will be eliminated by a process of evolution, as was the tail of man when he came from the ape." A quote from his Trapshooting Hall of Fame biography says it best: "Let me say that just about the sweetest music to me is when I call, ‘pull,’ the old gun barks, and the referee in perfect key announces, ‘dead’." Famous Marches:
Official march of the US Marines Hands Across the Sea
Remains as one of Sousa's more popular marches, and is still performed widely by bands. King Cotton
Written for the International Cotton Exposition.
The expression "King Cotton" refers to the historically high importance of cotton as a cash crop in the southern United States. Liberty Bell March
It is now most often associated with the British TV comedy program Monty Python's Flying Circus (1969–74), which used the piece as a signature tune. The Thunderer
It was the election theme for ABC News from 1968 to 1972. The Washington Post
In 1889 owners of The Washington Post newspaper requested that John Philip Sousa, the leader of the United States Marine Corps Band, compose a march for the newspaper's essay contest awards ceremony Stars and Stripes Forever
By an act of the U.S. Congress, it is the official National March of the United States of America. Sousa composed patriotic and commercial music which has remained popular into the present day, especially with high school marching bands. Music Homework:
Write the directions in your composition book
Write a 4 paragraph compare and contrast essay about the three American Composers we have learned about so far:
Sousa, Gershwin, Copland.
Write 1 paragraph about each composer. Discuss their life and their music.
The fourth paragraph should discuss the similarities between the composers. What do two of them have in common? What do all three have in common?
Use all the dressups in each paragraph.
Use each sentence starter at least twice in your essay.
Use each triple at least once in your essay.
Write in your neatest cursive or italic.
Make a cover page for your essay. He wrote his first composition, Tioga Waltz, while attending Athens Academy, and performed it during the 1841 commencement exercises; he was 14 During his teenage years, Foster was influenced greatly by two men.
Henry Kleber (1816–1897), one of Stephen’s few formal music instructors, was a classically trained musician who emigrated from Germany, to Pittsburgh and opened a music store.
Dan Rice was an entertainer, a clown and singer, making his living in traveling circuses.
Eventually, Foster learned to blend the two styles of music to write some of his best-known work. In 1846, Foster moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, and became a bookkeeper with his brother's steamship company.
While in Cincinnati, Foster penned his first successful songs—among them "Oh! Susanna," which became an anthem of the California Gold Rush—in 1848–1849. Though many of his songs had Southern themes, Foster never lived in the South and visited it only once, in 1852 by river-boat voyage on his honeymoon, on his brother Dunning's steam boat, the Millinger, which took him down the Mississippi to New Orleans. Foster attempted to make a living as a professional songwriter...
This was something that no one had ever done before.
Because of copyright and royalty laws, Stephen wasn't able to make a living, even though his music was very popular.
Multiple publishers often printed their own editions of Foster's tunes, paying Foster nothing.
He received $100 for Oh, Susanna. Stephen Foster had become impoverished while living at the North American Hotel in New York.
He was confined to his bed for days with a fever...
He tried to get up but smashed his head on the sink...
It took three hours to get him to Bellevue Hospital.
Three days later he croaked at the age of only 37. His worn leather wallet contained a scrap of paper that said:
"Dear friends and gentle hearts"
He also had 38 cents in Civil War coins.
Foster was buried in the Allegheny Cemetery in Pittsburgh.
One of his most beloved works, "Beautiful Dreamer," was published shortly after his death. Songs
Old Kentucky Home Hard Times Come Again No More We Are Coming, Father Abraham Camptown Races Old Folks At Home Oh Susanna Even though he was never successful as a musician during his lifetime, Stephen Foster is remembered today as one of the founders of American Music. I come from Alabama with my banjo on my knee,
I'm going to Louisiana, my true love for to see.
It rained all night the day I left, the weather it was dry
The sun so hot I froze to death, Susanna, don't you cry.
Oh! Susanna, Oh don't you cry for me,
For I come from Alabama with my banjo on my knee.
I had a dream the other night, when everything was still;
I thought I saw Susanna dear, a coming down the hill.
A buckwheat cake was in her mouth, a tear was in her eye,
Says I, I'm coming from the south, Susanna, don't you cry.
I soon will be in New Orleans, and then I'll look around,
And when I find Susanna, I'll fall upon the ground.
But if I do not find her, then I will surely die,
And when I'm dead and buried, Oh, Susanna, don't you cry.
Chorus Music homework - Write the melody. You do not have to write the chords, just the notes. Write the letter names of the notes under each note. Write the lyrics for Oh Susanna. Memorize them and sing them for the class