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Aaron Copland:
Classical Music in Pop

What do Frank Sinatra, Blood Sweat and Tears and John Denver have in common? They all used classical music in some of their pieces. After Aaron Copland composed his Fanfare for the Common Man, the piece was also adapted by several popular musicians. Let’s explore some more classical music that made the transition to pop.

Music heard in this episode:
Woody Herman: Fanfare
Emerson, Lake and Palmer: Fanfare
Alicia Keys: Piano and I
Janet Jackson: Someone to Call my Lover
Blood, Sweat and Tears: Satie; Gymnopedie #1
The Toys: Lover’s Concerto
Bach: Minuet in G
Tchaikovsky: Symphony #5
John Denver: Annie’s Song
Frank Sinatra: Full Moon and Empty Arms
Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto #2
Eric Carmen: All by Myself
Allan Sherman: Hello Mudduh, Hello Fadduh

Other shows about Aaron Copland:
About Aaron Copland
Copland's Cowboy Ballets
Agnes de Mille
Classical Music in Commercials
What is a Fanfare
About Aaron Copland
Tiptoe Through the Fanfare
What's in a Name

Download this month's activity sheet

About Aaron Copland
11/14/1900 - 12/2/1990
Born in America

Aaron Copland is one of the most famous American composers of all time. Copland was born in Brooklyn, New York, and went to France as a teenager to study music with Nadia Boulanger, who helped Copland create his own style.

Copland wrote music with a very "American" sound. Some of his most famous pieces are his ballets -- Billy the Kid, Rodeo, and Appalachian Spring. Billy the Kid and Rodeo are about the Wild West. Copland also wrote music for movies -- Of Mice and Men and Our Town, among others.

One of Copland's best known compostions is Fanfare for the Common Man. Copland wrote it after the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra asked several composers to write fanfares during World War II. Copland's music has become a great part of American history.

See other composers born in America


This Week's Quiz:

1. Copland's “Fanfare for the Common Man” was arranged by Woody Herman in what style?





2.The Toys piece, “Lover’s Concerto,” uses music from

a Beethoven symphony

an etude by Chopin

a minuet by Bach

a waltz by Strauss

3. Which piece was “borrowed” by both Eric Carmen and Frank Sinatra?

Rachmaninoffs Piano Concerto #2

Mozarts Symphony No. 40

Beethovens Pathetique Sonata

Strausss Blue Danube Waltz


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