Today in Music History
A Daily Look at Music History For Violin Students
A Look at What Happened on Today's Date
Long, Long Ago . . . Or Maybe Just Last Year
TODAY IS
December 2
Can You Guess?
Often we often see that a composer studies counterpoint, so I guess that it must be important in music studies.  Can You Guess what counterpoint is?

Look at the Bottom of the Page for the Answer.
What Else
Happened
Today?
1877 - Premiere of Saint-Saens's Samson and Delilah. Conducted by Liszt at Weimar.

1886 - Premiere of Brahms's Violin Sonata No. 2 in A, Op. 100, in Vienna.

1949 - Premiere of Bela Bartók's Viola Concerto (completed posthumously by Tibor Serly) by violist William Primrose and the Minneapolis Symphony.

1949 - Gene Autry's song Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer hit the record charts.

1972 - You're So Vain by Carly Simon was released.

1981 - Dreamgirls opened on Broadway. The show was based on the careers of the Supremes

1988 - Premiere of John Harbison's Fantasy Duo for violin and piano. Violinist David Abel and pianist Julie Steinberg at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.

1998 - Premiere of Ellen Taffe Zwilich's String Quartet No. 2. Emerson Quartet at Carnegie Hall in NYC.
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Aaron Copland
1900-1990
Aaron Copland was born  November 14, 1900, in Brooklyn, NY.  His parents were Russian immigrants who never even went to a concert, but by the time he was 9 Copland was making up tunes at his family's piano.  After two years of fooling around on the instrument, he began to take lessons from his sister Laurine.  At age 14 he began taking professional piano lessons, and  by 15 he had decided to become a composer. 
His first steps included a correspondence course in writing harmony. After that, Copland began music study in earnest.  He studied harmony and counterpoint with Rubin Goldmark 
1917-1921, and began piano with Clarence Adler in 1919.


In 1921, Copland went to Paris to attend the newly founded American Conservatory at Fontainebleau.  His teacher there was Nadia Boulanger.

After 3 years in Paris, Copland returned to the United States with a commission . . . writing a major organ work for his teacher to play during her American tour.   His Symphony for Organ and Orchestra premiered at Carnagie Hall in 1925.
Christmas Favorites (Violin) - sheet music at www.sheetmusicplus.com
Violinist Christmas Ornaments Make Great Gifts.
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A Nice Copland Collection from Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic.
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Did You Guess?
No, counterpoint is not what I do when I have a particularly hard addition problem. 
Counterpoint is the art of playing two or more melodies at the same time and musically. In counterpoint, the melody is supported by another melody rather than by chords. So when we sing Row, Row, Row Your Boat
. . . if I come in at the right time it is counterpoint.  If I come it at the wrong time it is noise.


Did You See the Color Clues?
Look inside this title
High School Musical (Violin) - sheet music at www.sheetmusicplus.com
High School Musical (Violin) (for Violin Instrumental Play-Along Pack) Book & CD Package for violin. Series: Hal Leonard Instrumental Folio. 24 pages. Published by Hal Leonard. (HL.842128)
See more info...
Look inside this title
A Fiddling Christmas - sheet music at www.sheetmusicplus.com
A Fiddling Christmas Written by Craig Duncan. Violin solo book for fiddle and piano accompaniment. With solo part, standard notation, bowings, chord names and piano accompaniment. 106 pages. Published by Mel Bay Publications, Inc. (MB.96466)
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Then Copland's music turned more simple.  He began to gain inspiration from American legends and folk music.  It was during this period that Copland wrote such classics as Billy the Kid and Rodeo.  He also wrote the score for the film Of Mice and Men during this period.  1942 saw the premiere of Fanfare for the Common Man and A Lincoln Portrait.  October 4, 1945, was the premiere of Aaron Copland's orchestral suite of Appalachian Spring ballet at Carnegie Hall. It was played by the New York Philharmonic conducted by Artur Rodzinski.  His works evolved to somewhat reflect the tastes of the times.  He even did some work using the 12-tone scale.

Copland did not compose after 1971, but continued to conduct and teach. He was very helpful and generous to other young composers, often promoting their music along with his own.
By his mid twenties his work was known by other composers. After his return from Paris he worked with jazz rhythms in his "Piano Concerto" (1926). His "Piano Variations" (1930) was strongly influenced by Igor Stravinsky's Neoclassicism. 
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Among the many honors Coplan received were the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America’s highest civilian honor (1964); Commander’s Cross of the Order of Merit from West Germany, membership in Institut de France and Britain’s Royal Philharmonic Society (1970); the National Medal of Artsand the Congressional Gold Medal (1986)

Aaron Copland died December 2, 1990 in Westchester, NY.