Chapter

Communal Song, Cosmopolitan Song

Beth E. Levy

in Frontier Figures

Published by University of California Press

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780520267763
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520952027 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520267763.003.0013
Communal Song, Cosmopolitan Song

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This chapter first considers Aaron Copland's political engagement, particularly the geographical settings that agitated his political conscience and the impact which leftism had on his views about folk music. It suggests that Copland's biographical and emotional distance from western Americana opened up space for irony, comedy, and nostalgic displacement in such works as Billy the Kid, Rodeo, and The Red Pony. Copland's own biography supplies supporting evidence for the idea that the imagery of the American West offered a haven for social and sexual aberrance, but also a site where patriarchal visions of social and moral order could be vigorously upheld.

Keywords: American music; composers; Aaron Copland; folk music; Billy the Kid; Rodeo; Red Pony; American West

Chapter.  13075 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: American Music

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