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An Appreciation of Aaron Copland

William H. Bonney

In 1938, the American frontier got its very own ballet.

After a long period of what seems in hindsight apprentice work, Aaron Copland achieved Master status in the American musical canon in 1938, with a ballet commissioned by Lincoln Kirstein, and named for the western gun-slinger William H. Bonney, or Billy the Kid.

In the world of orchestral music, “Billy the Kid” was America’s “Declaration of Independence.” Copland, composing for the choreography of Eugene Loring, broke away … Continue Reading

From Cimarosa to Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga (2010)

“Fold em let em hit me raise it baby stay with me.”

Lady Gaga’s song, “Poker Face,” is one of the best selling and most down-loaded singles ever produced. The song, written and composed by Nadir Khayat, has a robotic hook and a clever use of the love-as-card-game theme, and after considering all of its charms, and those of the performer, we might also notice that it points us to an important historical relationship. Gambling and music have always been … Continue Reading