Aaron Copland's Hollywood Film Scores [Hardback]

Paula Musegades(Author)

ISBN: 9781580469913 | Published by: University of Rochester Press | Series: Eastman Studies in Music | Volume: 169 | Year of Publication: 2020 | 212p, H9 x W6,
Status: In Stock - Available

Aaron Copland's Hollywood Film Scores


One of the most influential and beloved American composers, Aaron Copland played a critical role in shaping what is often recognized as the "American sound." He is best known for achieving this through his works for the concert hall and ballet. Yet his film scores, though less familiar nowadays, were equally influential.

Between 1939 and 1949, Copland composed the music for five major Hollywood films: Lewis Milestone's Of Mice and Men (1939), Sam Wood's Our Town (1940), Lewis Milestone's The North Star (1943) and The Red Pony (1949), and William Wyler's The Heiress (1949). These were high-prestige projects, based on literary works by such respected figures as Henry James, Lillian Hellman, and John Steinbeck.

Using the film medium to introduce the moviegoing public to modern musical styles, Copland challenged Hollywood's traditional uses of music in film. His innovative approaches enhanced important national themes running through these films while also contributing to Hollywood's transformation as the Great Depression gave way to wartime tribulation and, eventually, postwar prosperity and Red Scare paranoia. Aaron Copland's Hollywood Film Scores explores Copland's scores, interviews, and lectures, tracing his legacy and lasting influence on Hollywood's sound.

PAULA MUSEGADES is an assistant professor in Music and American Studies at Brandeis University.

Table of Contents

Setting the Standard: Hollywood's Studio System
Breaking with Tradition: Copland's Theories on Film Music
Scoring Morality: Of Mice and Men (1939)
Keeping it Simple: Our Town (1940)
"Doing His Bit": The North Star (1943)
Sophisticated Simplicity: The Red Pony(1949)
Silence and Sound: The Heiress (1949)
Hearing the Shift: Copland's Lasting Impact on Hollywood

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