American Sound

Still and Copland American Sounds

Aaron Copland and William Still are responsible for writing music that helped define American sound. Copland wrote the song “Appalachian Spring” in 1944 for his school colleague Martha Graham. William Still wrote the song “Afro-American Symphony” in 1931. Both pieces of music have a place in history and are responsible and considered to be a big part of the American Sound.
Copland’s song was written to be a score in a ballet. It was written at the climax of World War II. He managed to incorporate all types of things into one piece of work, folk music, hymns, and dance forms but all of it fit together perfectly. The song represents the quality of women in that time period. He put in the shaker melody, “Simple Gifts” into the piece.
Still’s song was written for a symphony. His Afro-American Symphony was the first by an African American to be played by a leading orchestra. It was also the first song by an African American to have an opera staged by important company. It is known as American sound for it nationalistic and patriotic character with African American elements. He is famous for using his nationalist works, in a tonal Romantic style, which often used African American and other American folk idioms.
Still and Copland are both responsible for playing a part in American sound. Although both pieces of music were written by two completely different people, and both in different forms they both play an important role in American music.