Music From The Red Pony - Film Music by Aaron Copland
Burt, George; Schnoebelen, Anne; Milburn, Ellsworth
Master of Music thesis
As the motion picture in the twentieth century's unique contribution to the dramatic arts, academic attention to the study of film music is more than justified. The greatest hindrance to research is the unavailability of many film scores. The film composer's task is specialized, demanding the ability to create quickly and coolly under pressure. Aaron Copland developed as a dramatic composer from the beginning. While studying in Paris, he was influenced toward seeking an accessible and uniquely American style. His arrival at that style in the late 1930's preceded an invitation to compose music for films. Analysis of the original score for The Red Pony reveals Aaron Copland as a skillful and artistic film composer. The Copland music is also discussed as it relates to other aspects of the film. Copland was a dominant influence on film scores after 1940, particularly concerning themes of Americana and the West.