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Webinar recorded 8 November 2021

Truth, propaganda or aspiration? Frontier narratives in Copland and Graham’s Appalachian Spring

Nicholas Bochner and special guest Jessica Wilkinson from RMIT’s School of Media and Communication. discuss Aaron Copland's Appalachian Spring, the Martha Graham ballet for which it was composed, and the variety of historical, literary and musical sources that inspired them, providing students with ideas and techniques to develop their own unique compositions via text and/or musical score.

Students will:

  • Explore how Copland and Graham configure place and time through their respective contributions in Appalachian Spring
  • Discuss and interrogate the relationship between art (music, dance, literature) and the development of a national mythology
  • Examine the compositional techniques Copland employs to create his iconic “American sound”
  • Learn how to draw from existing literary and musical texts to inspire new creative works.

Suitable for: High-ability Music, Dance, English and History secondary students from Government schools.

Download Resources

Music Activity: Simple Gifts Arrangement

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Music Activity: The Movement and Sounds of Around Us

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English Activity: Writing (About) Australia

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English Activity: Writing About Art

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Watch Appalachian Spring Webinar

2021 MSO Classroom Appalachian Spring

Join Nicholas Bochner and special guest Jessica Wilkinson from RMIT’s School of Media and Communication. Their lively discussion of Aaron Copland's Appalachian Spring, the Martha Graham ballet for which it was composed, and the variety of historical, literary and musical sources that inspired them, will provide students with ideas and techniques to develop their own unique compositions via text and/or musical score.

Additional resources for this session

Copland at Barack Obama's inauguration:

Copland in Rick Perry for President 2021:

1958 Version of Appalachian Spring:

Mackellar's Core of My Heart in 1970s litter campaign:

Mackellar's Core of My Heart in Woolworths advert: https://vimeo.com/440212850

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MSO Classroom is supported by the Department of Education & Training Victoria.

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