Tonality and harmonic motion in Copland's Appalachian spring

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In Appalachian Spring, Aaron Copland creates a unique tonal environment. Although often considered a tonal work, it contains many non-functional progressions and techniques that belie common-practice norms. The entire first movement, and sections of other movements contain no harmonic motion, in part because tonic and dominant chords sound together as a single sonority. In other movements, harmonic motion, in part because tonic and dominant chords sound together as a single sonority. In other movements, harmonic motion is increased by shifts to third-related keys, and non-functional progressions. Also, the variations on the melody "Simple Gifts" never employ common-practice techniques. Through the ... continued below

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Rober, Russell Todd December 1993.

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In Appalachian Spring, Aaron Copland creates a unique tonal environment. Although often considered a tonal work, it contains many non-functional progressions and techniques that belie common-practice norms. The entire first movement, and sections of other movements contain no harmonic motion, in part because tonic and dominant chords sound together as a single sonority. In other movements, harmonic motion, in part because tonic and dominant chords sound together as a single sonority. In other movements, harmonic motion is increased by shifts to third-related keys, and non-functional progressions. Also, the variations on the melody "Simple Gifts" never employ common-practice techniques. Through the free use of materials, Copland creates an individualistic example of tonality in twentieth-century music.

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  • December 1993

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  • Nov. 15, 2016, 10:54 a.m.

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  • Aug. 3, 2017, 1:44 p.m.

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Rober, Russell Todd. Tonality and harmonic motion in Copland's Appalachian spring, thesis or dissertation, December 1993; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc935698/: accessed September 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .