SMT-V 8.4, "Appropriating Copland's Fanfare" by Stanley V. Kleppinger, is now available at

View issue

American flag


This video explores the stylistic and associative evolution of the emblematic sound Aaron Copland forged in his Fanfare for the Common Man (1942). This style, called here the triumphant exordium, consists of a constellation of specific musical features that has been imitated and troped by other composers—and by Copland himself—to carve out musical landscapes with evocative expressive qualities that include both clear and ambiguous connections with Americana. After summarizing the Fanfare’s original musical and extra-musical contexts, this video illuminates this legacy through three case studies.

Read more about SMT-V