The American Way Video (DVD)

This documentary provides an informative study of how the diversity of American culture directly influenced popular music composers of the 20th century.
Item Code: FI-6930

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Product Description:
This hour-long video documents the origins of American popular music, how composers like George Gershwin and Leonard Bernstein incorporated the influences of the American cultural quilt; Jazz and Jewish prayer music influenced Gershwin who in turn influenced Bernstein. Aaron Copland used the music from square dances for his "Appalachian Spring" composition. The documentary observes how musicians borrowed from Quaker culture, military marches and even other art forms like expressionism and minimalism. Narrator Simon Rattle compares the growth of American music to a stir-fry dish, whipped up over high heat and made of a variety of ingredients. The video includes performances of the great American composers of the 20th century by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and scenes from the people and places that influenced these composers. Songs include Gershwin’s "Rhapsody in Blue," Bernstein’s "West Side Story/Symphonic Dances" and the aforementioned "Appalachian Spring" among others. (53 minutes)
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