Indiana State University | music appreciation | Indiana State University
Aaron Copland’s “Hoe-Down” is a lively and energetic piece of music that captures the essence of the American West. The piece opens with a melody that is disjunct and has ascending notes. The piece repeats this melody several times, with small variations. At the end of the piece it becomes faster and ornamented.
This piece has a pulse that is driven by a double rhythmic pattern. You can feel the beat throughout. The piece is characterized by syncopation, especially during the solo trumpet from 2:00-2.05. The trumpet is played off-beat, which emphasizes the syncopated beat and adds to the energy of the whole piece.
Consonant harmonies are the most common. The harmonies are simple and mostly feature basic triads and chords, contributing to the piece’s bright and upbeat sound.
This song has a primarily homophonic texture, with an obvious melody and a simple chord progression. The song has moments of polyphony – particularly in the more ornamented and faster version of the melody – but overall the texture is homophonic.
The piece’s dynamics are loud and energetic. They reflect the vibrant spirit of the American West. Although there are some moments where the dynamics become softer, especially during the variation of the melody. Overall, however, the range is fairly narrow.
This piece has a clear form with small sections which follow ABA’s basic structure. In the first two minutes of the piece you can clearly see the terms repetition, variation, contrast and comparison. It is repeated with small variations several times to create a repetition and variety. The contrast section has a more ornate and fast version of melody that provides a contrast with the simple opening melody.
Instrumentation for the piece is a small group of brass, woodwinds and strings. Fiddle and trumpet are two of the most important instruments in the piece. They play the major melodies.
Aaron Copland, who was born in 1900 and lived until 1990, is one of the most prominent figures from American Classical Music during the 20th Century. His compositions are known to incorporate elements of popular and folk music. He is a member of the Modernist movement. Sources: “Aaron Copland.” Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., n.d. Web. 01 Mar. 2023.