Encouraged by Maestro Mauceri, I now look for the musical influences on games composers, hence my “Coplandesque” remark on FB about Michael Giacchino’s Medal of Honor theme below. Listen to my beloved and desired English conductor John Wilson helm the BBC Philharmonic in Copland works every freakin’ American knows: “Fanfare for the Common Man” (commission, 1942) and the “Simple Gifts” part of the ballet Appalachian Spring. And just for good measure! “Hoedown” from the ballet Billy the Kid ’cause I enjoy a good steak.

Somewhere in my blog (“My First Music: The Pure Joy of St Trinian’s and The Inn of the Sixth Happiness by Malcolm Arnold“) I wrote about particular chords and intervals that, to me, give music a particularly “English” sound—well, I’m coming around to understand that Copland, far from being a cheap minimalist, was actually one of the founders of the “American” sound (along with Joplin, Dvorak, Gershwin, Schoenberg and, of course, Copland’s pupil Bernstein). I’m so glad my bonny John “gets” it. His Copland almost makes up for his 2017 butchery of Oklahoma! at the Royal Albert. As for Copland’s influence, listen for it in certain tunes of Jerry Goldsmith and, as I said above, games composer Michael Giacchino.

John Mauceri’s THE WAR ON MUSIC: RECLAIMING THE TWENTIETH CENTURY (Yale, 2022) can be read free on Scribd here

Medal of Honor

Again, Giacchino’s Coplandesque theme for the game Medal of Honor: https://bit.ly/giacchino1

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