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MUSA (Forthcoming)—Aaron Copland: Appalachian Spring (Original Ballet Version)

Edited by Jennifer DeLapp-Birkett and Aaron Sherber

Appalachian Spring is perhaps Copland's most popular work. A collaboration between the celebrated American composer and the renowned choreographer Martha Graham, the work was premiered as a modern ballet on 30 October 1944. Soon afterward, using much of the music from the ballet, Copland published a suite for orchestra also called Appalachian Spring, which quickly reached a wide and enthusiastic audience. Afterwards, the history of Appalachian Spring branches into a confusing tangle. Hybrid versions emerged in the 1950s that combined the suite’s structure with music formerly unique to the ballet version, and Appalachian Spring took on at least three different structural configurations. By 2014, five scores titled Appalachian Spring were available from the publisher, and even more variants circulate on recordings. The volume editors have worked closely with the Copland Fund to resolve longstanding inconsistencies in the musical content and nomenclature for the different versions. This MUSA edition will present, with the addition of complete critical notes, the Copland Fund’s new, authorized engraving of the Appalachian Spring ballet score as it was premiered, and is still performed, by the Martha Graham Dance Company. Stills from the 1958 Kroll video for which Graham danced the main role will appear in the score to help clarify the difference between the versions. This scholarly edition will be a highly valuable contribution to the literature that can serve both the scholarly and the performance communities, both of whom have strong and justifiable interests in this iconic American work.