Aaron Copland was a composer during the turn of the century. He was highly respected and a world-known composer. Copland was known as the very first genuine American Composer. Before his death in 1990, Copland composed a series of lectures about what to listen for in music. These lectures have been studied, applied and made into a book titled What To listen For In Music.
In chapter one, Preliminaries, Copland defines what it means to be musical. Being musical does not mean that you play an instrument or that you can even read music. It simply means that you can recognize a tune. According to Copland, recognizing a tune shows that you as a listener know where you are in music. If you know where you are then it is likely you know where you will end up. Another concept presented in chapter one is that hearing and listening are two different things. I strongly agree with Copland on this issue. To me hearing music is not really getting involved. To hear music is simple and as long as you are not deaf, you can accomplish this. By simply hearing music no feeling is seeing is involved. However, by listening, actually taking in music, a feeling is felt and a scene imagined. This feeling is special and unique to individuals as well as the scene. .
Chapter two of Coplandâ€™s novel tells how we listen. Copland breaks up the listening process into three components: the sensuous plane, the expressive plane, and the sheerly musical plane. The sensuous plain is the simplest way to listen to music. It exist when music is listened to for pleasure of the musical sound. The second plane on the existence of music is the expressive plane. Copland believes that all music has a certain meaning behind the notes. He also believes the notes constitute what the piece is saying and what the piece is about. I strongly agree with Copland on this thought. It is hard to imagine why a composer would construct a piece built on nothing.