The enduring message of Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man”

Posted on: July 20, 2018

“In 1942, Copland was commissioned by the music director of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra to write a fanfare,” reports Mandalit del Barco in Thursday (7/19) at National Public Radio. “The U.S. had entered World War II…. ‘Fanfare for the Common Man’ premiered on March 12, 1943, in observance of income tax time—something every ‘common man’ has to endure. Since then, it has been performed for presidents, played to honor victims at the opening of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum and lent a sense of gravity to television sports and news programs. It’s even been heard in space … on the space shuttle Endeavor…. Bob Dylan and The Rolling Stones have used the piece to open their concerts…. ‘Fanfare for the Common Man’ has also been an inspiration to other composers, including Joan Tower, who started writing what became a series of fanfares in 1986…. Copland’s original fanfare … has become a kind of national anthem for so-called ‘common’ men and women.” The article is part of NPR’s ongoing series of reports called “American Anthem: music that challenges, unites, and celebrates.”

Posted July 20, 2018