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Portrait of Martha Graham and Bertram Ross
American music and dance came together when Martha Graham (seen here with dancer Bertram Ross), collaborated with Copland

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Composer Aaron Copland Was Born in Brooklyn, New York
November 14, 1900

Copland was very aware of the trends of his time, experimenting with jazz rhythms and new forms. He realized that radio, phonographs, and film were creating a new audience for modern music. Copland created scores that simplified music and expressed the American experience. Most important of these were the three ballets based on American folk material: Billy the Kid (1938), Rodeo (1942), and Appalachian Spring (1944), which was choreographed and performed by dancer Martha Graham. While Copland and Graham were collaborating on the creation of the ballet, she wrote to him, saying, "I have been working on your music. It is so beautiful and so wonderfully made. I have become obsessed by it." The Library of Congress commissioned the work where it was also performed for the first time.
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