Make it Sound Like America

Make it Sound Like America.

I heard a recording of Aaron Copland working with an orchestra and conducting his famous piece, Appalachian Spring.  He explained how it should sound this way, “Make it sound like America,  don’t play this like Tchaikovsky, make it sound more bouncy, less sentimental and more…cool.”

I love this piece of music, and sorry to say, I feel very sentimental about it. I walked down the aisle on my wedding day to Simple Gifts. The first movement always makes me cry. (Hit “play” now if you haven’t already).

It was this question, posed to Copland that has gotten me thinking…

How does America Sound?

I know how I want it to sound.




I want it to sound honest, pure, genuine, gritty, and lovely.






I want it to sound hopeful, peaceful and life-giving.





rainbow in the dessert


I want it sound like a rainbow in the desert.




Like a morning, unblemished.


dad's sunset

Like gratitude.


This is how I want it sound, and maybe it does some places.

But it also sounds










I do not believe we can hear America without hearing all of it.

Today, on this Fourth of July, as you watch a parade, eat watermelon, wave flags, set up lawn chairs, and hear the sizzle of a fire cracker, listen.  Listen,

How do you think America sounds?




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