Thanksgiving Back to Musical Occasions
Almost every culture in the world has a thanksgiving festival of some kind. In the , it is the harvest festival, in , the festival of the August Moon. The Vietnamese call it Tet Trung Thu, and in
The purpose of all these feasts is to give thanks to God for the newly harvested crops and to pray for success in the following year. While all of these are important dates in their respective cultures’ calendars, perhaps the best known and most recently inaugurated of these is the American Thanksgiving feast, which takes place on the last Thursday in November each year.
The story of the first Thanksgiving is one widely taught in American schools, but little understood elsewhere in the world.
During the early 1600s, several groups of Puritan Pilgrims travelled from to settle on the North-east coast of in what is now
Although the peace was to last less than a generation, the first Thanksgiving has taken on an iconic status to Americans, and it is seen as a time to celebrate peace, family and the bounty of nature.
The Pilgrims were English puritans. They followed a very simple kind of Christianity, and were firmly opposed to many aspects of the
While they were sitting down with the Wampanoag Indians for their three day feast, Christians throughout
The Pilgrims wouldn’t have been totally without music, but they would have been much more familiar with the kind of music that is heard in many non-conformist churches today.
Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring is a ballet set in 19th century
Among all composers there can be few that have contributed as much to ’s cultural heritage as Aaron Copland, but probably the most famous piece to come out of was actually written by a Czechoslovakian.
Antonín Dvorák’s ninth symphony, From the New World, is a sort of musical picture postcard, written by Dvorak while he was working in
Dvorak was captivated by the (then still quite new) American musical tradition, and there is much speculation about which aspects of the symphony are influenced by things he heard while travelling around the .