Arizona 1863-1912

On February 24th, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln officially established Arizona as a territory of the United States.  Through the next 49 years on the journey to statehood, Arizona (as a main part of the moniker of the 'Wild West') saw a radical era of discovery in the mining industry. 


Towns popped up seemingly overnight, with the rush of miners looking to stake their share of silver and copper.  But this was still a very largely unsettled territory with a dangerous combination of misunderstood cultures in a time where that always led to conflict and unrest.  Not only was the divide of the settlers from the North and South during the Civil War, but also occupation from Mexico and the Apache tribe.

Set against the beauty of the Sonora Desert, composer John Fischer's 'Arizona 1963-1912' captures the feel of the area and the time.

Difficulty - Medium Hard     Grade - 4 - 4.5

ORIGINAL COMPOSITION - no rights required. 

Mvt. I - 'An Era of Discovery'

Before and during the Territorial days of Arizona, new discoveries were being found.  Miners from far and wide would scour for minerals and ores and the open desert.  And when they discovered a vein and established a mine, towns would pop up rapidly.  'An Era of Discovery' opens up with a gentle brass quintet, seemingly welcoming the sun to a new day full of possibility.  As the tempo picks up, we are transported into a horse ride through a mining boomtown.

Mvt. II - 'The Sonoran Backdrop'

Though lawlessness and danger was a constant presence, so too was the beauty of the Sonora Dessert, one of the most complex and unique biosystems in the world.  Home to many flora and cacti you won't see anywhere else, and beautiful formations of a multitude of stone and rock, 'The Sonoran Backdrop' elicits the images of this harsh but beautiful country.

Mvt. III - 'Rangers and Lawmen'

With the rapidity of towns popping up and populating, along with the geographic limitations on communication and law, keeping order in territorial Arizona was often a challenging ordeal.  Some say it took Arizona such a long time to achieve statehood because of the lack of order in the territory.  Makeshift lawmen and the Arizona Rangers were tasked with bringing control to an area of the country that didn't like to play by any rules.  In 'Rangers and Lawmen,' we can hear strains of conflict, violence, and turmoil occasionally throughout.  We also hear the esteem of the position in the triumph of the music.