Rhapsody in blue george gershwin
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Rhapsody in Blue George Gershwin. By: Mike McCann. George Gershwin Bio. Born in 1898 as Jacob Gershvitz to Russian Immigrant Parents Not a real musical intuition until age 12 Dropped out of High School (1914) to join a Tin Pan Alley publishing firm

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Rhapsody in Blue George Gershwin

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Rhapsody in blue george gershwin

Rhapsody in BlueGeorge Gershwin

By: Mike McCann


George gershwin bio

George Gershwin Bio

  • Born in 1898 as Jacob Gershvitz to Russian Immigrant Parents

  • Not a real musical intuition until age 12

  • Dropped out of High School (1914) to join a Tin Pan Alley publishing firm

  • Left job in 1917 to work as a rehearsal pianist

  • Really saw first success with Swanee

  • Died young in 1938 as a result of a brain tumor


Gershwin s musical accomplishments

Gershwin’s Musical Accomplishments

  • Swanee (1919)

  • Rhapsody in Blue (1924)

  • Concerto in F for Piano and Orchestra (1925)

  • An American in Paris (1928)

  • Porgy and Bess (1935)


Rhapsody in blue

Rhapsody in Blue

  • Came to be rather randomly

  • Paul Whiteman and Aeolian Hall

  • FerdeGrofe and Ross Gorman

  • Last second finish


Musical elements

Musical Elements

  • Instrumentation

    • Depending on the performance: Piano, Clarinet, Saxophone(s), Violin, French Horn, Trumpet, Tuba, and others

    • Main instruments are clarinet and piano

    • Harmonic Shifts and Changes in rhythm


Musical elements cont

Musical Elements (cont.)

  • Forceful playing

  • Improvisation

  • Joy of Playing


Listening

Listening

  • Almost irregular sections

  • A-establishes the theme of the piece

  • Bridge from intro to theme…short and cheerful

  • B-theme from introduction with clarinets backing

  • C-Jazz theme, dynamic shifts…gives piece a lot of excitement

  • B-piano enters on a much lower note


Listening cont

Listening (cont.)

  • A-piano provides the “bluesy” theme

  • C-piano shifts to provide jazz theme from earlier

  • D-warm version of the theme

  • Piano then plays repeated notes, as they get faster with each note

  • D-main orchestra rejoins piano following solo


Listening cont1

Listening (cont.)

  • A-piano plays part A in what almost seems like an angry tone

  • B-played again with repeated notes

  • A-conclusion that incorporates whole orchestra with piano to theme exciting ending


Pop culture

Pop Culture

  • New York City

  • Brian Wilson

  • Woody Allen

  • Fantasia

  • Olympics


Critics

Critics

  • Leonard Bernstein: “not a composition at all, but a string of terrific tunes, stuck together with a thin paste of flour and water”

  • Arthur Schwartz: “more intuition than tuition”

  • Originality

  • American?


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