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Extended Essay

Subject: Music

What are the elements/characteristics of European Classical music and how has it affected the Jazz components in George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue?


! Rhapsody in Blue by George Gershwin is a piece of quasi-classical music. Implying that a seemingly pure piece of jazz music is also strongly and heavily influenced by European Classical music.

! ‘What are the elements/characteristics of European Classical music and how has it affected the Jazz components in George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue?’.

! This essays investigates the influences of European classical music on George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. Influences from his earlier years, people whom he interacted with, and his environment have all been taken into account. This essay also attempts to define and highlight the characteristics of European Classical music within the piece. I also take these characteristics of European Classical music and compare them to the history of European Classical music to define the origin of where the characteristic originated from. This is done so by analyzing both the theoretical composition of Rhapsody in Blue as well as both the modern and first time recording of the respected piece. My research has uncovered the European Classical influences on Rhapsody in Blue, and I have found that the quality of music has been enhanced with the addition of Classical elements. However, I believe that it is still important to keep part of Gershwin’s spirit of Jazz and improvisation alive in today’s performances.

! This essay mainly contains information retrieved from secondary sources, however I have included some primary sources of information. I interviewed a conductor who conducted the Rhapsody in Blue and asked for his opinions and views on the characteristics of the European Classical influence on this piece. I also conducted surveys amongst Music students and non-Music students looking for response of a similar matter 1 . (279 words)

1 I have attempted to contact professors on George Gershwin to gain more insight on the composer’s life however this has been unsuccessful.

Table of Contents:

Introduction !


Chapter 1!


Chapter 2!












Harmony !





Chapter 3!




Appendix !


Appendix I: Pages referred to from Rhapsody in Blue!


Appendix II: Page referred to from Prelude No. 17!


Appendix III: Page referred to from Ravel’s piano concert no.1!


Appendix IV: Rhapsody in Blue pre/post-listening Questionnaire !


Bibliography !



Through the evolution of music, the piano evolved with it. Starting out first as a harpsichord, and being developed through the centuries into the modern beautiful instrument that it is. With the evolution of the piano, the music composed for the piano couldn’t help but evolve alongside it. The contrapuntal melodies of Bach and Vivaldi in the Baroque period transformed after a century and a half into the famous Classical period. A period in which a strict tempo was always kept and a dynamic range divided with no in- betweens. A new brand of music formed with epitomizing composers such as Mozart, Beethoven, and Haydn. Soon thereafter, the 19 th century came along and swept away the classical period, molding a new shape of expressive music: the works of the Romantic era. However, after the Romantic era, the evolution of music starts blooming in all directions:

expressionism, impressionism, serialism, minimalism, Jazz, blues, and the list goes on indefinitely.

Personally being a pianist with a passion to play both European Classical music and Jazz, and being a great admirer of George Gershwin’s music I was able to gain further insight into Rhapsody in Blue through my practicing and playing of the piece. I chose to investigate the European Classical influences within this piece because the musical elements contained in this piece are monumental. This piece combines the elements of both European Classical music and jazzy. The fusion of the two musical styles can be seen as an enormous step forward in the evolution of music. And being in the early 1900s, new experimental types of music was not frowned upon, and when this piece did premiere in 1924, it became one of the most popular pieces ever composed amongst a growing audience for Jazz.

The methodology in which I will take to investigating this piece of music is to firstly analyse the musical scoring of the piece to look for hidden details that indicate to a visual, but less aural Classical element. I will also compare the original piano score to the orchestrated version to see if there have been any modifications on the piano score in the orchestrated music. I will also personally assess two different recordings of Rhapsody in Blue, a modern recording and a recording played by George Gershwin himself. Upon listening, I will be analyzing the two recordings for traits that indicate Classically influenced Jazz motif or Jazz influenced classical motif. To broaden m perspective towards this piece,

I will also create a questionnaire and conduct field research by requesting a total of 20 randomly selected participants (those who study and do not study music). By carefully reviewing their answers, I can then make a comparison between how this piece is viewed as to how it actually is.

Rhapsody in Blue is a particularly exceptional piece of music, as it is recognized not as only a Jazz piece, but a quasi-classical piece. Meaning that this piece is just as much classically influenced as Jazz influenced and will contain characteristic traits of both styles of music, albeit indistinctive. Due to the long history of European Classical music, I will limit the investigation of its characteristics to just the Baroque, Classical, and Romantic eras. Also, because the piano was designed to be a classical solo instrument, I will take into account how the piece would sound differently if instead of a piano, a Jazz instrument were to be replaced, such as a saxophone or trumpet.

The instrumentation of a piece is very important, although many concertos for other instruments may actually have been originally composed on a piano then orchestrated, the timbre and tone quality of the instrument would differ greatly. Thus, I will take a small excerpt from the piece and transcribe it so that different instruments play the solo to investigate how much of a classical music influence the piano really has on the overall classical quality of the piece.

First, I will be conducting an investigation into George Gershwin’s history in search for classical influences on Gershwin. In section 2, I will be studying the sheet music for Rhapsody in Blue looking for telltale and hidden signs of European Classical traits. Next, I will also be focusing on the aural side of the piece, while making reference to classical characteristics mentioned in section 1. Section 2, I will include an analysis of the classical traits previously mentioned in chapter 2 in both the original and todays’ recordings of the piece. The aim of this is to see how the classical characteristics are viewed today and how it is performed. I have also conducted a survey amongst musicians and non-musicians to gather information on the perspective of how this piece is viewed. I believe that this will allow me enough insight to make a sound conclusion on the effects of traditional Classical music on Gershwin’s composition of Rhapsody in Blue.

Chapter 1

A study of George Gershwin’s background and how it may have influenced the way he composed his piece.

! George Gershwin (1898 - 1937) had a childhood one may not expect coming from such a famous prolific composer of Jazz. The son of non-musical russian immigrant parents, George Gershwin began playing the piano at the age of 12 (1910). Soon after picking up the piano, he started studying with Charles Hambitzer: a prominent pianist, piano teacher, conductor, violinist, and cellist. Although not as well-known as George Gershwin, Charles Hambitzer may be affiliated with Gershwin’s success and inspiration for his works. Gershwin once said: ‘without Hambitzer, there would be no Gershwin. 2 Hambitzer taught Gershwin for 6 years, before Gershwin’s lessons ended and Hambitzer passed away. Thus it is a reasonable assumption that much of Gershwin’s style can be traced back to Hambitzer, although there are no existing recordings of Hambitzer that can be used to establish links between Hambitzer and Gershwin.

! Hambitzer introduced Gershwin to classical music and also taught him all of the basics to European Classical music. Hambitzer also encouraged Gershwin to attend orchestral concerts, gaining him more insight into European Classical music. Gershwin did

attend, but instead of just listening to the orchestral music, he would reproduce the music he heard in the orchestra on the piano. This form of practice would have heavily embedded distinctive European Classical musical traits in to both Gershwin’s playing and


compositions, but his inspirations for composing did not end there. Gershwin also absorbed music from African-American artists at the time, Jewish traditions, theatre music, vaudevilles, and more music from miscellaneous ethnic communities from varied parts of New York city. Gershwin was unable to finish high-school, dropped out and began working on the Tin Pan Alley as a song-plugger 3 for Jerome H. Remick. Gershwin would perform Remick’s published music every day, slowly infusing his music with Gershwin’s taste for music and his composed works later on in life. Gershwin first became known through the

Hambitzer provided the European Classical flavor within Gershwin’s

3 Song-pluggers were pianists employed by music stores (in this case, Tin Pan Alley) to promote new music. being composed and published. to patrons. In this manner, Patrons would be able to hear a preview of the song before making the purchase.

song Swannee. Soon afterwards, Rialto Ripples became Gershwin’s first biggest composition that he worked on with Remick. However, soon after this piece was published, he left Tin Pan Alley and started working for the Aeolian Company and Standard Music Rolls in New York. He recorded, and (re)arranging pieces. He recorded songs prolifically, producing hundreds of recordings. He also started recording some of his own compositions. Not only did he start composing, he also - for a brief period of time - went into vaudeville and accompanied Nora Bayes and Louise Dresser on the piano – both famous singers in vaudeville. His collaboration with lyricist Buddy DeSylva gave birth to the famous Porgy and Bess.

! Gershwin had ties and relations with almost all artists in music genres available in New York. His job working as a performer and piano recorder gained him access into every kind of music that was being published. Gershwin picked up inspiration, knowledge, and experience on all music occurring in New York. His prolific gains in insight to a new era of music was invincible. He continued his composing through the years until in 1924, he came up with Rhapsody in Blue, Gershwin’s first major classical work. The final fusion of Jazz music in his era with classical music created a significant spark in his works. In his pursuit of this new classical element of music, he travelled to Paris seeking tutor from famous singers and other classical and 20 th century composers such as Maurice Ravel. However, they were obliged to turn down Gershwin because they were afraid an excess of European Classical music would ruin Gershwin’s natural Jazz-influenced style of writing music.

! The rejection of Gershwin into classical music society may have been beneficial because Gershwin continued on to compose his second most successful piece, An American in Paris. However, it is arguable that the classical elements that Gershwin attempted to include in this Jazz tone poem may have slightly ruined his writing of music. And looking through Gershwin’s short history of musical experiences, it can be seen that his composition of music contains elements of numerous successful Jazz artists in his time. It can also be seen that Gershwin’s music after Rhapsody in Blue became a greatest hit, started becoming more infused with classical traits of music. This may have been deleterious as it started to change Gershwin’s original Jazz style of writing. However, Gershwin’s musical history it seems, contains countless influences from Jazz artists but only few sources of European Classical music.

Chapter 2

A study of the theoretical composition of Rhapsody in Blue showing the characteristics and influences of European Classical music in Jazz

! In this piece of Jazz music, to the lay listener, it would seem very blatantly obvious that this piece is Jazz. However, there are many influences of classical music hidden beneath the surface and sound of this piece. Upon viewing this piece of music before

listening, there are a few significant traits distinctive of European Classical music. The first

is that George Gershwin wrote this piece of music for a standard classical orchestra with

typical instrumentation to that seen in the Romantic Era. The structure of this piece is also written in a very similar style to that of a classical concerto – a big orchestral opening followed by the virtuoso pianist 4 . Also, the composing of dissonant harmony and then the act of resolving it by means of a cadence.

2.1 Structure

! European Classical music contains many different styles of structuring a piece of

music. For example, sonata form (A 1 -B-A 2 ), binary form (A-B), and tertiary form (A 1 -B-A 1 ) 5 . Typical piano concertos from European Classical music often follows the the set format of

a Sonata form. Jazz on the other hand, has more freedom when it comes to structure.

Because improvisation is important in Jazz, the structure will often be as follows:

introduction of melody, improvisation on melody (with accompaniment if in an ensemble), repeat introductory melody, further improvisation (often by another instrument), and so on. In Rhapsody in Blue, a similar type of Sonata form is followed. However it is heavily modified. Although a rhapsody is not a concerto, a rhapsody is an extended piece of music with only one movement; it is similar to a condensed concerto. There are times in the piece that indicate the start, end, or transition into or out of sections of a Sonata form (exposition, development, recapitulation). However, Gershwin, in an attempt to fuse the classical Sonata form within a piece of Jazz rhapsody, has changed the form and so it is difficult to distinguish between the true beginnings and ends of the sections.

4 Comparable to Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No.1 Movement 1

5 Sonata form is different to Tertiary form in that Sonata form is structured Exposition, Development, and Recapitulation. Whereas Tertiary form is simply just A-B-A, a repeat with small variations of the A section.

! This incorporation of the Sonata form within Rhapsody in Blue has allowed for this grand piece of music an air of mystery. It has affected the Jazz components in a way that listeners will hear a very structured form of music. It is necessary for all music to have a structure, but upon completing a survey asking people of both musical and non-musical talents, all answered with ‘Classical structure’ when asked ‘What style of music does the structure of this piece sound like?’ 6 . However, I continued to ask whether they heard or took notice of the European Classical nature of the structure of this piece before seeing the question, they answered no. The survey conducted shows that although this piece has has a very Jazzy appearance, it is still very classical at heart.

! In terms of phrase structure, Gershwin also employs a technique called joint phrases developed by Haydn. This technique is used when starting a phrase before a previous phrase has ended. This technique may give the listener a feel of something being unfinished and imperfect. Joint phrasing also allows for variations of a theme or motif to be sounded as if played on top of the original theme as Gershwin writes in figure 1.1.

top of the original theme as Gershwin writes in figure 1.1. ! By using a joint

! By using a joint phrase with the main theme, Gershwin is creating a ‘dissonant’ sound with the overtone of the main theme after which it is played and the variation of it (which is right after the main theme).

6 The survey can be found in Appendix D

2.2 Instrumenta0on

! Instrumentation is always a key aspect that can determine the genre of music. The instrumentation determines the aural quality in which the music is played and heard. Jazz music typically uses a ‘band’ or ‘ensemble’ instead of an ‘orchestra’. A Jazz band typically consists of mainly brass instruments such as trumpets and trombones; and some woodwind instruments, such as clarinets and saxophones. Occasionally a Jazz band will employ the use of a double bass for its deep register and mellow tone. All these wind instruments are then often accompanied by a drum kit to keep the pulse.

! However, in Gershwin’s jazz ensemble, the wide range of instruments used in Rhapsody in Blue does not indicate a group that plays jazz. Instead, upon viewing the instrumentation of this piece, it resembles very clearly an orchestra from the Romantic era. Below are figures 1.2 and 1.3, 1.2 is the instrumentation of Rhapsody in Blue, whereas figure 1.3 is an image of the instrumentation of Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G 7 .

! The similarity between the two is almost identical and can be immediately seen (between the instruments used). In fact, if it was not known that figure 1.2 was from Rhapsody in Blue, one might also argue that it was taken from a Romantic piano concerto such as the example listed above, or even Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1.

! The questionnaire also brought an interesting perspective on to this subject. The majority of people who filled in the questionnaire said that the instrumentation sounded very much like a “Beethoven orchestra, just playing different series of notes at different speeds to make this piece sound like jazz”.

! Thus, the broad choice of instrumentation for a ‘Jazz Ensemble’ has allowed Gershwin to create harmonies and textures beyond the reach of just simple Jazz band instruments. The big ‘Jazz’ orchestra fuses the mellow sounds of the lower strings, with high pitched violins along with Bassoons, Flutes, and Oboes, and the large brass sounds of Trombones, Trumpets, and Saxophones. And once rubato, and a dynamics range of pp to ff is added, the piece transforms, creating a sound of jazz with a timbre of Classical music.

7 Durand & Cie. Concerto pour Piano et Orchestra, Plate D. & F., Paris, 1932.

Fig. 1.2

Fig. 1.2 Fig. 1.3 11

Fig. 1.3

2.3 Sequencing

The first most obvious characteristic of this piece that has elements derived from European Classical music is Gershwin’s heavy use of sequencing throughout this piece. Sequencing is a direct repetition of typically, a motif or phrase. Sequences that follow the original motif or phrase can be either modulated to be played in a different key; or if in an orchestra, the motif or phrase can be given to a another instrumental section. But there are some cases in which the sequence is given to another instrumental and modulated.

the sequence is given to another instrumental and modulated. ! In figure 1.4, the main motif

! In figure 1.4, the main motif of a sequence is introduced by the trombones then sequenced 2 bars ahead in figure 1.5 with a modulation from the original B b major to E b major. However, the third time he sequences this motif, Gershwin both transposes and modulates it as shown in figure 1.6. Figure 1.6 shows the transposition of the motif to the French Horns and a modulation from the original motif. The use of sequencing in the Orchestra in Rhapsody in Blue is typical to music composed in both the Baroque and Classical eras of music by composers such as Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven 8 .

More use of sequencing can be found repeatedly throughout this entire piece. Gershwin uses the technique of sequencing to create a Jazz sounding style of music. However, it is the most used technique in the Baroque era, and it was perfected in that era by Bach. Figure 1.7 9 is a typical sequence used by Bach:

Bach. Figure 1.7 9 is a typical sequence used by Bach: 8 Beethoven’s 5 t h

8 Beethoven’s 5 th Symphony 1 st movement contains many sequences of the main motif heard at the beginning of the piece.

9 Breitkopf & Härtel. Prelude No. 17 in A b Major, BWV 862, 1886 Bach-Gesellschaft Ausgabe.

By heavily employing the technique of sequencing throughout Rhapsody in Blue, Gershwin has terraced the melodies, themes, motifs, and phrases thoroughly. By doing so, he created a strong dissonant sound almost consistently throughout the whole piece. Gershwin has taken advantage of a traditional technique for creating heterophonic, and polyphonic textures and used it to create polyphonic dissonant textures.

2.4 Harmony

One big characteristic of classical music is hidden within the harmonic structure of this piece. In the introduction of this piece recursive key changes occur rapidly from tonic to dominant, but only reversed (thus, dominant to tonic): B b , E b , A b , D b , G b , B, E, and A major. This pattern is also the circle of fifths, a distinct element of classical music. Not only that, the keys in which this introduction progresses are the progressive keys in which each progressive key gains one more key signature. From this, the classical characteristic is revealed; a dominant to tonic key change is just like a perfect cadence. Thus, instead of modulating from tonic key to the dominant key, he does the opposite, creating a ‘jazzy’ sound.

This use of harmony adds much to the sound of the piece overall, because the sound created by reversing otherwise traditional chord sequences, the sound is also reversed, more dissonance is created through resolving chords in an reversed manner. Thus, giving it the proper Jazz sound it deserves.

2.6 Tempo

! Tempo, as is widely known, is a significant aspect of Jazz music that must be strictly controlled if Jazz music is to be danced to (as it often is). However, in the writing of Rhapsody in Blue, Gershwin refers to many different tempo markings such as Scherzando, Piu Mosso, and Con Moto. Typically, Jazz music uses English words to describe the tempo such as Swing, Light Rock, Shuffle, and so on. But Gershwin uses traditional European Classical tempo markings showing that he wants this piece to be played in a style similar to that of the European Classical music eras. However, Gershwin does also resort to the use of simply writing down tempo and performance instructions in plain English.

Fig 1.8 ! Figure 1.8 shows just three examples of traditional tempo markings that Gershwin

Fig 1.8

! Figure 1.8 shows just three examples of traditional tempo markings that Gershwin used in Rhapsody in Blue. Apart from traditional tempo markings, he also uses tempo directions, and even performance directions such as those shown in figure 1.9:

Fig 1.9

directions such as those shown in figure 1.9: Fig 1.9 Gershwin even uses both traditional and
directions such as those shown in figure 1.9: Fig 1.9 Gershwin even uses both traditional and

Gershwin even uses both traditional and modern markings at the same time to enhance the player’s performance (figure 1.10):

time to enhance the player’s performance (figure 1.10): Fig 1.10 ! Gershwin intelligently combines his knowledge

Fig 1.10

! Gershwin intelligently combines his knowledge of both Jazz music and European Classical music to create his most desired effect in Rhapsody in Blue. This allows the Rhapsody in Blue to become a piece of music that can be played in the most versatile of manners; open even more to be bent according to the musician(s). Without the use of traditional markings and directions, it is possible that much of the harmony that can be heard in today’s performance of Rhapsody in Blue would not be heard.

Chapter 3

A comparison and contrast of two recordings of Rhapsody in Blue, played by George Gershwin and Bernstein

! After thorough listening to both recordings, the most noticeable difference is the tempo. As stated in the previous chapter, subheading ‘Tempo’, the tempo of Jazz music must be precise. However, George Gershwin shows complete disregard for this and both composes and performs this piece with widely varying tempos.

! Furthermore, the use of rubato is taken to its extremities in this piece, not heard of in Jazz music, but indeed heard of in music originating from the Romantic era from composers such as Chopin, Tchaikovsky, and Brahms. Furthermore, Bernstein’s recording includes more traditional techniques regarding tempo than the original recording played by Gershwin such as subito accelerando and decelerando. Taking this into account, Gershwin’s recording is slightly shorter than Bernstein’s. This is due to how Gershwin played the piece at a generally faster tempo.

! Dynamics have also been dramatized. The addition of more crescendos and decrescendos in today’s performances have arguably added more taste to the piece. However, I stand that the way George Gershwin played it in his first few recordings should be the legacy that the Rhapsody in Blue needs to leave.

! Not only are the dynamics different, but the extent of the use of extended instrumental techniques on the instruments are also much more complicated in the original recording. The clarinet soloist at the beginning uses an effect created by releasing on the reeds before the note is finished playing thus creating a “duck” like sound (as shown in figure 2.1).

creating a “duck” like sound (as shown in figure 2.1). Fig 2.1 ! The original recording

Fig 2.1

! The original recording seems much more Classical than the modern recording. This may be because people’s perception that Rhapsody in Blue needs to be strictly a Jazz piece has made them transform the way it is performed. The extra addition of rubato, and

even further dramatic use of dynamics have arguably enhanced the performance of this piece. The most likely reason for this is most likely because some parts of Gershwin’s first performances of said piece were improvised.

! Finally, from listening to the two recordings, my knowledge and familiarity with the history of European Classical music has lead me to believe that Bernstein’s performance style of the Rhapsody in Blue can be directly attributed to the influences of European Classical music, especially the Romantic Era. Thus, I believe that through the evolution of music, Rhapsody in Blue has also changed due to the different styles of existing music and people’s natural attraction to conform.


Research question: What are the elements/characteristics of European Classical music and how has it affected the Jazz components in George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue?

! This essay has covered what the elements of European Classical music in Rhapsody in Blue are, and how the elements have affected the Jazz components within this piece. And upon thorough analysis of Rhapsody in Blue, many European Classical traits of music have been identified. These characteristics of a traditional form of music have moulded with the Jazz in this piece, making it distinctly quasi-classical.

! Even though Gershwin intended the Rhapsody in Blue to be semi-classical, today, it has transformed into a Romantic-Jazz piece of music. Because in Gershwin’s original performances, he improvised, I believe that no matter the influences of music over time, the flavor of the piece should remain somewhat improvised. However, I am not criticizing Bernstein’s performance, he has played the piece brilliantly. My belief is that every performance of Rhapsody in Blue should include improvisational sections as it is a fusion of Classical and Jazz. However, it may become questionable now, whether the Rhapsody in Blue should or should not be played in a manner that is distinctive of Classical music.

! In conclusion, my stand is that the European Classical music influences have allowed and strongly influenced Gershwin to compose Rhapsody in Blue with a structure, texture, and instrumentation new to the Jazz generation. Although interpretations of this work will always be changing, the spirit of Gershwin lives in this piece through the intricate details of sound.


Appendix I: Pages referred to from Rhapsody in Blue

(Pages I referred to in my essay):

Appendix Appendix I: Pages referred to from Rhapsody in Blue (Pages I referred to in my

Appendix II: Page referred to from Prelude No. 17

(Pages I referred to in my essay)

Appendix II: Page referred to from Prelude No. 17 (Pages I referred to in my essay)

Appendix III: Page referred to from Ravel’s piano concert no.1

(Pages I referred to in my essay):

Appendix III: Page referred to from Ravel’s piano concert no.1 (Pages I referred to in my

Appendix IV: Rhapsody in Blue pre/post-listening Ques0onnaire

Pre-listening questionnaire:

1. Do you know George Gershwin? If so do you know George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in


2. Do you know what a ‘Rhapsody’ is? If so, what?

3. What period of the Western Classical music do you think this piece best fits into?

a. Baroque (Composers such as Bach, Vivaldi, and Monteverdi)

b. Classical (Composers such as Beethoven, Mozart, and Haydn)

c. Romantic (Composers such as Chopin, Tchaikovsky, and Brahms)

d. 20th Century (Composers such as Schoenberg, Rachmaninoff, and Scott Joplin)

[Includes expressionists, serialism, minimalism, jazz, blues, etc.]

Post-listening questionnaire:

1. If you answered ‘No’ to question 1 of the Pre-concert questionnaire: Does the tune of Rhapsody in Blue sound familiar?

2. If you answered ‘No’ to question 2 of the Pre-concert questionnaire, please take a guess to what a ‘Rhapsody’ is after hearing the piece.

3. Upon hearing Rhapsody in Blue, what period of the Western Classical music do you now think this piece best fit into?

a. Baroque (Composers such as Bach, Vivaldi, and Monteverdi)

b. Classical (Composers such as Beethoven, Mozart, and Haydn)

c. Romantic (Composers such as Chopin, Tchaikovsky, and Brahms)

d. 20 th Century (Composers such as Schoenberg, Rachmanino , and Scott

Joplin) [Includes expressionists, serialism, minimalism, jazz, blues, etc.]

4. State something interesting about the instrumentation of this piece.

5. Do you hear any classical elements/characteristics of music in this piece? If so, what?

6. [For music students only] Can you relate this piece/composer to any other piece/ composer?



Gutmann, Peter. “George Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue.” 2003. <http:// www.classicalnotes.net/classics/gershwin.html>, retrieved Friday 2 nd September 2011.

Naughtin, Matthew. “Rhapsody in Blue.” 2002. <http://www.mattnaughtin.com/Gershwin- RhapsodyinBlue.pdf>, retrieved Monday 22 nd August 2011.

““Rhapsody in Blue” ~ George Gershwin.” Updated 19 Nov 2006. <http://uniqhorns.com/ rhapsody.html>, retrieved Monday 22 nd August 2011.

Wikipedia. “George Gershwin” Updated on 16 th October 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/George_Gershwin>, retrieved 21 st September 2011.

Wikipedia. “Jerome H. Remick.” Updated on 8 th October 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org/


retrieved 21 st September 2011.

Wikipedia. “Song-plugger.” Updated on 14 th August 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Song-plugger>, retrieved 21 st September 2011.


Durand & Cie. Concerto pour Piano et Orchestra, Plate D. & F., Paris, 1932. Retrieved 3 rd October.

Prelude & Fugue in A b Major <http://imslp.info/files/imglnks/usimg/a/a0/IMSLP02222- BWV0862.pdf> retrieved 3 rd October 2011.


Burrows, John. Classical Music, Dorling Kindersley Limited, London, 2005.

Goldberg, Isaac. Tin Pan Alley: A Chronicle of the American Popular Music Racket, The John Day Company, 1930.

Pollack, Howard. George Gershwin: His Life and Work, University of California Press,

California, 2006.

CDs, MP3s, Video recordings:

Gershwin plays Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue [Video]. <http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=1U40xBSz6Dc> retrieved 26 th September 2011.

GERSWHIN, G.: Jazz Music (Paul Whiteman's Gerswhin) (Paul Whiteman Orchestra) (1921-1945), Naxos, RX 124-125 (1924). Track 08: Rhapsody in Blue

George Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue, Bernstein Century: Gershwin (1997), Track 01:

Rhapsody in Blue