preview

George Gershwin's Experiment In Modern Music And Music Of The Twentieth Century

Better Essays
George Gershwin was an American composer and musician. Through his very successful career, he composed hundreds of popular, classical, and jazz pieces of music. His work was pivotal in the early 1900’s and has continued to make a lasting impact. Many of his songs and compositions continue to be very popular in today’s society. Some of his most famous works include “Rhapsody in Blue”, and “American in Paris.” Gershwin's ability to create timeless pieces like these are part of what makes him one of the greatest composers of the twentieth century.
George Gershwin was born on September 26, 1898, in Brooklyn, New York. At the age of eleven, his parents began to notice his amazing and natural musical talent so they enrolled him in piano lessons.
…show more content…
The piece was premiered on February 12, 1924, in New York City at the “Experiment in Modern Music” concert, directed by Paul Whiteman (Schwarm). The story behind this song is that Gershwin had misunderstood the request from, Whiteman. He did not know he wanted him to compose a piece for that concert. He was only reminded when he saw an ad in the newspaper promoting the show. Gershwin had to create this amazing work of art in just a few weeks. Gershwin later said that because he was so pressed for time he has to work everywhere. The main theme for “Rhapsody in Blue” was actually composed on a train to Boston. When it was first performed, Gershwin didn’t have a copy of the sheet music finished yet. He had barely had enough time to finish the music for the band. So, the first time it was performed, Gershwin played the piano from memory (Schwarm). Even though the preparation for the premiere was very hectic, the performance was a huge success. After that night, all the people listening knew a new American classic had just been created. This piece has continued to be a staple in the jazz world, and is still one of the most commonly performed. This is not considered to be a technically perfect piece of music. Many music scholars believe that there are many holes and odd transitions. However, the rambling and haste is part of…show more content…
To truly understand a piece of music or any other type of art, it is important to look or listen closely and really break it down. A good way to do this is through the eight views of good art. The eight views are permanence, craftsmanship, subtlety, broad appeal, unity and variety, emotion, economy, and imagination. This piece definitely has permanence. It may not be something that is commonly played on the radio, but it is still very popular in the world of classical music. When the rights to the suite were purchased by MGM and made into a movie, it gave access to more people and helped strengthen its legacy. “American in Paris” demonstrates outstanding craftsmanship for both the composer and the musician. This is a very complex piece. It uses unique note patterns and rhythm to create the sounds of a city. It makes the listener feel as if they are in the middle of a busy street in Paris. It is full of romance, chaos, and excitement all at the same time. This piece also takes lots of skill to play because it is so unique. The piece also has broad appeal. It is different from most classical compositions, which makes it something that stands out to the audience, and makes it something that they will listen to. Another thing that this work is filled with is emotion, variety, and imagination. After listening to the entire suite, the listener feels like they have been on a wild
Get Access