The Life And Career Of George Gershwin Film Studies Essay

The name of George Gershwin linked one of the most interesting periods of music history of the United States. “ One hundred old ages after his birth, George Gershwin is the most widely remembered of the songsters who dominated African popular music between the terminal of World War I and the rise of rock ‘n’ roll ” ( Teachout 46 ) .

George Gershwin was an American composer and piano player. His parents were immigrants from Russia. He did non have systematic music instruction and began to analyze to play the piano with the aid of a celebrated music instructor Hambitzer in 14 old ages old. Then, already a celebrated writer, he took lessons in composing and harmoniousness. Since 1913 he worked as a pianist-accompanist at the music shop and began to compose vocals in the manner of I. Berlin ( 1888-1989 ) and D. Kern ( 1885-1945 ) .

Soon he achieved a success in musicals. Many of the vocals from the musicals have become highly popular with the crowds. The most popular musicals written by Gershwin are the undermentioned 1s: “ Ladies, please, ” “ Funny Face ” , “ Crazy ” and many of his vocals. The existent celebrity came to Gershwin in 1924, after composing “ Rhapsody in bluish ” for the piano and orchestra, performed by the writer with the orchestra conducted by P. Whiteman.

Therefore, in this paper we are traveling to discourse and analyze biographical information about this composer, to research musical manners and signifiers which he is celebrated for, and to depict one of the major plants of George Gershwin that is called “ Rhapsody in bluish ” .

Biographic information about George Gershwin

Gershwin was born on September 26, 1898 in New York ‘s block of Brooklyn. He was a boy of Judaic immigrants from Russia. His male parent was a indigen of St. Petersburg. The existent name of the celebrated composer was Jacob Gershowitz. Since childhood, absorbing wind civilization ( they say, that Gershwin has heard wind music at age 6 ) , he was a lover of wind concerts. In 12 old ages old, George began to larn to play the piano himself. Much subsequently, as a celebrated composer, Gershwin has ne’er ceased to larn, and better his technique. During these lessons, he became acquainted with alone American composers of those old ages – Henry Cowell, Wallingford Constantine Riegger and Russian Professor Joseph Schillinger ( Joseph was celebrated for the fact that he approached to the procedure of composing music with a mathematical place, seeking to develop a cosmopolitan algorithm ) .

In 1914, Gershwin began to play music professionally, working as an accompanyist in the company of Jerome Remick. Two old ages subsequently, the first writer ‘s work of George Gershwin was presented to the audience. Despite the fact that this work had non much success with the crowds, some well-known and celebrated Broadway manufacturers and managers paid attending to a talented composer. For illustration, Sigmund Romberg merrily included music of Gershwin in his light opera “ The Passing Show of 1916 ” . In those old ages, Gershwin, playing the piano and mastering harmoniousness and orchestration, earned excess money as a piano player in different eating houses.

In 1918-1919, on Broadway there were a batch of plants of Gershwin: “ Swanee ” entered the musical “ Sinbad ” and had a resonant success in the public presentation of Al Jolson. In 1919, a celebrated public presentation “ La, La Lucille ” was wholly based on the plants of Gershwin. In 1920-1924, George Gershwin created several tonss of plants for “ George White ‘s Scandals ” , and in 1922, he even wrote a existent opera, which was named “ Blue Monday ” ( besides known as “ hundred-and-thirty-fifth Street ” ) . After the premiere, he was invited by Whiteman to a wind set as a composer. George wrote particularly for Whiteman a existent pearl of his work – “ Rhapsody in Blue ” . In 1924, Gershwin created his celebrated musical “ Lady, Be Good! ” that had much success and brought a composer the first broad popularity on Broadway. In this public presentation, Gershwin foremost worked with his brother Ira Gershwin, who wrote all the wordss. The following decennary, this originative brotherhood was one of the most productive and popular brotherhoods on Broadway. The most successful show was “ Of Thee I Singing ” , 1931. They received the Pulitzer Prize, foremost awarded to a musical public presentation, for this show. The most extended and ambitious work in the life of George Gershwin was a “ common people ” opera “ Porgy and Bess ” , 1935, staged on the novel by Edwin DuBose Heyward, who took portion in composing the libretto for that opera.

Harmonizing to Crawford, “ Gershwin ‘s Porgy and Bess ( libretto by DuBose Heyward with aid from Ira Gershwin ) -the phase work that has come to at the Great American Opera ticket ( minus Kahn ‘s amanuensiss and metros ) possibly better than any other-opened in New York ” ( 697 ) . In early 1937, Gershwin was diagnosed with symptoms of a encephalon tumour. Gershwin was placed in Leben-Clinic, where he died on July 11, 1937 in Los Angeles without recovering consciousness after malignant neoplastic disease surgery to take a tumour.

Musical manners and signifiers of Gershwin ‘s chef-d’oeuvres

The musical manners and signifiers of Gershwin ‘s plants are well-known and can be characterized as dynamic contrast images, wit or satirical grotesque combinations of traditional Afro-american common people and wind music with the rules of symphonism. The tunes of Gershwin ‘s vocals are alone for their combinations of individuality and about complete disintegration of Afro-american tunes and harmoniousnesss. Sometimes, his music is influenced by cantorial vocalizing, though the Judaic subject is virtually absent in his work.

It is interesting to cognize that Gershwin non merely composed and created “ light music ” . By 1919, he wrote a twine four that was called “ Lullaby ” . This composing represented a really high-style musical composition, written in the genre of light blues, but it had a resemblance to “ elegant music ” of Mozart, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky. Gershwin joined the “ authoritative ” means with modulations of wind in the opera music. All composings and plants that were written by Gershwin, permeated by a common thought – to do music accessible to everyone, do non interrupt away from mundane life, do non turn away from the sound chesty streets, dance, do non raise the adamantine walls between classical and popular music. This thought led George Gershwin to the creative activity of his plants included in a music usage all over the universe, which raised American music to the degree of classics.

Rhapsody in Blue

“ Rhapsody in Blue ” is one of the most celebrated and successful plants of George Gershwin. Rhapsody was foremost performed by the writer on February 12, 1924 in New York, accompanied by the orchestra of Paul Wightman. This work was ordered by Wightman on January 5, 1923, as an experiment to make a new musical manner that combines wind and classical music. Initially, that merchandise was called “ An American Rhapsody. ” The well-known name of this work was suggested by the composer ‘s brother Ira Gershwin, after sing an art exhibition of James McNeill Whistler. “ Rhapsody in Blue ” became a chef-d’oeuvre of classical music and wind, and, in assorted readings, played by instrumentalists in different Fieldss of music. This composing that includes elements of wind, the Negro common people music and light music are combined with a superb piano composing in the manner of Franz Liszt and Sergei Rachmaninoff. This work was a sort of span between the alleged visible radiation and academic music. “ Rhapsody ” is one of the most often performed concertos for the piano and orchestra ( along with the concerts by Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, etc. ) and the repertory of the finest piano players in the universe. Music is characterized by graphic marks of early American wind: a syncopated beat, a sense of improvisation, etc. However, the development of the chief subjects goes on within the rigorous model of sonata signifier, the writer uses a “ authoritative ” orchestra, and solo piano reminds a romantic manner of Liszt and Rachmaninoff. In this musical composing, the subjects are based on the blues scale that consists of major and minor tierces and lowered sevenths. There are important differences in presentation manners of each subject.

The harmonic construction of this composing is hard to show and analyse. One thing can be said that the piece of Rhapsody Begins and accordingly ends in B flat.

Different modern-day manners and wind are present in this chef-d’oeuvre. The pacing of Rhapsody in Blue vary straight and widely. There is an utmost usage of “ rubato ” in a batch of topographic points throughout this composing.

Harmonizing to Howard, “ aˆ¦Rhapsody is resistless still, with its syncopated rhythmic plangency, its abandoned, insolent genius that tells more about the boom mid-twentiess than could a thousand words, and its echt melodious beauty colored a deep, jazzy blue by the flatted sevenths and tierces that had their beginnings in the Negro slave vocals ” ( par. 3 ) . In add-on,

Schiff stated that “ Rhapsody in Blue is an digesting memorial to the love matter of Americans – and people around the universe – with the Afro-american parlance that became the most influential linguistic communication of twentieth-century music ” ( 3 ) .


Taking the above-stated information into consideration, it is possible to pull a decision that George Gershwin was one of the most celebrated and gifted American composers in the first half of the Twenty century. In his work, he has managed to unite apparently incompatible phenomena: the European late romantic music, wind and dad.

The composer ‘s originative experience is alone and no 1 could reiterate it precisely. However, a manner found by Gershwin ( a combination of different domains of music ) , proved to be fruitful and comfortable for American civilization and led to fantastic phenomena, such as musicals of Leonard Bernstein.

Many critics noted that Gershwin mixed common people and classical music. However, it was a common thing for a batch of great composers. Music of ordinary people finds its topographic point in symphonic music with the olympian composings. Gershwin ‘s creativeness is distinguished by a great emotional and original melodic, harmonic and rhythmic linguistic communication, enriched with common people motives of Afro-american vocals. Harmony and characteristic beat of swing and wind were influenced by the music of George Gershwin. Despite clever beats and beautiful lyrical tune, his music arises chiefly from his ain harmonic construction. After Gershwin, the development of wind can be largely attributed to the enlargement and complication of harmoniousness.