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Gershwin_and_Jazz_and_Music_Theater_materials

Gershwin_and_Jazz_and_Music_Theater_materials - 23:23:00...

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03/12/2009 23:23:00 Music 1751 Willis Delony, instructor Supplemental Materials on Gershwin, Jazz and Music Theater The following contains supplemental readings, listening guides and  lecture outlines for our final unit. The readings have been taken from  various sources, in particular an excellent outline of jazz history compiled  by Verve Records and published on their  web site.  Gershwin and  Rhapsody in Blue Background reading
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_______________________________________________________ ________________Backdrop: The 1920s - The Age of Jazz   The novel rhythms of black America sweep musical America and white  band leaders catch on. Jazz reshapes the styles and fires the imaginations  of musicians and songwriters, spawning new musical ideas. Critics rave  about Broadway's fast rising tunesmith - George Gershwin, and his  innovative treatment of jazz.  How  Rhapsody  came to be:   2
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Sometime in late 1923, the bandleader Paul Whiteman asked George  Gershwin to think about writing a jazz piece for his band. Gershwin gave it  some thought, sketched some possible themes, and left it at that. On  January 4, 1924 to his surprise, a report appeared in the  New York Tribune  announcing that George Gershwin was at work on a "jazz concerto" to be  premiered by the Whiteman Band at the Aeolian Hall in New York on  February 12, in a concert to be called  An Experiment in Modern Music.  At  the time, he was in the thick of his Broadway commitments and the jazz  concerto was barely more than a thought, but Gershwin's genius rose to  the occasion. He would later point to the rhythm and rattle of the Boston  train he was once on as the source of his rhythmic ideas, and to James  McNeill Whistler's painting  Nocturne in Black and Gold  as the inspiration for  Rhapsody's  title. On February 12, at the appointed time, which was toward  the end of the programme, he delivered his first large-scale work - to an  audience that included luminaries like Sergei Rachmaninoff, Jascha  Heifetz, and Efrem Zimbalist, Sr. The wailing of the clarinet as the work  opened could only have seduced the audience.  Rhapsody  was a huge  success, the day's most talked about musical "experiment" eclipsing the  3
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rest of the programme. It was very American in its daring and its energy.  And like America, it was a veritable "melting pot" of the influences that  shaped Gershwin's musical language - Scott Joplin's tuneful piano rags,  the rhythmic jazz of Harlem's clubs, the folk music of the Yiddish theater,  and the new post-Romantic music of Ravel and Schoenberg and  Stravinsky. It was a stunning performance, with George Gershwin himself 
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