George Gershwin Essay

907 words - 4 pages

George Gershwin is one of the greatest influences to American music in the 20th century. His compositions can be found throughout the entertainment world, ranging from Broadway to motion pictures. Though he had a short career, George Gershwin's music continues to bring inspiration and delight almost sixty years later.
On September 26, 1898 George Gershwin was born to the Gershowitz family as Jacob Gershowitz. The Gershowitzs' were an immigrant family that lived in Brooklyn, NY at the time. His parents, Morris and Rose, were Russian immigrants that owned a restaurant. George was the second of four children with older brother Ira, younger sister Francis, and younger brother Arthur. Over time, George accepted being called Gershwin instead of Gershowitz and eventually changed his name to it.
As a young boy, Gershwin learned all of his early music education from friend Maxie Rosenzweig. When Gershwin was twelve years old, his parents purchased a piano for his brother Ira, but, soon enough, Gershwin became the primary user of the family piano. After learning basic piano from a local instructor, Gershwin began lessons with Charles Hambitzer for regular piano and Edward Kilenyi for music theory. All of his teachers noticed his uncanny ability to play piano with amazing skill as well as sight reading with apparent ease.
Three years later, Gershwin decided that he wished to be a musician and dropped out of high school, contrary to his mother's opinion of what was best for him. His first job was in Tin Pan Alley, a somewhat market of musicians selling their work in New York City. Earning fifteen dollars an hour, George was a music plugger, someone who tried to sell sheet music by playing it, for the Jerome Remick Company. Gershwin soon disliked "plugging" music and decided to play difficult classical pieces instead. This decision led him to compose his own music. He composed many original pieces that he kept in a notebook with him, and his first published piece, "When You Want ‘Em You Can't Get ‘Em, When You've Got ‘Em You Don't Want ‘Em," appeared after almost three years at Remick. Although it was barely in the entertainment world, this piece was very important for Gershwin because it showed him that his work could be published and sold. It led him to create his first success, "Swanee," that was used in the Broadway play Sinbad. This success caused him to write his first full length Broadway score for the production La, La Lucille that same year.
At this time, Gershwin's career skyrocketed. He was hired by George White to compose for the Scandals series. He continued doing this for four years. During this time, Gershwin composed his first operetta, Blue Monday. It impressed Paul Whiteman, a famous bandleader, so much that he asked Gershwin to compose a symphonic jazz piece. At this...

Find Another Essay On George Gershwin

George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue Essay

1560 words - 6 pages George Gershwin’s Life George Gershwin was a popular and successful American pianist and composer. He composed music for movies, Broadway musicals, opera and the concert hall. He combined classical music and jazz to create his style and was well known for his composition, “Rhapsody in Blue.” As a result of George Gershwin’s composition which included adding jazz elements to classical music, this classical music became popularized. George

George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue Essay

1127 words - 5 pages George Gershwin was a popular and successful American pianist and composer. He composed music for movies, Broadway musicals, opera and the concert hall. He combined classical music and jazz to his style. George Gershwin was born on the 26th of September, 1896 in Brooklyn, New York. His original name was Jacob Gershwin. On 11st of July, 1937 he died after his brain surgery at the age of 37 in Hollywood, California. His grave is in Westchester

George Gershwin's Influence on 20th Century Music

1095 words - 5 pages Arguably the greatest influence on American music in the 20th century was George Gershwin. Gershwin’s music was composed of both popular and classical musical genres. Gershwin's compositions spanned both popular and classical genres; but his most popular refrains are extensively known. Gershwin’s work have been used and heard in many movies, plays including Broadway, and fit for television. George Gershwin today remains one of the greatest

THE TIMES OF GERSHWIN

1333 words - 5 pages George Gershwin is one of the most celebrated composers of modern times. He is Famous for bridging the gap between Jazz and Classical music, and developing a new kind of popular music that held a genuine, American voice. With such pieces as his Rhapsody in Blue and Concerto in F he has become the most widely played American composer of all time. Although he boats having one of the most recognizable names in modern music, many people do not truly

Gershwin

1287 words - 5 pages , I intend to analyze two very important versions of ?Rhapsody in Blue,? and describe Gershwin?s life leading to his achievement.George Gershwin was born Jacob Gershowitz on September 26, 1898 in Brooklyn, New York. The son of immigrant parents, George had two brothers, Arthur and Ira, and one sister Francis. Although, George is the most well know of the family, his brother Ira was also a successful lyricist. In fact, if it were not for Ira?s

American Music Theatre History Presentation Topics

514 words - 2 pages American Music Theatre History Presentation Topics1. In the Beginning: Ballad Opera, Minstrel Shows, Vaudeville, Burlesque,Extravaganza, Revue - Mr. Franco2. Operettas - Ms. Vernon3. 1930's and 40's Musicals : Jerome Kern, George and Ira Gershwin, IrvingBerlin, Rogers and Hart, and Cole Porter - Ally Denton4. Rodgers and Hammerstein Musicals - Desirae Bowles5. Lerner and Loewe Musicals -Kelsey Wilkinson6. 1950's and 60's Musicals - Kelly Rhodes7

Analysis of a Concert: Classical vs. Popular

1427 words - 6 pages jewels for a night of drinks, pricey cuisine and Pittsburgh Symphony. Unquestionably, a number of people are fans of George Gershwin and were there to experience his works. In a social aspect, people who are “seen” at these types of events are put into a category of intellectual, culturally sound and upper class Americans. Perhaps audience members were not rich or intellectual but if they are seen at an event like this they can fit right

Era of 1920s

1903 words - 8 pages such a wide audience, which helps one understand why many Americans looked up to him during the flourishing 1920s. Since art was an important step to the new traditions of the American Culture, the musical impact of the opera and its importance in American arts and culture helped to develop a platform for rhythmic music. During the 1920s, George Gershwin established himself as one of the musical theater’s most talented and successful composers. His

Music of the 1930's, a positive influence through the depression

706 words - 3 pages jazz with light classical music, Whitman's orchestra also played jazzy pieces by American composers such as George Gershwin. I believe that these artists I have talked about were some of the most important people during the Depression. When people were sad and nothing was going right they always had their radio to turn on. Without the good times jazz brought to them, who knows how the Depression would have turned out without the music of the 1930's.

American Music Theatre from Kern to Sondheim

1909 words - 8 pages in 1934 clearly showed jazz influenced rhythms and harmonies. Although the songs were not integrated with the story, they experimented with harmony, syncopation and interesting rhythms such as 3 against 2 in 'I Get a Kick Out Of You'. Another composer writing in the 30s who was very clearly influenced by jazz was George Gershwin. His musicals, such as 'Strike Up The Band,' 'Of Thee I Sing' and 'Let 'Em Eat Cake' contained flattened 3rds and 7ths

Representation of New York in Manhattan and Sex and the City

1125 words - 5 pages it was made in black and white in the style of a 1920's to 1930's Film Noir. To add to this effect an appropriate piece of music "Rhapsody in Blue" by George Gershwin, from around the time of the 1930's is played in the background. At the start of this clip the images of New York are of the backstreets, the industrial chimneys with smoke coming out of them and road works showing Woody Allen's representation of the more

Similar Essays

George Gershwin Essay

1619 words - 6 pages One of the most influencial composers of the 1920’s was George Gershwin. Gershwin was the most celebrated and wealthiest American composers of the 1920’s. In this paper I will discuss Gershwin’s life as a child and his upbringing and how his music expressed the dreams of every American Citizen by mixing different styles of music like Jewish, black, jazz, classical, blues and put them into one genre and created absolute music. George

George Gershwin Essay

507 words - 2 pages George Gershwin was born Jacob Gershowitz on September 26, 1898 in Brooklyn, New York. George began his professional career in "Tin Pan Alley," a location in New York City where aspiring composers and songwriters would bring their scores to a publisher trying to sell the tunes for cash. Two years after he started work for Jerome Remick, George had his first song published. "When You Want 'Em You Can't Get 'Em" was not an

Norah Jones And George Gershwin Essay

1103 words - 5 pages in its first three years of release, and more than 26 million copies worldwide within its first five years. In early 1924, George Gershwin was a wildly successful young songwriter when he was asked to write a “jazz concerto” for Paul Whiteman’s ambitious concert, An Experiment in Modern Music. Paul Whiteman was interested in bringing Jazz into a more serious spotlight by blending Jazz ideas with European-style orchestral music. So

Porgy And Bess By George Gershwin, The Play That Became "A Black Musical"

1930 words - 8 pages any money problems that might hinder their work. Heyward turned to Hollywood, working on screenplays, and Gershwin signed a lucrative radio contract. George moved to Folly Island, a small barrier island almost ten miles from Charleston, in order to observe the people of Heyward's Porgy and continue working with the southern author. The composer spent the summer of 1934 listening to the Gullah's speech and their music.On his return, Gershwin spent