Arranging Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue and the Creation of an American Icon

Arranging Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue and the Creation of an American Icon

By: Ryan Banagale (author)Paperback

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In Arranging Gershwin, author Ryan Banagale approaches George Gershwin's iconic piece Rhapsody in Blue not as a composition but as an arrangement - a status it has in many ways held since its inception in 1924, yet one unconsidered until now. Shifting emphasis away from the notion of the Rhapsody as a static work by a single composer, Banagale posits a broad vision of the piece that acknowledges the efforts of a variety of collaborators who shaped the Rhapsody as we know it today. Arranging Gershwin sheds new light on familiar musicians such as Leonard Bernstein and Duke Ellington, introduces lesser-known figures such as Ferde Grofe and Larry Adler, and remaps the terrain of this emblematic piece of American music. At the same time, it expands on existing approaches to the study of arrangements - an emerging and insightful realm of American music studies - as well as challenges existing and entrenched definitions of composer and composition. Based on a host of newly discovered manuscripts, the book significantly alters existing historical and cultural conceptions of the Rhapsody. With additional forays into visual media, including the commercial advertising of United Airlines and Woody Allen's Manhattan, it moreover exemplifies how arrangements have contributed not only to the iconicity of Gershwin and Rhapsody in Blue, but also to music-making in America - its people, their pursuits, and their processes.

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About Author

Ryan Raul Banagale is an Assistant Professor of music at Colorado College where he offers classes on a range of American music topics, including musical theatre, jazz, popular music, and media studies. A recipient of the American Musicological Society's AMS-50 and Howard Mayer Brown Fellowships, he received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 2011. He currently sits on the editorial board of the George Gershwin Critical Edition and will be editing at least three separate arrangements of Rhapsody in Blue.


Credits ; Acknowledgements ; About the Companion Website ; Introduction: Arranging an Icon ; 1. Complex Compositional Origins: Ferde Grofe and Rhapsody in Blue ; 2. Living Legends: George Gershwin and Rhapsody in Blue ; 3. From Camp to Carnegie Hall: Leonard Bernstein and Rhapsody in Blue ; 4. Rearranging Concert Jazz: Duke Ellington and Rhapsody in Blue ; 5. "It Ain't Necessarily So": Larry Adler and Rhapsody in Blue ; 6. Selling Success: Visual Media and Rhapsody in Blue ; Epilogue: Arranging at Multiple Levels ; Notes ; Bibliography ; Index

Product Details

  • publication date: 30/10/2014
  • ISBN13: 9780199978380
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 232
  • ID: 9780199978380
  • weight: 340
  • ISBN10: 0199978387

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