Rhapsody In Blue Essay

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Rhapsody In Blue

George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue is one of those timeless classics that is instantly recognizable to many people’s ears today, even ninety years after it was first introduced to the world. It is a piece that has found its way into contemporary movies and advertisements, making it likely as recognizable as Chopin’s Funeral March or Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. But unlike these two pieces of iconic classical music, Rhapsody in Blue “resists classification.”1 In it are elements of classical music, blues and jazz, making it at once “Gershwin’s most famous piece” but also “possibly his least understood composition.”2 Indeed, while Rhapsody became a popular hit in the
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No doubt that the jazz elements can be viewed as the popular side of the piece, with the classical elements being the serious side.

This combination, however, would prove to be a source of controversy for critics. While few could argue against Rhapsody’s merits as a popular hit, many argued against its validity as a high art form, with even Leonard Bernstein writing for The Atlantic in 1955:
Rhapsody in Blue is not a real composition in the sense that whatever

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