Arranging Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue and the Creation of an American Icon.pdf
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.
"A fascinating exploration of the 'active and, at times, surprising life' of an American musical icon. Saturated in original archival research and musical insights, the book offers a vivid, unique account of the Rhapsody as a 'variable idea and not a fixed text'-a savvy approach that opens up fresh ways of hearing and understanding the piece." --Jeffrey Magee, Associate Professor of Music and Theater at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign"Addressing fascinating but little-noticed source material, Arranging Gershwin advances an original thesis that promises to change the way we think about Rhapsody in Blue in particular and the whole question of classical/nonclassical hybridity in general. Moreover, Banagale accomplishes his goal with an accessible, engaging style that draws in the general reader as well as the specialist."--Larry Hamberlin, Middlebury College, author oTin Pan Opera: Operatic Novelty Songs in the Ragtime Era"
Ryan Raul Banagale is Assistant Professor of Music at Colorado College."
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