Abigail Emmert



Download Full Text (746 KB)


“Jazz, they said, has to be in strict time….I resolved, if possible, to kill that misconception with one sturdy blow.”1 Since its premiere, George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue has remained a unique icon of jazz and American culture. His childhood and experience with piano and Tin Pan Alley in New York City led him to writing Rhapsody in Blue, which resulted in the emergence of a new composition style. His determination to create a new American sound out of his experiences and to create a new approach to jazz music brought much attention and even criticism to Rhapsody. Rhapsody is still relatable to and an icon for Americans and it represents an interesting and unique use of jazz for the concert stage. Still an American favorite today, Rhapsody in Blue is widely popular and often used for commercials and movies. Although Gershwin’s life was cut short at the age of thirty-eight by a brain tumor, he was nevertheless able to create Rhapsody in Blue, a unique jazz and American icon which has been popular ever since its premiere.

Publication Date


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


Jazz, Rhapsody in Blue, George Gershwin



Rhapsody in Blue: An Icon of Jazz and American Culture

Included in

Music Commons