Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Dvorák to Duke EllingtonA Conductor Rediscovers America's Music and Its African-American Roots$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Maurice Peress

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780195098228

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195098228.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 01 December 2020

Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue

Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue

(p.83) 10 Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue
Dvorák to Duke Ellington

Maurice Peress

Oxford University Press

This chapter re-examines the circumstances and events leading up to Paul Whiteman's celebrated historic Aeolian Hall “Experiment in Modern Music”, at which was premiered Gershwin's seminal jazz inspired work, the “Rhapsody in Blue”. The public and most critics were ecstatic; the chapter offers insights as to why some euro-centric music critics remained deeply divided for generations. It then details Whiteman's respect and passion for jazz, and for Ellington; and the role of skilled arrangers. The challenges faced by the author in recreating the Aeolian Hall event “same day, same hour, same block, sixty years later”, are described. Sleuthing out the scores and parts; assembling a replica band that included several unusual instruments such as hecklephone, sopranino saxophone, a serious slide whistle and 1920's drum kit; and relearning how to play ragtime style are explained. The recreated concert sets off a media storm, triumph and is repeated in cities elsewhere starting in Rome, Italy. The chapter finishes with a rethinking of the whole event as but a part of a very rich and textured American music story.

Keywords:   ragtime, Aeolian Hall, Paul Whiteman, sopranino saxophone, hecklephone, Rhapsody in Blue

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .