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The George Gershwin Reader$
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Robert Wyatt and John Andrew Johnson

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195327113

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195327113.001.0001

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George Gershwin: “Jazz Is the Voice of the American Soul” (1926)

George Gershwin: “Jazz Is the Voice of the American Soul” (1926)

25 George Gershwin: “Jazz Is the Voice of the American Soul” (1926)
The George Gershwin Reader

Robert Wyatt

John Andrew Johnson

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents the text of George Gershwin's essay titled Jazz is the Voice of the American Soul, which was published in the June 1926 issue of Theatre Magazine. Gershwin considered jazz as the voice of the American soul because it is the plantation song that was improved and transformed into finer, bigger harmonies. To him, jazz is a combination that includes the wail, the whine, and the exultant note of the old “mammy” of the South. Gershwin also provided his thoughts on comments that the peak of his career was the performance of his Concerto in F in Carnegie Hall with the New York Symphony Orchestra.

Keywords:   George Gershwin, jazz, plantation song, South, Concerto in F, New York Symphony Orchestera

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