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George GershwinHis Life and Work$
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Howard Pollack

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780520248649

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520248649.001.0001

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Working Methods

Working Methods

(p.175) Chapter Ten Working Methods
George Gershwin

Howard Pollack

University of California Press

According to Ira, George Gershwin was a composer of enormous facility, bursting with ideas. At the same time, Gershwin worked enormously hard, pointing out that a composer needed to be self-critical so as “to develop his own musical personality.” By his own admission, he created a lot of music which he never used, and friends confirmed that he would endlessly improvise themes at the piano, only some of which he might write down and develop. After a seven- or eight-hour sleep and a breakfast of orange juice, toast, eggs, and coffee, Gershwin frequently worked from late morning to past midnight. The evidence shows that he not only scored all his orchestral compositions after the Rhapsody, but could have orchestrated that work as well.

Keywords:   George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin, musical personality, orchestral compositions, work habits

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