Jazz is one of the best things that you can find in your life, it can always be your friend.

— George Gershwin

The most promising George Gershwin quotes that will activate your desire to change

The composer does not sit around and wait for an inspiration to walk up and introduce itself...Making music is actually little else than a matter of invention aided and abetted by emotion. In composing we combine what we know of music with what we feel.

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I like to think of music as an emotional science.

38

Look at the piano. You'll notice that there are white notes and black notes. Figure out the difference between them and you'll be able to make whatever kind of music you want.

38

Jazz I regard as an American folk music;

not the only one, but a very powerful one which is probably in the blood and feeling of the American people more than any other style of folk music.

35

I didn't even start playing the piano until I was about 13 or 14.

I guess I must have had a little talent or whatever-you-call-it, but I practised regularly, and that's what counts.

29

Why should I limit myself to only one woman when I can have as many women as I want?

29

A skyscraper is at the same time a triumph of the machine and a tremendous emotional experience, almost breath-taking. Not merely its height but its mass and proportions are the result of an emotion, as well as of calculation.

23

It is always possible to create something original.

23

I frequently hear music in the heart of noise.

20

Writing music is not so much inspiration as hard work.

17

Life is a lot like jazz... it's best when you improvise.

15

Out of my entire annual output of songs, perhaps two, or at the most three, came as a result of inspiration. We can never rely on inspiration. When we most want it, it does not come.

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About George Gershwin

Quotes 37 sayings
Nationality American
Profession Composer
Birthday October 16

Modern European composers...have very largely received their stimulus, their rhythms and impulses from Machine Age America. They have a much older tradition of musical technique which has helped them put into musical terms a little more clearly the thoughts that originated here. They can express themselves more glibly.

12

When jazz is played in another nation, it is called American.

When it is played in another country, it sounds false. Jazz is the result of the energy stored up in America.

10

When I'm in my normal mood, music drips from my fingers.

10

The European boys have small ideas but they sure know how to dress 'em up.

9

Jazz is the result of the energy stored up in America.

7

Not many composers have ideas. Far more of them know how to use strange instruments which do not require ideas.

7

It took me three weeks to write the 'Rhapsody in Blue.

' I had always wanted to write something blue and Paul Whiteman inspired.

6

For suddenly, I saw you there And through foggy London town The sun was shining everywhere.

5

I want to say at once that I frankly believe that Irving Berlin is the greatest songwriter that has ever lived.... His songs are exquisite cameos of perfection, and each one of them is as beautiful as its neighbor. Irving Berlin remains, I think, America's Schubert.

3

Upper berth, lower berth, that's the difference between talent and genius.

3

An entire composition written in jazz could not live.

3

All these tales of people sitting down and composing symphonies just as though they were writing a letter are very much exaggerated; at least, it isn't that way in my work.

3

All great composers of the past spent most of their time studying.

Feeling alone won't do the job. A man also needs technique.

3

The extraordinary thing about my mother, she's so modest about me.

2

Porgy is...an interesting example of what can be done by talent in spite of a bad setup. With a libretto that should never have been accepted on a subject that should never have been chosen, a man who should never have attempted it has written a work that has a considerable power.

2

What the hell do you want to work for somebody else for? Work for yourself!

2

True music must repeat the thought and inspirations of the people and the time.

My people are Americans and my time is today.

0

Gershwin's melodic gift was phenomenal.

His songs contain the essence of New York in the 1920s and have deservedly become classics of their kind, part of the 20th-century folk-song tradition in the sense that they are popular music which has been spread by oral tradition (for many must have sung a Gershwin song without having any idea who wrote it).

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Originality is the only thing that counts.

But the originator uses material and ideas that occur round him and pass through him. And out of his experience comes the original creation.

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Music sets up certain vibration which unquestionably results in a physical reaction. Eventually the proper vibration for every person will be found and utilized.

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It sounds simple, of course, but personally I can think of no more mentally arduous task than making music.

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Gershwin's tragedy was not that he failed to cross the tracks, but rather that he did, and once there in his new habitat, was deprived of the chance to plunge his roots firmly into the new soil.

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My people are Americans. My time is today.

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Summertime And the living is easy Fish are jumpin' And the cotton is high Oh, your daddy's rich And your mama's good lookin' So hush little baby now don't you cry One of these mornin's You're gonna rise up singin' Then you'll spread your wings And take to the sky But til that mornin' Ain't nothin' can harm you With your daddy And your mammy standin' by.

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