quote by Joni Mitchell

Ira Gershwin, shame on him. I mean, some of the writing.

— Joni Mitchell

Eye-opening Gershwin quotations

Why become a second-rate Ravel when you're already a first-rate Gershwin?

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

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.

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.


I like to think of music as an emotional science.

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.

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.

It is always possible to create something original.

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.


I frequently hear music in the heart of noise.

Writing music is not so much inspiration as hard work.

You might lose your spontaneity and, instead of composing first-rate Gershwin, end up with second rate Ravel.

I got rhythm, I got music, I got my man- Who could ask for anything more?

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.


A libretto that should never have been accepted on a subject that should never have been chosen bya man who should never have attempted it.

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.

To George Gershwin, on refusinghim as a pupil: You would only lose the spontaneous quality of your melody, and end by writing bad Ravel.

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

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.


One can be very happy without demanding that others agree with them.

I think my knowledge of music theory is rooted in jazz theory, and a lot of the writers of standards - Rodgers and Hart, and Gershwin.

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

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

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


My father was always playing the piano.

He played all kinds of music - Gershwin, all kinds of stuff. He was really a hugely encouraging force to me when I was little.

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

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

Holding hands at midnight 'Neath a starry sky.

.. Nice work if you can get it And you can get it -- if you try.

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

The Gershwin legacy is extraordinary because George Gershwin died in 1937, but his music is as fresh and vital today as when he originally created it.


I was always drawn to Broadway musicals, and obviously composers like Gershwin, Rodgers, Berlin and Porter were writing music that I found wildly impressive.

I just love all the music. My grandma was a church organist for 40 years, and she got me into jazz music and great songwriters, Harold Arlen, George Gershwin, all those folks. I can't do it, but I have a profound respect for it.

Summertime And the livin' is easy, Fish are jumpin', and the cotton is high.

George Gershwin died on July 11, 1937, but I don’t have to believe it if I don’t want to.

He's a world-famous name to people who care about his music, but there are many people who have never heard of George Gershwin and those numbers increase.