In What Ways Did Jazz Influence George Gershwin

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Research Question: In what ways did the diffusion of jazz influence George Gershwin's "Preludes for Piano" and Maurice Ravel's "Sonata No. 2 Movement 2?" American Jazz is a key part of the United States identity. Not only has it been one of the things that makes America unique since the 1920s, it also touched many different types of people from modern composers such as George Gershwin to grandchildren of slaves such as Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington. Jazz is a mix of African American rhythms with a mix of European melodies. Jazz cannot be singularly defined. While Oxford Dictionary defines jazz as "A type of music of black American origin characterized by improvisation, syncopation, and usually a regular or forceful rhythm, emerging at the beginning of the 20th century," jazz is not only this explanation. Jazz consists of particular chords, chord progressions, scales and other techniques; however the feeling of jazz cannot be defined.…show more content…
When Gershwin was 16, he left high school to go and work in Tin Pan Alley. Tin Pan Alley was a place in New York City where much of the popular music of the early 20th century was written. In Tin Pan Alley, people would go and look at sheet music to see if they wanted to buy it. If they did not know what the music sounded like, they would send it up to a song plugger who would play the music. This required great skill in sight-reading and piano. He started composing while working in Tin Pan Alley. Gershwin bridged the gap between classical music and jazz. His music shows much sophistication, however, it includes many distinct jazz elements. He had grown up hearing jazz and that was always prevalent in his compositions. Gershwin's short life had a big impact on the views of jazz music and helped jazz reach a broader

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