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Quotes of the day: George Gershwin

Published Friday, July 10, 2015 @ 10:20 PM EDT
Jul 10 2015

George Gershwin (September 26, 1898 – July 11, 1937) was an American composer and pianist. Gershwin's compositions spanned both popular and classical genres, and his most popular melodies are widely known. Among his best-known works are the orchestral compositions Rhapsody in Blue (1924) and An American in Paris (1928) as well as the opera Porgy and Bess (1935). (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


All great composers of the past spent most of their time studying. Feeling alone won't do the job. A man also needs technique.

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.

I frequently hear music in the very heart of noise.

I like to think of music as an emotional science.

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.

It is always possible to create something original.

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.

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

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

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

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

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

Writing music is not so much inspiration as hard work.


"George Gershwin died on July 11, 1937, but I don't have to believe it if I don't want to."
-John O'Hara


(July 11 is also the birthday of John Quincy Adams.)

Categories: George Gershwin, Quotes of the day


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