Oxford University Press, USA
In Arranging Gershwin
, author Ryan BaÃ±agale approaches George Gershwin's iconic piece Rhapsody in Blue
not as a composition but as an arrangement -- a status it has in many ways held since its inception in 1924, yet one unconsidered until now. Shifting emphasis away from the notion of the Rhapsody
as a static work by a single composer, BaÃ±agale posits a broad vision of the piece that acknowledges the efforts of a variety of collaborators who shaped the Rhapsody
as we know it today. Arranging Gershwin
sheds new light on familiar musicians such as Leonard Bernstein and Duke Ellington, introduces lesser-known figures such as Ferde GrofÃ© and Larry Adler, and remaps the terrain of this emblematic piece of American music. At the same time, it expands on existing approaches to the study of arrangements -- an emerging and insightful realm of American music studies -- as well as challenges existing and entrenched definitions of composer and composition.
Based on a host of newly discovered manuscripts, the book significantly alters existing historical and cultural conceptions of the Rhapsody
. With additional forays into visual media, including the commercial advertising of United Airlines and Woody Allen's Manhattan
, it moreover exemplifies how arrangements have contributed not only to the iconicity of Gershwin and Rhapsody in Blue
, but also to music-making in America -- its people, their pursuits, and their processes.