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Today in WMH: Long Before the Airline Jingle…

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2/12 Today in Weird Music History: 1924. The premiere of Rhapsody in Blue was not for piano and symphony orchestra, the version we hear most often today.  Gershwin’s revolutionary piece that mixed classical and emerging jazz elements was conceived for Paul Whiteman’s jazz orchestra.  On this day in 1924 reports of the premiere included audience members fighting to get into Aeolian Hall as “they sometimes do at a baseball game or prize fight.” The immediate success of the piece would establish Gershwin as a serious composer and legitimize the use of jazz elements by classical composers.

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