The Best George Gershwin quotes

George Gershwin quotes thumbnail

In celebration of George Gershwin’s 128th birthday, here is a look at the life of one of America’s most beloved composers. A child prodigy, Gershwin started playing the piano at age 3 and was writing music by his early teens. His career took off in the 1920s with hit songs like Rhapsody in Blue and Summertime. He later turned to Broadway, where he wrote classics like An American in Paris and Porgy and Bess. Despite a short life cut short by illness, Gershwin left an enduring legacy that continues to inspire musicians and audiences today.

Discover the best quotes from George Gershwin, and much more.


Test your habit in 4-mins


stop digital addiction course
This Course Breaks Your Digital Habits

About George Gershwin

birth of the author

September 26, 1898

death of the author

July 11, 1937

occupation of the author

Composer, Pianist

date of the author

Years Active:

size of the author

5 Ft 11 In

Inspiring Phrases From George Gershwin

I like to think of music as an emotional science. โ€” George Gershwin

An entire composition written in jazz could not live. โ€” George Gershwin

Gershwin’s tragedy was not that he failed to cross the tracks, but rather that he did, and once there in his new habitat, was deprived of the chance to plunge his roots firmly into the new soil. โ€” George Gershwin

I frequently hear music in the very heart of noise. โ€” George Gershwin

i like to think of music as an emotional science George Gershwin quote

Writing music is not so much inspiration as hard work. โ€” George Gershwin

It sounds simple, of course, but personally I can think of no more mentally arduous task than making music. โ€” George Gershwin

True music must repeat the thought and inspirations of the people and the time. โ€” George Gershwin

Various Statements From George Gershwin

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. โ€” George Gershwin

Music sets up certain vibration which unquestionably results in a physical reaction. Eventually the proper vibration for every person will be found and utilized. โ€” George Gershwin

when i m in my normal mood music drips from my fingers George Gershwin quote

When I’m in my normal mood, music drips from my fingers. โ€” George Gershwin

My people are Americans. My time is today. โ€” George Gershwin

Life is a lot like jazz. It’s best when you improvise. โ€” George Gershwin

What the hell do you want to work for somebody else for? Work for yourself! โ€” George Gershwin

It is always possible to create something original. โ€” George Gershwin

my people are americans my time is today George Gershwin quote

More Phrases From George Gershwin

The European boys have small ideas but they sure know how to dress ’em up. โ€” George Gershwin

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. โ€” George Gershwin

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. โ€” George Gershwin

What were George Gershwinโ€™s jobs?

George Gershwin made piano rolls for player pianos, played the piano in nightclubs, demonstrated sheet music for a music publishing company, and worked as an accompanist and a Broadway rehearsal pianist.

He thereafter made a living writing popular songs and Broadway musicals and composing important and popular jazz-influenced classical compositions. .

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 whateverโ€“youโ€“callโ€“it, but I practised regularly, and that’s what counts. โ€” George Gershwin

Redundant Thematics

In George Gershwin Statements


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. โ€” George Gershwin

the european boys have small ideas but they sure know how to dress em up George Gershwin quote

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. โ€” George Gershwin

All great composers of the past spent most of their time studying. Feeling alone won’t do the job. A man also needs technique. โ€” George Gershwin

Deeper Quotes From George Gershwin

Jazz is the result of the energy stored up in America. โ€” George Gershwin

Why should I limit myself to only one woman when I can have as many women as I want? โ€” George Gershwin

It took me three weeks to write the ‘Rhapsody in Blue.’ I had always wanted to write something blue and Paul Whiteman inspired. โ€” George Gershwin

jazz is the result of the energy stored up in america George Gershwin quote

Originality is the only thing that counts. But the originator uses material and ideas that occur round him and pass through him. And out of his experience comes the original creation. โ€” George Gershwin

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

Upper berth, lower berth, that’s the difference between talent and genius. โ€” George Gershwin

The extraordinary thing about my mother, she’s so modest about me. โ€” George Gershwin

Wasting Life?


Test your habit in 4-mins