Novelette In Fourths​-​Gershwin

by scotty hill-New Orleans

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MIDI arrangement: Scotty Hill
Recorded in Logic Studio

Novelette In Fourths was composed by George Gershwin in 1919 for solo piano as a Rag with Classical elements probably influenced by Maurice Ravel. Novelette in Fourths is an unusual piece of Ragtime. The melody is reminiscent of Hello, My Baby!, a popular song of the day, but is harmonized in fourths which lends an Asian flavor to the character. (The Far East was a popular setting for musical comedies and revues in the 1910s and 20s.) Evidently there was a lot of cross-pollination as Novelette's melody closely resembles the second section of Zez Confrey's popular piano solo Kitten on the Keys, also it has some Habanera influence. Gershwin made a piano roll of Novelette for the Welte-Mignon Company in 1919 that includes a third unpublished section of music that further exploits the fourths melody and takes a surprising harmonic turn. It is likely that Gershwin simply improvised it on the spot.


released December 3, 2012



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