ITL #5: What is American Music?

Chris and Sridhar celebrate the Fourth of July by asking: what makes American music American? They discuss 19th century American music, jazz as the quintessential American art form, George Gershwin, the universality of West Side Story, Dvořák in the New World, the American landscape reflected in its music, California as the creative capital of the world, and (regrettably) John Philip S***a.

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Leonard Bernstein: What is American Music?

Ken Burns: Jazz

George “Jazz in a Tux” Gershwin

Nadia Boulanger: teacher extraordinaire

Gershwin plays his Three Preludes

LA Philharmonic & Gustavo Dudamel: Gershwin’s Cuban Overture & An American in Paris

Leonard Bernstein plays & conducts Rhapsody in Blue

West Side Story synopsis

West Side Story lyrics

West Side Story movie on Amazon

Officer Krupke


Pyramus and Thisbe

Verdi: Bella figlia dell’amore from Rigoletto

Benjamin Britten: Storm Interlude from Peter Grimes

Jerry Robbins behind the scenes of West Side Story

The Making of West Side Story documentary

Antonín Dvořák

Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9 “From the New World”

Paul Robeson: Going Home

Aaron Copland

Copland: Fanfare for the Common Man

Copland: Duo for Flute & Piano

Ken Burns: The National Parks – America’s Best Idea

Grizzly Man soundtrack

Beef: It’s What’s For Dinner

Copland: Piano Variations

Werner Herzog: A Guide for the Perplexed

Arnold Schoenberg’s Los Angeles

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