I thought that IMSLP had "18 Song Transcriptions by George Gershwin" available but they are still checking the copyright. So unfortunately I cannot post the links to the songs referred to below. However, I think a lot of people have this book and may be able to help.

I had always played "The Man I Love" as written in the score(dotted eighth followed by 16th)but then I heard this performance by Vacatello who plays the eighths even or slightly(?)swinging:


For comparioson, here is another performance(by I assume an amateur pianist) where the pianist plays the dotted eighth followed by the 16th almost exactly as written:

And finally a better performance of the Grainger very slightly different version of this song where the pianist again plays the dotted eighth followed by the 16th exactly as written:

I really liked the Vacatello performance and will probably play this piece with even eighths or swing eighths(like a triplet with the second eighth as the third note in the triplet)from now on .

But I'm really curious what Gershwin meant in his score. The stride pieces I have played are mostly from "Harlem Stride Piano" where the standard notation for swing eighths is to write them as normal eighths with a notation at the beginning that all eighths are to be swung unless otherwise indicated.

I have seen a couple stride pieces(where I know the eighths should be swung)in other places where the notation used is a dotted eighth followed by a sixteenth. I think in the book of only Fats Waller transciptions by Posnak?. To complicate things further, there are places in the "18 Gershwin Songs" where the eighths definitely should be even and are notated as such(the opening of Fascinatin' Rhythm) and other places(S'Wonderful)where I have heard people swing some of the eighths that are written as even eighths.

To summarize my questions:

1. Is there any notation in the Gershwin Songs that is supposed to interpreted as swing eighths even though it's written as a dotted eighth followed by a quarter and it's not indicated to play this as swing eighths?

2. What is your opinion of Valentova's performance where she played the dotted eighth followed by 16th more like even or swing eighths?

Now I'll try to find the score in some other place besides IMSLP!

Edited by pianoloverus (04/28/09 11:57 AM)