A Songwriter's Rhythm
by Len Bourret
From the dark, dusty corner of Aeolian Hall, I was transported
back to February 12, 1924 . Light falling on the classic, Baldwin piano
formed a pale line, which filled the space between each piano key.
Shadows embossed and hovered against the red tapestry, ghostly
apparitions masking the life's blood of previous years. Marking time in
"simple-song" form, 32 bars, and 2 musical phrases, from which I could
...in the rhapsodic color of blue--a type of folk song,
originating from African-American culture and ethnicity, with a
20th-century melancholy of repeated notes. But one without a closing
section. A song in a seemingly endless, unfinished symphony. A concerto
with 3 movements, in which the piano stands out in bold relief, against
a muted, orchestral backdrop. The end result being that I can only hear
the piano. No other instruments are significant. The piano becomes a
harmonica, resounding in two or more independent, but related melodic
Marking time in simple-song form,
32 bars, and 2 musical phrases,
I can hear music in the rhapsodic
color of blue.
A type of folk song, originating
from ethnic culture
emanating from the spirit
and the soul, with bell's pealing
in history's melancholy with
repeated notes. But without
a closing section.
The sound which emanates is sometimes dissonant, not pleasing
to the ear. At other times, its melody produces a glissando of
continuous or sliding movements on a too-rapid scale. A barbershop
...sings off-key, is not in harmony. An unwritten
improvisation, which gets worse gradually as its tone-deafness
increases. A cacophony of sounds. Can you hear the somewhat distracting
noises of a city's busy, crowded street?
Gershwin's composition is a complicated and intricate piece that makes
one wonder why he did not go on to become a writer of classical music,
a mysterious question now buried within the life of a legendary
A concerto with 3 movements,
a piano's keys strike
like the hammer of the harp's
strings, stand out in bold
relief, against an orchestra's
muted backdrop. The end
result being: I can only hear
the piano. No other
The piano, like a harmonica,
resounds in two or more
The sound is sometimes
dissonant, not at all
pleasing to the ear . . .
--unlike the lullaby, or cradle song, with its balance of
gentle or regular rhythm and a steady rocking of ostinato or compounded
accompaniment. The music is instead metered and expands to triplets. . .
...but practice makes perfect,
and its melody produces
a glissando of continuous or sliding
movements, accelerating from a once-
With rhythmic interaction and coherent, successive pitch, the
sound has a clear and stable frequency, so becomes a pleasant melody.
Thus differentiating a peaceful chord, as opposed to chaotic noise.
As Gershwin's rhapsody develops, a nocturne becomes a
serenade, an expressive and graceful form...
...like a tranquil night's dream--in sharp contrast to
theatrical opera. Each becomes an orchestration of various
characteristics or combinations, to arrive at a certain sound. Every
piece of life's music becomes...
...a prelude of things to come.
A barbershop quartet
which graduates from
the repititious and
redundant, singing on-
key in perfect pitch,
and in a balance of raptured
harmony, like an improvised
masterpiece, which gets
better, as tone
A lullaby or cradle
song, in a gentle
rhythm, but with
succession of coherent
pitches, the sound has
a frequency, clear
the sound is
strikes a tranquil
to an opera--
combinations to arrive
at a composition so
Through a poem-like and steady progression, Gershwin seems to
be reminding us that life is written, too, like a continuous, yet
reminding us that time, like music, may or may not be characterized by
© 2006 Len Bourret
Len Bourret's articles, essays and poetry have
appeared in numerous offline and online publications. His works,
extremely popular and widely circulated, have a distinctively-unique
voice. Len's goal is to have his works promoted by a well-known
publicist, and circulated by a major distributor. If it is his destiny,
he would like to become known as the Andy Warhol of poetry.
Find more by Len Bourret in the Author Index.
Comment on this story in the Aphelion Forum
Return to Aphelion's Index page.