Rhapsody in Blue (arr Verrier)

From Wind Repertory Project
Composer Name

George Gershwin (arr. Thomas Verrier)

General Info

Year: 1924 / 1998
Duration: c. 18:20
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Piano and jazz band
Publisher: Schott Music
Cost: Score and Parts - Rental   |   Score Only - $50.00


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
English Horn
Bassoon I-II
Contrabassoon (optional)
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III-IV
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III-IV
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
String Bass
Percussion, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Bells
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Gong
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended cymbal
  • Triangle


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

In music, a rhapsody is a one-movement work that is free-flowing in structure, featuring a range of contrasting moods, color, and tonality. An air of spontaneous inspiration and a sense of improvisation make it freer in form than a set of separate variations.

In 1924, George Gershwin forgot a commitment he had made to bandleader Paul Whiteman and was compelled to compose Rhapsody in Blue in just three weeks. He premiered the jazz-flavored concerto with Whiteman’s Jazz Band, rather than the more familiar symphony orchestra arrangement. Gershwin played the piano part himself, as he said, “from the music in my mind,” since he hadn’t yet fully scored the music. Gershwin wrote about the piece:

There had been so much talk about the limitations of jazz ... Jazz, they said, had to be in strict time. It had to cling to dance rhythms. I resolved, if possible, to kill that misconception ... I worked out a few themes, but just at this time I had to appear in Boston for the premiere of Sweet Little Devil. It was on the train, with its steely rhythms, its rattly-band ... (I frequently hear music in the very heart of noise), that I suddenly heard — even saw on paper — the complete construction of the rhapsody from beginning to end. No new themes came to me, but I worked on the thematic material already in my mind, and tried to conceive the composition as a whole ... By the time I reached Boston, I had the definite plot of the piece, as distinguished from its actual substance.

- Program note by Karen Berry for the San Jose Wind Symphony

This is a setting for concert band accompaniment for George Gershwin's famed Rhapsody in Blue arranged by Dr. Thomas Verrier. It retains all the period sounds of the original while providing a more fully scored version as a companion piece to the leaner wind ensemble orchestration by Donald Hunsberger.

- Program note by publisher


(Needed - please join the WRP if you can help.)

State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

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