Gershwin Jazz or Classical?

It’s interesting that this question still comes up? Gershwin was accused of trying to elevate his station by writing classical music, since his background was that of song writer. Copeland was accused of lowering himself by including jazz idioms into his classical music, but Copeland was a classical composer so the move to jazz (a lower form or music, or so it was consider 80 years ago) was a step down.

Yet, numerous composers are using their jazz or rock influence in their classical music. Jazz and rock musicians are composing classical pieces – and yet retaining an element of their heritage. Paul Simon and Elvis Costello are a few big names that come to mind.

Alex Cook describes this as fusion music and rightly so; it is the fusion of two (or more) genres into something new. However, when does it stop being one or the other and start becoming something all of its own?


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