List of compositions by George Gershwin

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George Gershwin in 1937

This is a list of compositions by George Gershwin, a Broadway songwriter and a classical composer. His works are grouped thematically in this list, and in chronological order according to the dates of compositions in the same group.

Classical works[edit]

Note: All orchestral/operatic pieces are orchestrated by Gershwin unless otherwise specified.


  • 1922 - Blue Monday*
  • 1924 - Lady, Be Good!*
  • 1925 - Tip-Toes*
  • 1926 - Oh, Kay!**
  • 1927/ rev. 1930 - Strike Up The Band***
  • 1927 - Funny Face**
  • 1928 - Primrose*
  • 1930 - Girl Crazy**
  • 1931 - Of Thee I Sing**
  • 1933 - Pardon My English**
  • 1933 - Let 'Em Eat Cake**

* orchestrated for pit orchestra
** augmented instrumentation for symphony orchestra by Don Rose: 2 flutes, piccolo, 2 oboes, English horn, 2 clarinets, bass clarinet, 2 bassoons, contrabassoon, alto saxophone, 4 horns, 3 trumpets, 2 trombones, bass trombone, tuba, timpani, 4 percussion, harp, piano, strings
*** full orchestration with celesta [1] [2]

Solo works for piano[edit]

  • Tango, (1915) for solo piano. Written when he was 15.
  • Rialto Ripples, (1917) a short ragtime piece for piano.
  • Limehouse Nights (unknown date, early) a short ragtime piece for piano.
  • Three-Quarter Blues, (1923) also known as the Irish Waltz.
  • Prelude (unnumbered), (1923) – Rubato – Gershwin originally intended this prelude to be included with the Three Preludes. Unpublished.
  • Novelette in Fourths (1919), a prelude, but more specifically a "cake-walk" (not a rag) in E-flat, possibly conceived as one of the 24 intended preludes in the composer's "melting pot" plan; some of the music was rearranged and used as part of Short Story, a piece written for piano and solo violin
  • Fascinating Rhythm (1924) Lyrics by Ira Gershwin
  • Romantic, (1925) Short piano fragment. Also known as Melody #55. Unpublished.
  • Melody No. 17 (1925–1926) Another piece originally intended to be included with the Piano Preludes.
  • Three Preludes, (1926) first performed by Gershwin at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City:
    • I. Allegro ben ritmato e deciso
    • II. Andante con moto
    • III. Agitato (as marked in the manuscript)
  • Swiss Miss, (1926) arrangement of a song from Lady, Be Good
  • Machinery Gone Mad, (1927) unpublished
  • Blue Monday, (1927) a piano suite based on Gershwin's one-act opera of the same name
  • Merry Andrew, (1928) arrangement of a dance piece from Rosalie
  • Three-Note Waltz, (1931) Also known as Melody #36. Unpublished.
  • Piano Transcriptions of Eight Songs (1932)
  • George Gershwin’s Song-Book (1932), complex arrangements of 18 Gershwin songs
    • the 1932 hardbound editions contained original artwork by Constantin Alajalov for the 18 songs
    • a 19th song was enclosed with the 500 signed/numbered copies of the 1932 first edition: Mischa, Yascha, Toscha, Sascha
  • For Lily Pons, (1934) unpublished piece originally intended as accompaniment to an unwritten operatic solo. (Melody #79)
  • French Ballet Class (for two pianos) (1937), for two pianos, unpublished music from the film score for Shall We Dance
  • Impromptu in Two Keys, published posthumously in (1973), for piano
  • Two Waltzes in C, published posthumously in (1975), for piano
    • Originally a two-piano interlude in Pardon My English on Broadway.
  • Sleepless Night, unpublished
  • Sutton Place, unpublished (Melody #59)

Musical theater credits[edit]

Note: All works are musicals produced on Broadway unless specified otherwise.

Works featuring original Gershwin songs for shows by other composers[edit]

  • 1916 – The Passing Show of 1916 – "The Making of a Girl" (co-composed with Sigmund Romberg, lyrics by Harold Atteridge); "My Runaway Girl" (lyrics by Murray Roth)
  • 1918 – Hitchy-Koo of 1918 – "You-oo Just You" (lyrics by Irving Caesar)
  • 1918 – Ladies First – "The Real American Folk Song (is a Rag)" (lyrics by Ira Gershwin); "Some Wonderful Sort of Someone" (lyrics by Schuyler Greene)
  • 1918 – Half-Past Eight – "There's Magic in the Air" (lyrics by Ira Gershwin); "The Ten Commandments of Love", "Cupid" and "Hong Kong" (lyrics by Edward B. Perkins)
  • 1919 – Good Morning, Judge – "I Was So Young (You Were So Beautiful)" (lyrics by Irving Caesar and Alfred Bryan); "There’s More to the Kiss than the X-X-X" (lyrics by Irving Caesar)
  • 1919 – The Lady in Red – "Some Wonderful Sort of Someone" (lyrics by Schyler Greene); "Something about Love" (lyrics by Lou Paley)
  • 1919 – Demi-Tasse Capitol Revue – "Come to the Moon" (lyrics by Lou Paley and Ned Wayburn); "Swanee" (lyrics by Irving Caesar)
  • 1920 – Dere Mabel – "We’re Pals" (lyrics by Irving Caesar), first performed in Baltimore; "Back Home" and "I Don't Know Why (When I Dance with You)" (lyrics by Irving Caesar)
  • 1920 – Ed Wynn's Carnival – "Oo, How I Love You To Be Loved by You" (lyrics by Lou Paley)
  • 1920 – The Sweetheart Shop – "Waiting for the Sun to Come Out" (lyrics by Ira Gershwin)
  • 1920 – Sinbad – "Swanee" (lyrics by Irving Caesar). As performed by Al Jolson
  • 1920 – Broadway Brevities of 1920 – "Lu Lu" and "Snowflakes" (lyrics by Arthur Jackson); "Spanish Love" (lyrics by Irving Caesar)
  • 1920 – Piccadilly to Broadway (songs unpublished)
  • 1921 – Blue Eyes (songs unpublished)
  • 1921 – Selwyn's Snapshots of 1921 – "On the Brim of Her Old-Fashioned Bonnet", "The Baby Blues" and "Futuristic Melody" (lyrics by E. Ray Goetz, songs unpublished)
  • 1921 – The Perfect Fool – "My Log-Cabin Home" (lyrics by Irving Caesar and Buddy De Sylva); "No One Else but that Girl of Mine" (lyrics by Irving Caesar)
  • 1922 – The French Doll – "Do It Again" (lyrics by Buddy De Sylva)
  • 1922 – For Goodness Sake – "Someone" and "Tra-la-la" (lyrics by Ira Gershwin)
  • 1922 – Spice of 1922 – "The Yankee Doodle Blues" (lyrics by Irving Caesar and Buddy De Sylva)
  • 1922 – The Dancing Girl – "That American Boy of Mine" (lyrics by Irving Caesar)
  • 1923 – Little Miss Bluebeard – "I Won’t Say I Will, But I Won’t Say I Won’t" (lyrics by Ira Gershwin and Buddy De Sylva)
  • 1923 – Nifties of 1923 – "At Half-Past Seven" (lyrics by Buddy De Sylva); "Nashville Nightingale" (lyrics by Irving Caesar)
  • 1926 – Americana – "That Lost Barber Shop Chord" (lyrics by Ira Gershwin)
  • 1930 – Nine-Fifteen Revue – "Toddlin' Along" (lyrics by Ira Gershwin)
  • 1936 – The Show Is On – "By Strauss" (lyrics by Ira Gershwin). Revived in 1937

Works interpolating Gershwin songs posthumously[edit]

Miscellaneous songs[edit]

  • 1916 – When You Want ’Em, You Can’t Get ’Em (When You’ve Got ’Em, You Don’t Want ’Em) (lyrics by Murray Roth)
  • 1917 – Beautiful Bird (lyrics by Ira Gershwin and Lou Paley)
  • 1917 – When There's a Chance To Dance (lyrics by Ira Gershwin)
  • 1918 – Gush-Gush-Gushing (lyrics by Ira Gershwin)
  • 1918 – When the Armies Disband (lyrics by Irving Caesar)
  • 1918 – Good Little Tune (lyrics by Irving Caesar)
  • 1919 – The Love of a Wife (lyrics by Arthur Jackson and B. G. DeSylva)
  • 1919 – O Land of Mine, America (lyrics by Michael E. Rourke). A national anthem submission for a New York American competition offering five thousand dollars to the winner. Gershwin received the lowest prize of fifty dollars.
  • 1920 – Yan-Kee (lyrics by Irving Caesar)
  • 1921 – Phoebe (lyrics by Ira Gershwin and Lou Paley)
  • 1921 – Something Peculiar (lyrics by Ira Gershwin and Lou Paley)
  • 1921 – Dixie Rose (lyrics by Irving Caesar and B. G. DeSylva)
  • 1921 – In the Heart of a Geisha (lyrics by Fred Fisher)
  • 1921 – Swanee Rose (lyrics by Irving Caesar and B. G. DeSylva)
  • 1921 – Tomale (I’m Hot for You) (lyrics by B. G. DeSylva)
  • c.1921 – Molly-on-the-Shore (lyrics by Ira Gershwin)
  • c.1921 – Mischa, Yascha, Toscha, Sascha (lyrics by Ira Gershwin)
  • 1922 – The Flapper (co-composed with William Daly, lyrics by B. G. DeSylva)
  • 1925 – Harlem River Chanty and It’s a great little world! (lyrics by Ira Gershwin, originally composed for Tip-Toes on Broadway but not used)
  • 1925 – Murderous Monty (and Light-Fingered Jane) (lyrics by Desmond Carter, composed for London production of Tell Me More.)
  • 1926 – I’d Rather Charleston (lyrics by Desmond Carter, composed for London production of Lady Be Good.)
  • 1928 – Beautiful gypsy and Rosalie (originally composed for Rosalie on Broadway, but not used)
  • 1929 – Feeling Sentimental (originally composed for Show Girl on Broadway, but not used)
  • 1929 – In the Mandarin’s Orchid Garden
  • 1932 – You’ve Got What Gets Me (composed for the first film version of Girl Crazy.
  • 1933 – Till Then
  • 1936 – King of Swing (lyrics by Al Stillman)
  • 1936 – Strike Up the Band for U.C.L.A (to the same music as the song "Strike Up the Band")
  • 1937 – Hi-Ho! (lyrics by Ira Gershwin, originally composed for Shall We Dance, but not used)
  • 1938 – Just Another Rhumba (lyrics by Ira Gershwin, originally composed for The Goldwyn Follies, but not used)
  • 1938 – Dawn of a New Day

Musical films[edit]

Music by George Gershwin, lyrics by Ira Gershwin


  1. ^ "Something New From Gershwin Makes Surprise Premiere at RPO - News - Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra". 2008-10-02. Retrieved 2016-04-06.
  2. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on July 25, 2014. Retrieved July 16, 2014.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)