Music is an essential part of the rich cultural heritage of NYC. By Simon Breillad

New York City is the most populous and cosmopolitan place in the States, so inevitably there is an incredible array of sound: Jazz, Hip Hop, Soul, Salsa, Rock, Punk, Pop and the rest.

Music in NYC is as diverse and lively as the population. For immigrants, music is a way for them to express their identity, their origins, perhaps their frustration at the poverty and prejudice they face. Generations of immigrants have added their own musical tradition and style to the already eclectic mix of the City.

Several musical styles, like Jazz, Rap, R&B, Industrial, began in the USA, showing how creative Americans are. NYC came up with the New York Blues, an urban version of the Blues (which started in rural areas of the South).

George Gershwin was a major composer from NYC. His scores mixed the musical styles of Yiddish theatre, Vaudeville, Ragtime, Operetta, Jazz, and post-Romanticism. Gershwin's music gained unprecedented international recognition.

Aaron Copeland, from Brooklyn, is another great American composer. He uses elements of American Folk music and Jazz in his compositions.

New Yorkers have reason to be proud of their musical tradition. Music is a means for them to share good moments together, to celebrate and feel part of the one city, but also a means to remember their origins and feel part of a particular ethnic community. Music is also a means of exploring new horizons. Music is living and creative cultural heritage for New Yorkers.

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