George Gershwin - Summertime (Porgy and Bess) sheet music

Because we are approaching summer at the moment when writing this article today, the choice is, of course, a song with summer spirit.

George Gershwin composed in 1935 a beautiful opera piece, interpreted by Porgy & Bess – Summertime.

Porgy & Bess is Gershwin’s English language opera, with a libretto written by authors DuBose Heyward and Ira Gershwin.

It was first performed in Boston on September 30, 1935, and it featured a cast of African-American singers, which was a daring choice at the time.

Summertime is considered part of the jazz music genre and was released in 1935.

George Gershwin started the composition of the song in December 1933, with the intention to create his own spiritual folk piece.

He inspired himself from the southern folk lullaby titled All My Trials.

When released, the free Summertime piano sheet music became a popular jazz standard, take into consideration as one of the

fines songs the composer (Gershwin) ever wrote

The public and the critics loved it, Stephen Sondheim characterizing it as having

the best lyrics in the musical theatre

Looking into the composition of the free Summertime piano sheets, we can see that the song is sung several times throughout Porgy and Bess opera.

In the 1st act, the lyrics of Summertime are the first words heard, interpreted by Clara as a lullaby.

Gershwin uses the pentatonic scale in the context of the A minor tonality, with a slow-moving harmonic progression.

Due to these factors, the piece is loved by jazz performers and can be done in many tempos and styles, having the possibility to be personalized by their own wish.

The interesting thing about the song is that it was recorded for the first time by Abbie Mitchell in July 1935, with George Gershwin playing the piano and conducting the orchestra.

Remarkable versions and interpretations of Summertime are considered the one by The Jazz Discography in 2005, the one by Joe Nocera in 2012, and also the one by Billie Holiday, in 1936, but there are infinite versions, as the song has been loved by jazz singers for decades now.

This is why we also decided to have it on our website, so you can use the materials we can offer, in order to start learning Summertime and play it on your piano.

So good luck with that and do not forget to come back with your feedback after that.

Piano tutorial and cover

Summertime (Porgy and Bess) - George Gershwin piano tutorial

Free PDF download of Summertime (Porgy and Bess) piano sheet music

🎹 15 versions available. 🎹
If you find a broken link → contact us

  • 1 🎹 Version 1 - View PDF
  • 2 🎹 Version 2 - View PDF
  • 3 🎹 Version 3 - View PDF
  • 4 🎹 Version 4 - View PDF
  • 5 🎹 Version 5 - View PDF
  • 6 🎹 Version 6 - View PDF
  • 7 🎹 Version 7 - View PDF
  • 8 🎹 Version 8 - View PDF
  • 9 🎹 Version 9 - View PDF
  • 10 🎹 Version 10 - View PDF
  • 11 🎹 Version 11 - View PDF
  • 12 🎹 Version 12 - View PDF
  • 13 🎹 Version 13 - View PDF
  • 14 🎹 Version 14 - View PDF
  • 15 🎹 Version 15 - View PDF