The 1920s is known as the Jazz Age because that musical genre gained a prominent position in popular music. F. Scott Fitzgerald mentions some specific songs in the novel, and the overall impression is that music is constantly playing at Jay Gatsby’s parties. Jazz tends to be upbeat and fast, so another genre would be more likely to fit the somber atmosphere of Gatsby’s body in the pool. Blues would suit the period and the mood, such as the Saint Louis Blues (probably without the lyrics).
One song from the 1920s that became a standard, familiar today as recorded by Willie Nelson, is “Stardust” by Hoagie Carmichael and Mitchell Parrish. The wistful tune and the lyrics match the tone.
Sometimes I wonder...
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