Tuesday, September 10, 2019

An introduction to Scott Joplin

Sometime in high school, I believe, I first came across the music of Scott Joplin (1867 or 68 - 1917), and he's the focus in this latest installment of my occasional series here on this blog, "Exploring the world of music." Famous for a style of music known as ragtime, and even nicknamed, "The King of Ragtime," Joplin, like many ragtime composers and artists, was a pianist.

Following are just three of the many "rags" that Scott Joplin wrote. Just the tip of the iceberg for the vast body of brilliant work he left for us to enjoy and cherish.

The first one here is called "Maple Leaf Rag" (1899), while the second is "The Entertainer" (1902). You may find that you are already somewhat familiar with these tunes when you listen to them here, as they are pretty famous. This is especially true of "The Entertainer." Both have been used in movies, ringtones, and elsewhere all throughout pop culture.

The third one, "Wall Street Rag" (1909), is also fairly well-known but, I would suspect, not at quite the level of fame and familiarity as the other two.

An interesting note here about "Wall Street Rag" - Joplin, who truly had a brilliant mind, wrote each of the song's parts and transitions in such a way as to mimic the different cycles and moods of the stock market, specifically during the Panic of 1907. You can read more about the background of "Wall Street Rag" by clicking here.

What do you think of this music? What's your reaction? Feel free to share in the comments section below.

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