The King of Ragtime


Classical Academy | ComposersJazz & Blues 

 

He's the man who gave us the one and only Maple Leaf Rag - Scott Joplin is the undisputed King of Ragtime. With 44 original ragtime pieces to his name in a short career, along with a ragtime ballet and two operas, this American composer and pianist made ragtime a national craze by the turn of the 20th century.  

 

Even with royalties of just one per cent per sale, Maple Leaf Rag brough Joplin steady income for life, its success since publication in 1899 being so great. However, it wasn't until the 1970s that his work was truly rediscovered with modern classics like The Entertainer entering popular musical repertoire.

When Joplin was learning the piano, the idea of ragtime had been scorned by classical musicians who felt it was vulgar and associated with inane songs. Joplin refined the style, elevating it to an art form of merit - the classic rag - that combined Afro-American folk music's syncopation and 19th century European romanticism.

Let Joplin's quirky tunes put a smile on your face with this album, the complete collection of his rags.