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Artist Scott Joplin - Research Paper Example

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Artist Scott Joplin

No rag composer would rival Joplin’s dreams and hopes for the music—dreams that resulted in the creation of a ballet, two operas, and other creations that directly defied the uncultured status of the rag expression (Gioia 21). Even though Joplin’s bolder works did not gain the popularity or recognition during his lifetime, his works are now prominent because of his grand ambitions, as well as his single-minded faith in ragtime as a major musical genre—a faith that, years after his death, became legitimized by his late recognition as a great American musician. Scott Joplin was born on the 24th of November 1868 in Texarkana, Texas (The Columbia Encyclopedia 53). He belongs to a family of musicians—his mother played the banjo, while his father played the violin. The banjo may have had a great influence on the musical creativity of Scott: the syncopated cadence of the African-American banjo music of the 19th century is without a doubt a forerunner of the subsequent piano rag genre (Cardell 533). Scott showed his interest in the keyboard early on. He frequently went with his mother to her workplaces and would innovate and play the piano. As a teenager, Scott was already a professional pianist, with offers to play at social occasions and churches in the boundary of Arkansas and Texas. Afterward he became a music teacher and accompanied a vocal quintet that sang and played all over the area (Gioia 25-26). During this time, Scott attempted to make his first composition. Scott transferred to St. Louis in the 1880s, where he was paid as a pianist and a soloist in bars. He also played for a band. The ensemble job gave Scott the chance to enhance his talents in arranging that would eventually hit on their highest point in compositions for his two operas (Berlin 17). Scott lived in St. Louis for several years, but he travelled often throughout these years. His attendance at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893, a very important exposition that drew the attention of the greatest composers of the period, could have been specifically momentous (Tawa 137). Even though rag composition had not yet been made public, it was in fact extensively performed at the fair, although most frequently at the fringes of the exposition grounds, where African-American composers performed; the more prominent spots were reserved for White musicians. In the 1890s, Scott moved to and lived in Sedalia, where he studied composition and rhythm at the George R. Smith College for Negroes (Gioia 24). Scott composed the ‘Maple Leaf Rag’ in 1897, a creation that would eventually become the most celebrated ragtime music of its period (Haskins & Benson 111). However, it was not until a few years afterward that John Stark made the composition public, and in the initial year merely a few copies were sold. Nevertheless, the ‘Maple Leaf Rag’ began to gain popularity in 1900, sooner or later becoming the first musical composition to sell roughly a million copies (Haskins & Benson 101). Aspiring pianists may have encountered difficulties navigating the rhythmic and technical complexities of Joplin’s popular rag; numerous musicians undoubtedly bought the composition and struggled with its difficult syncopations. Looking back, it can be discerned that the ‘Maple Leaf Rag’ simply alluded to the entirely of Joplin’ ...Show more

Summary

Name of Professor Scott Joplin: The Greatest Ragtime Composer Ragtime music surpasses the prominence and influence of blues as a forerunner to early jazz. Scott Joplin is undoubtedly the most remarkable composer of ragtime…
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