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King of RagtimeScott Joplin and His Era$
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Edward A. Berlin

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780195101089

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195101089.001.0001

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The Ragtime Dance, 1899–1901

The Ragtime Dance, 1899–1901

(p.70) Chapter Five The Ragtime Dance, 1899–1901
King of Ragtime

Edward A. Berlin

Oxford University Press

John Stark was a music publisher who played an important role in the Scott Joplin story. He believed in ragtime, as he equaled the best piano rags to classical music. One of the reasons for the low regard of ragtime at that era was its acknowledged source: African-American music. Stark never became a major publisher, but he holds a special position in the history of ragtime because he issued so many high quality rags. Stark was fair in his dealings with his composers. His royalty agreement with Joplin for Maple Leaf was one of the important financial events in the composer's life. Stark's daughter, Eleanor, was the outstanding musical talent in the family, and in Sedalia. Eleanor also played ragtime, but not publicly. It was at her insistence, in 1902, that Stark published Joplin's Ragtime Dance which was first performed in 1899.

Keywords:   John Stark, ragtime, classical music, royalty agreement, Eleanor Stark, Ragtime Dance

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