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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 King of Ragtime Writers, 1901–1902

The King of Ragtime Writers, 1901–1902

(p.86) Chapter Six The King of Ragtime Writers, 1901–1902
King of Ragtime

Edward A. Berlin

Oxford University Press

Ragtime began to be accepted by the American youth in the 1900s. From then on, its racial associations were weakened, and by 1905 or 1906 ragtime was the music not just of black Americans, but of all Americans. The author argues that probably the greatest source of disturbance for the whites was that the American youth at the time had so eagerly accepted a black expression. Scott Joplin sought acceptance as an educated, cultured, and respectable individual. In this regard, he allied himself with others in the black community who had similar aspirations. But his ragtime was rejected by these very same circles. With his success, Joplin had outgrown Sedalia and returned to St. Louis. The accolades Joplin had received in Sedalia pale besides the notice he received in St. Louis early in 1901. Later, Joplin announced that he was to move on to an entirely new level of music composition: writing an opera in ragtime.

Keywords:   ragtime, American youth, Sedalia, St. Louis, opera

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