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King of Ragtime
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King of Ragtime: Scott Joplin and His Era

Edward A. Berlin


Scott Joplin (ca. 1867–1917) was one of the most prominent and admired ragtime composers of the period (ca. 1893–ca. 1920). Starting his music career as a stage minstrel and quartet singer, he took from this experience elements that enabled him to write rags of uncommon sophistication. His Maple Leaf Rag (1899) was the period’s most famous and imitated instrumental rag and changed the direction of the genre. Although about a dozen compositions were lost (including an opera), his extant works number about forty rags, almost twenty other piano pieces and songs, an instructional manual, and an op ... More

Keywords: Scott Joplin, Maple Leaf Rag, ragtime, opera, mental illness, syphilis, Pulitzer Prize

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2016 Print ISBN-13: 9780199740321
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2016 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199740321.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Edward A. Berlin, author
Well-known freelance speaker and writer in the ragtime world, Freelance

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