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

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199740321

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199740321.001.0001

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Final Years, Final Publications, 1914–1917

Final Years, Final Publications, 1914–1917

Chapter:
(p.293) Chapter 18 Final Years, Final Publications, 1914–1917
Source:
King of Ragtime
Author(s):

Edward A. Berlin

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199740321.003.0018

In 1914, Joplin self-published Magnetic Rag, his last composition to reach print. He makes prominent use of “12-bar blues,” Yiddish theater music, and ignores conventional ragtime key relationships; he seems to be taking his ragtime in new directions. He moved to Harlem with Lottie in 1914. At a concert in 1915, the Harlem-based Martin-Smith Music School performed the act 2 ballet from Treemonisha, this being the only orchestral performance of any part of the opera he was to hear. He continued composing, including a symphony and a piano concerto, but these were not published and all are lost. In 1916 seven piano rolls were issued as being hand-played by Joplin; only one may be authentic. In mid-January 1917 he entered Bellevue Hospital, and from there was transferred to a mental ward at Manhattan State Hospital. He died of syphilis on April 1, 1917.

Keywords:   Magnetic Rag, Treemonisha, Lottie Joplin, syphilis, piano rolls

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