If you enjoy ragtime music, then you’ve most certainly heard of Scott Joplin (1867–1917). Joplin was a African American composer and pianist who was the leading ragtime composer of his day. Ragtime was a popular style in music at the turn of the nineteenth century that was known for its syncopated rhythms played against a regular bass. While it contains European aspects in its form and harmony, its rhythms are rooted in African music history.
Joplin grew up with musical parents and taught himself to play piano as a boy. He went on to organize a touring vocal group and later, a band. His first major publication and perhaps his most popular work was Maple Leaf Rag, a piano rag that most Americans have heard, whether or not they know who to attribute it to.
What’s your favorite piano rag?