Skip to comments.Freeper Canteen - Tunes For Our Troops - 23 Feb 2013
Posted on 02/22/2013 6:01:29 PM PST by AZamericonnie
It's Tunes For Our Troops Time!
Before Louis Armstrong, before Elvis Presley, there was Scott Joplin.
Joplin was born on the Texas side of Texarkana in 1868 to a free mother and an ex-slave father. The father and mother played, respectively, fiddle and banjo in a dance band. His siblings sang and played guitar. It was a typical American musical family, except that it was black.
Scott learned to play guitar and bugle, but it was at age seven that he discovered a piano in a neighbors house and proved himself a prodigy. Pretty soon everyone in Texarkana, no matter what race, heard about the black boy and his piano technique. Every city in those days had a German immigrant who was a music teacher. Just as Stephen Foster learned from a local German music teacher, so did little Scott. The Germans werent so picky about the color line in the South.
One piece that had an influence on young Scott was the finale of Beethovens last piano sonata. There is a variation with a five-notes-to-one-beat pulse that uses a 12/32 time signature and syncopates the melodic line. Here Beethoven invents jazz. Skip ahead to 6:31 in this video to see what I mean. Catch that boogie-woogie left hand at 7:44.
In 1882, at age 14, Joplin left home and plunged into the world of entertainment, a universe of honky-tonks, saloons, pool halls and ahem! sporting houses where gifted pianists were in demand. This world was one of the few places where white and black could meet as equals.
Joplin roamed all over the Mississippi Valley, picking up a lot of new musical styles, but the one that united this new world of music was ragtime, known in its early days as jig piano or whorehouse music. Its rule was simple: Keep the left hand playing in a straight 2/4 with a one-and-two-and beat, and let the right hand syncopate the melody raggedly and work around the prison of the bar lines, which is how the music got its name.
In the musical era of post-Civil War sentimental songs, ragtime was a refreshing change, but it was a change that polite society tried to ignore at first. There is a wonderful scene in John Waynes last film, The Shootist, set in 1901, where Ron Howard whistles a few bars of Joplin, and his mother, played by Lauren Bacall, shushes him for whistling such a naughty thing on Sunday!
Joplin arrived in St. Louis in 1885 at age 17 and took up his base of operations at Turpins Silver Dollar Saloon, a hotbed of vice in the black community and home of the new ragtime sound. Every so often, a madam at one of the sporting houses would ask for a piano player, and Scott or someone else would be hired on the spot. He might be paid in cash or in trade, which was to have a devastating effect on Joplin in his Forties. He ranged over much of Missouri and went to Chicago for the 1893 Worlds Fair where he formed a dance band. Following Chicago, he settled in Sedalia (MO) where he became a part of the black middle class. He formed a barbershop octet in Sedalia, wrote songs for them and toured the Midwest and even the Northeast in 1895, at age 27.
In 1896, the little town of Temple (TX) saw a freight train collision on the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railway. Joplin memorialized the event in a piece that shows the roots of ragtime. He places written descriptions along the stave in the score, and the piece just begs to be syncopated.
Another piece from this early period also received publication. There is a bit of syncopation here.
Waltzes were as much a part of American parlor piano music as marches.
Joplin did succeed in getting one ragtime piece published. There is a strong hint here of what was to come.
It sure is good to see everything is back to (sort of) normal.
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|The music page will open in a new window. There is the option of clicking on individual songs or clicking the Jukebox link. If you choose the Jukebox link then the page can be minimized while you continue surfing:
Here is a list of the songs in the Jukebox:
Artist/s - Song Names:
Richard Clayderman - Chariots Of Fire
Richard Clayderman - Mix
Richard Clayderman - Root Beer Rag
Richard Clayderman - ( Medley )
Richard Clayderman - 10 Yıl Marsı
Richard Clayderman - A Comme Amour ( L For Love )
Richard Clayderman - A Comme Amour
Richard Clayderman - A Tale Of Two Cities
Richard Clayderman - Aline
Richard Clayderman - All By Myself ( Urs Bühler, The Beginning Of A New Life )
Richard Clayderman - America Latina Mon Amour 1992
Richard Clayderman - Angels
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Richard Clayderman - Arrivederci Roma
Richard Clayderman - As Time Goes By
Richard Clayderman - Au Bord De La Riviere ( Album 1_3 Original LP 1983 )
Richard Clayderman - Autumn Leaves Piano
Richard Clayderman - Ave Maria - The Phantom Of The Opera - What a Wonderful World
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Richard Clayderman - Ballade Pour Adeline
Richard Clayderman - Bangkok City
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Richard Clayderman - Belle
Richard Clayderman - Bossa Nove Medley
Richard Clayderman - Can't Get You Out Of My Head
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Richard Clayderman - Chess ( I Know Him So Well )
Richard Clayderman - Children Of The Wind
Richard Clayderman - Christmas Tree.
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Richard Clayderman - Coeur Fragile
Richard Clayderman - Collection Of Sheet Music Piano
Richard Clayderman - Delinsi To Love
Richard Clayderman - Do You Know Where You Are Going To ( Live in China, 1992 )
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Richard Clayderman - Dolanmea Melody And Souvenirs D'Enfence
Richard Clayderman - Dolannes Melodie
Richard Clayderman - Dream Of Love
Simple and dignified....thanks, Publius, for our Star Spangled Banner. ((HUGS))
Hardly well as you know.....and on top of that the weather has been miserable. But I’m still looking for a bright side....
Gotta go visit someone...BBL!
Rock on for the troops everyone!:) *Hugs*
Great...There isn’t anything by/from Richard Clayderman I don’t like.
Well, hello to you at your Kindle, HJ. ((HUGS))
It is SO good to be back amongst our FRiends.
Good to see ya!
Ragtime was not yet on the nations radar, but all that changed in 1896. Ragtime arrived in New York and took the city by storm, and the new sound quickly went nationwide. Joplin sat down and wrote another rag, but composing it and getting it published properly were two different things. He needed a white advocate, one he could trust not to rip him off.
His name was John Stark. An abolitionist in his youth, he was the leader of the Sedalia music scene on the white side of the tracks and owner of the local sheet music store. One hot day in 1899, the 58 year old Stark dropped in at the Maple Leaf Club for a cold beer and heard Joplin playing piano. The two men knew each other by sight, and when Joplin was done, Stark greeted him.
Hello, Joplin. Thats a good number. Is it yours?
The next day Joplin dropped in at Starks store and sold Maple Leaf Rag for $50 plus royalties.
First it sold out in Sedalia. Stark set up sales contracts through Missouri, then regionally, then nationally. Sales snowballed, first hitting 75,000 and then plowing forward rapidly to the million mark. (Thats the 1899 equivalent of a Gold Record, folks!) This was the piece that made Joplin the King of Ragtime and sent him on his way as the great exponent of the new music. Soon Joplins ragtime was being played in every parlor in America, white and black except perhaps on Sundays.
This is the famous 1971 recording by Joshua Rifkin, who was responsible for the Great Ragtime Revival of the Seventies. I saw Rifkin do a benefit concert of Joplins music at UCLAs Royce Hall in 1980. Martin Bernheimer, dean of music criticism at the Los Angeles Times was scathing, writing that it was a waste of time for a fine classical pianist, teacher and Baroque Era scholar to fiddle at the piano with ragtime. But the hall was sold out, and the audience loved it.
Note that Rifkin doesnt play it all that fast. Notice! Dont play this piece fast. It is never right to play ragtime fast, Joplin wrote famously, and this recording honors that. Note the format of a piano rag: AA-BB-A-CC-DD. The C section is usually in the subdominant key, rather than the tonic key. (Subdominant D-flat, rather than tonic A-flat in this piece.)
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