Scott Joplin Born: ? Died: April 1, 1917
Early Life • Parents were former slaves • A lot of mystery to his early life since there is no documentation • Was born between June 1867 and mid-January 1868 • He was on the 1870 census as a two year old • Moved to Texarkana
Musical Career • 1891- first reported in the newspapers • First published songs: • Please Say You Will • A Picture of Her Face • 1899- The Maple Leaf Rag • Greatest and most famous of piano rags • 1 cent royalty on each sale • The Ragtime Dance • A stage work for dancers and singing narrator
1901- • Sunflower Slow Drag • Peacherine Rag • The Easy Winners • 1902- • The Strenuous Life (tribute to President Roosevelt) • A Breeze From Alabama • The Entertainer
Operas • A Guest of Honor (1903) • Booker T Washington’s at President Roosevelt’s White House in 1901 • Someone associated with the company stole the box office receipts and the tour ended with Joplin not being able to meet payroll. All of his possessions were confiscated. Copies of the score were never recovered. • Treemonisha (1911) • The only educated member of her community leads her townspeople out of the bondage of ignorance and superstition. Proposing the view that racial equality would come with education.
Later Years • Called “The King of Ragtime” • Died on April 1, 1917 from syphilis • Revival of his music in 1970s • Treemonisha was successfully staged and finally reached broadway • Joplin’s music was used in the movie The Sting
What is Ragtime Music? • Ragtime- A style of jazz characterized by syncopated rhythm in the melody and a steady accompaniment.