Saturday, November 28, 2009

Nicht Diese Töne: 'An Argument for Scott Joplin as a Great Composer'

[Scott Joplin Piano Rags; Joshua Rifkin, piano; Nonesuch 79159 (1990)]
Friday, November 27, 2009
“Someday I'll writeup what I'm sure will be a contentious piece about what makes Great Music, and whether there is such a thing at all. For now, I want share some brief thoughts about Scott Joplin, who was at once an extremely popular composer in his time (around the turn of the century... 19th to 20th) and remains revered as the 'King of Ragtime' even today.”

“Joplin even wrote two operas - one of which is lost, the other of which was not performed during his lifetime - but like many great minds, he was ahead of his time. Joplin's operas were about race at a time when that was dangerous. Joplin, indeed, was black at a time when it was almost impossible to be famous and black (for a good reason, anyway). And yet he was. His Maple Leaf Rag was the highest selling piece of sheet music of all time during his life, and the first to sell more than 1,000,000 copies.” [Scott Joplin is a Ragtime and Classical Composer who is profiled at]

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