Monday, January 31, 2011

Eric Myers Music: 'Chopin Mazurkas and Scott Joplin'

[Joplin Piano Rags; Roy Eaton, piano; Sony SBK 833 (1995)]

Eric Myers Music
January 30, 2011
“Chopin Mazurkas and Scott Joplin (part 2)
I was checking out some of Chopin's Mazurkas (his short piano pieces inspired by Polish dance) and found they reminded me of Joplin's rags. I started thinking about how I might go about comparing them.

“Take Chopin's Mazurka in F-sharp minor: 3/4 time as in a waltz with left-hand accompaniment pattern in quarter notes, beat 1 of the measure is the root of the chord in the lower register, beats 2 and 3 are the chord in the middle register-a typical Chopin left-hand, found in many of his waltzes and nocturnes. The harmony starts out with the typical V7 - i (minor) cadence, and then does an interesting descending chromatic pattern buts ends back in key (looking at the first strain only). The melody is charming and lively (with the right tempo) made up of an eighth-note triplet paired with dotted eighth-sixteeth figures which rhythm repeats itself in various sequences. The beat is strongly pronounced throughout and almost makes you want to dance (if you knew how to dance a mazurka). You can check out a free score of this Mazurka here: Chopin Mazurkas

In my next post we'll look at Joplin's "Weeping Willow" rag... Eric Myers - Pianist, Composer, Music Teacher and Nonprofit Arts Administrator Eric Myers Music, [Scott Joplin (1868-1917) is profiled at]

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