Sunday, June 26, 2011 'Joplin was one of the greatest and most original talents the USA has ever produced.'

[Dancing to a Black Man's Tune; Susan Curtis; University of Missouri (2004) (Photo:]

The author refers to Susan Curtis as a Joplin specialist. She is author of Dancing To A Black Man's Tune: A Life of Scott Joplin, which has been favorably reviewed by book critics. quotes Publishers Weekly: “Aiming at a scholarly audience, Curtis, who teaches American history at Purdue, offers a thoughtful and intriguing study of the life and world of ragtime creator Scott Joplin (1868-1917).” also quotes a review by Dan Bogey in Library Journal: “This scholarly work, concerned with race, society, and culture, is recommended for serious music collections.”
by John Sarkis
“Scott Joplin - An American Icon.... If you read an article which discussed a 19th Century composer who wrote operas, ballet, and piano music. Whom do you think was being talked about? Unless you were musically very savvy, you might think the article was referring to a European composer, possibly Nordic (German, English, Danish, Scandinavian, etc), or perhaps Russian - yes, maybe Russian. ...Moreover, you’d most likely think the composer was Caucasian. - Well, guess again: Scott Joplin was not only an African American composer, but he was born in 1867, shortly after the USA Civil War, which was a time of great turmoil for the African People’s in America.”

“Joplin was one of the greatest and most original talents the USA has ever produced. He was the greatest master of Ragtime - his piano composition 'Maple Leaf Rag,' written in 1899, became the status quo for Ragtime music.” “Nevertheless, the 1973 Academy Award winning movie The Sting revived some of Joplin’s music again by featuring some of his most famous music, which included his piano solo composition “The Entertainer.” Shortly afterwards, his opera Treemonisha was produced in 1972. In 1976, Joplin was posthumously given a Pulitzer Prize for his great contribution to American music.

"Joplin was born in 1867, although for many years it had been widely accepted that he was born in 1868. He was born into a musical family, so his musical education came early on. He showed great aptitude for the piano, but Joplin was also taught how to play the violin and the banjo. Joplin’s parent’s separated when he was about 12 years old. Susan Curtis, a Joplin scholar, concluded that the separation may have stemmed from his parents having a difference of opinion about Joplin’s musical career. Joplin’s father felt his son should do hard labor, whereas his mother was decided on her son pursuing a musical career....” [Scott Joplin was a Ragtime and Classical composer and pianist of African descent who is profiled at]

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