digplanet beta 1: Athena
Share digplanet:

Agriculture

Applied sciences

Arts

Belief

Business

Chronology

Culture

Education

Environment

Geography

Health

History

Humanities

Language

Law

Life

Mathematics

Nature

People

Politics

Science

Society

Technology

Maple Leaf Rag
First edition cover of the Maple Leaf Rag shows a line drawing of two African-American couples dancing underneath the title Maple Leaf Rag
First edition cover of the Maple Leaf Rag
Rag by Scott Joplin
Published 1899 (1899)
Musical form Rag
Instrument Piano (solo)
Genre Ragtime
Publisher John Stark & Son
Maple Leaf Rag

The "Maple Leaf Rag" (copyright registered 18 September 1899)[1] is an early ragtime musical composition for piano composed by Scott Joplin. It was one of Joplin's early works, and became the model for ragtime compositions by subsequent composers. It is one of the most famous of all ragtime pieces.[2] As a result Joplin was called the "King of Ragtime". The piece gave Joplin a steady if unspectacular income for the rest of his life.

Despite ragtime's decline after Joplin's death in 1917, the "Maple Leaf Rag" continued to be recorded by many well-known artists. The Ragtime revival of the 1970s brought it back to mainstream public notice once again.

Background[edit]

Main article: Scott Joplin

The "Maple Leaf Rag" is associated with the city of Sedalia, Missouri, though there is no record of Joplin having a permanent residence there before 1904. Joplin arrived in Sedalia in 1894 as a touring musician and stayed with the family of Arthur Marshall, who later became one of Joplin's students and a ragtime composer in his own right.[3] Joplin show as a solo musician at dances and at the major black clubs in Sedalia, including the "Maple Leaf Club". It is possible that the rag was named after the Maple Leaf Club, although there is no direct evidence to prove the link, and there were many other possible sources for the name in and around Sedalia at the time. [4]

Although there were hundreds of rags in print by the time of the "Maple Leaf Rag's" publication, Joplin was not far behind. His first published rag was "Original Rags" (March 1899). The "Maple Leaf Rag" was already known in Sedalia prior to its publication in 1899; composer and pianist Brun Campbell claimed to have seen the manuscript of the work in around 1898.[5] Prior to its publication, Joplin anticipated that the piece would be a success—he told Arthur Marshall that "The Maple Leaf will make me the king of ragtime composers".[6][7]

Front cover of the third edition of the "Maple Leaf Rag" sheet music

The exact circumstances which led to publication of the "Maple Leaf Rag" are unknown, and there are versions of the event which contradict each other. After approaching several publishers, Joplin signed a contract with John Stillwell Stark on 10 August 1899 for a $0.01 royalty on all sales of the rag, with a minimum sales price of $0.25. The "Maple Leaf Rag" was published between 10 August and 20 September 1899, when the United States Copyright Office received two copies of the score.[8]

The rag was reissued in 1900 or 1901 with a new cover showing a green maple leaf and a photograph of Joplin.[9] In 1903 Stark issued a "Maple Leaf Rag Song", an arrangement of Joplin's music with words by Sydney Brown.[10]

Structure[edit]

AA BB A CC DD

"Maple Leaf Rag" is a multi-strain ragtime march with athletic bass lines and offbeat melodies. Each of the four parts features a recurring theme and a striding bass line with copious seventh chords. The piece may be considered the 'archetypal rag' due to its influence on the genre; its structure was the basis for many other rags, including 'Sensation' by Joseph Lamb.

It is more carefully constructed than almost all the previous rags, and the syncopations, especially in the transition between the first and second strain, were novel at the time.

Generally, the piece is not considered difficult; however, one must have very good coordination in the left hand to perform the piece successfully, particularly for the Trio, which involves leaps of two octaves. When it was first published, it was considered significantly more difficult than the average Tin Pan Alley and early ragtime sheet music common at the time.

The "Gladiolus Rag", a later composition by Joplin, is a developed variant of the Maple Leaf Rag, showcasing Joplin's increasing musical sophistication, and is usually played at a somewhat slower tempo. In addition, the first strain of both Joplin's "The Cascades" and "Sugar Cane" are also similar to "Maple Leaf Rag"'s first strain.

Lyrics[edit]

In 1903 Stark issued a "Maple Leaf Rag Song", an arrangement of Joplin's music with words by Sydney Brown.[10] Brown's lyrics tell the story of a poor man from Accomack County, Virginia, who stumbles into a ballroom where, in spite of his anxiety over the state of his appearance he manages to wow the crowd with the Maple Leaf Rag. While the men are jealous of his dancing abilities and draw their razors, the women love him, and the "finest belle" sends for a carriage and the two of them ride away.[11]

Modern ragtime composer Ron O'Dell has commented that the song has characteristics in common with rap, such as the lyrical themes, the lyrics being written in the African American Vernacular English of the time, and the fact that the lyrics are sung over the least melodic strain of the music.

Popularity and legacy[edit]


Problems playing this file? See media help.
A June 1916 Piano Roll recording of Scott Joplin for The Aeolian Company.

Problems playing this file? See media help.

There have been many claims about the sales of the "Maple Leaf Rag", for example that 1 million copies of the sheet music were sold in the composer's lifetime, making Scott Joplin the first musician to sell 1 million copies of a piece of instrumental music.[2][15] Joplin's first biographer Rudi Blesh wrote that during its first six months the piece sold 75,000 copies, and became "the first great instrumental sheet music hit in America".[15] However, research by Joplin's later biographer Edward A. Berlin demonstrated that this was not the case; the initial print-run of 400 took one year to sell, and under the terms of Joplin's contract with a 1% royalty would have given Joplin an income of $4, or approximately $113 in current value. Later sales were steady and would have given Joplin an income which would have covered his expenses; in 1909 estimated sales would have given him an income of $600 annually (approximately $15,749 in current prices).[8]

In addition to sales of sheet music, it was also popular in orchestrations for dance bands and brass bands for years. Joplin failed to repeat the success of Maple Leaf Rag, with none of his other famous rags (such as The Entertainer) garnering as much popularity as the Maple Leaf Rag did. The royalties earned by the sheet music sales did provide Joplin with a steady income for the rest of his life, however.

Soon after the "Maple Leaf Rag's" publication the earliest recordings of the rag took place; band leader Wilbur Sweatman recorded it onto Phonograph cylinder a year later, but there are no known copies which have survived.[10][13][14] The first surviving record of the rag comes from the second known recording of the rag by the United States Military Band from 1906.[12]

While Joplin never made an audio recording, his playing is preserved on seven piano rolls for use in mechanical player pianos. All seven were made in 1916. Berlin theorizes that by the time Joplin made these recordings he may have been experiencing discoordination of the fingers, tremors and an inability to speak clearly, symptoms of syphilis, the disease that took his life in 1917.[16] The recording of "Maple Leaf Rag", on the Aeolian Uni-Record label from June 1916 was described by biographer Blesh as "... shocking... disorganized and completely distressing to hear."[17] Berlin notes that the "Maple Leaf Rag" roll was "painfully bad" and likely to be the truest record of Joplin's playing at the time. The roll, however, does not reflect his abilities earlier in life.[18]

The song was a selection in the White Star Line songbook in the early 1900s, and was - possibly - played aboard the R.M.S. Titanic during its ill-fated maiden voyage in 1912.

The tune continued to be in the repertoire of jazz bands decades later, with artists such as the New Orleans Rhythm Kings in the 1920s, and Sidney Bechet in the 1930s giving it up-to-date adaptations, maintaining a timeless quality to it. As an indication of its persistent popularity and recognition, it was performed on phonograph records six times in each of the three decades after its first publication.[19] In 1930, it was featured in the gangster movie classic, The Public Enemy. "Maple Leaf Rag" was the Joplin piece found most often on 78 rpm records.[12]

In November 1970, Joshua Rifkin released a recording called Scott Joplin: Piano Rags[20] on the classical label Nonesuch, which featured as its first track the "Maple Leaf Rag". It sold 100,000 copies in its first year and eventually became Nonesuch's first million-selling record.[21] The Billboard "Best-Selling Classical LPs" chart for 28 September 1974 has the record at number 5, with the follow-up "Volume 2" at number 4, and a combined set of both volumes at number 3. Separately both volumes had been on the chart for 64 weeks.[22] The album was nominated in 1971 for two Grammy Award categories: Best Album Notes and Best Instrumental Soloist Performance (without orchestra), but at the ceremony on 14 March 1972, Rifkin did not win in any category.[23] In 1979 Alan Rich in the New York Magazine wrote that by giving artists like Rifkin the opportunity to put Joplin's music on disk Nonesuch Records "created, almost alone, the Scott Joplin revival."[24]

The "Maple Leaf Rag" is still a favorite of ragtime pianists, and has been described as an "American institution... still in print and still popular".[15] As the copyright has expired, the composition is in the public domain. It appears in the soundtracks of hundreds of films, cartoons, commercials, and video games. In 2004 Canadian radio listeners voted it the 39th greatest song of all time.[25]

In Joplin's will, he requested that the Maple Leaf Rag be played at his funeral. When preparations were being made however, his wife did not allow it because she did not think it was a proper funeral song. She admitted regretting that decision her whole life.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jasen & Tichenor 1978, p. 87.
  2. ^ a b Edwards 2008.
  3. ^ Berlin 1994, p. 24 & 25.
  4. ^ Berlin 1994, p. 62.
  5. ^ Berlin 1994, p. 47 & 52.
  6. ^ Berlin 1994, p. 52.
  7. ^ Blesh & Janis 1971, p. 33.
  8. ^ a b Berlin 1994, p. 56 & 58.
  9. ^ Berlin 1994, p. 59.
  10. ^ a b c d Berlin 1994, p. 131 & 132.
  11. ^ http://www.perfessorbill.com/lyrics/lymaple.htm
  12. ^ a b c Jasen 1981, p. 319 - 320.
  13. ^ a b Edwards 2010.
  14. ^ a b RedHotJazz.
  15. ^ a b c Blesh 1981, p. xxiii.
  16. ^ Berlin (1996) pp. 237 & 239.
  17. ^ Blesh 1981, p. xxxix.
  18. ^ Berlin 1994, p. 237.
  19. ^ Berlin 1994.
  20. ^ "Scott Joplin Piano Rags Nonesuch Records CD (w/bonus tracks)". Retrieved 2009-03-19. 
  21. ^ "Nonesuch Records". Retrieved 2009-03-19. 
  22. ^ Billboard magazine 1974, p. 61.
  23. ^ LA Times.
  24. ^ Rich 1979.
  25. ^ CBC Radio 2004.

Sources[edit]

External links[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maple_Leaf_Rag — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
311635 videos foundNext > 

Maple Leaf Rag Played by Scott Joplin

Maple leaft Rag, recorded on Pianola Roll actually played by Scott Joplin, this piano roll was found in the wrong box on Ebay apparently, and turned out to b...

Scott Joplin - Maple Leaf Rag

Update: TWO MILLION VIEWS!!! Hooray! (2/23/14) Update: ONE MILLION VIEWS!!! My 2nd video to hit this mark. Thanks everyone! (11/7/10) Hi everyone, this is a ...

Maple Leaf Rag by Scott Joplin | Cory Hall, pianist-composer (older version)

RAGTIME HISTORY: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0486259226/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0486259226&linkCode=as2&tag=bachspub...

Piano Animation (Maple Leaf Rag)

An animation of balls playing Scott Joplin's Maple Leaf Rag on a piano, done in 3Dsmax. Except for the camera movement, the animation is done entirely with s...

Maple Leaf Rag - Ragtime Piano at Disneyland

Enjoying myself in my favorite place, doing my favorite thing! Thank you Jonny! :)

Scott Joplin - Maple Leaf Rag

Maple Leaf Rag by Scott Joplin. This is the 7th song in an album titled Complete Works Of Scott Joplin, Volume I.

Tom Brier plays Maple Leaf Rag in A, G, B, and as a waltz in B

(Originally published in A-flat.) As well as people asking to hear Tom play Scott Joplin rags, I had one person specifically ask, "Can Tom play the Maple Lea...

Maple Leaf Rag - 3 Pianos on Fire

The final performance of the "3 Pianos on Fire" set was perhaps the most famous of all rags, Scott Joplin's second published rag, and the first he had publis...

Maple Leaf Rag by Scott Joplin ~ Aaron Robinson, piano

World renowned Ragtime pianist, Aaron Robinson, offers this brilliant rendition, accompanied by the original printed score of the King of Ragtime himself, Sc...

Scott Joplin - Maple Leaf Rag

Download pianoREADER for Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.blogspot.smartengineersinc.pianoreader A requested video. Enjoy! Made wit...

311635 videos foundNext > 

16 news items

 
Lancaster Eagle Gazette
Sun, 20 Jul 2014 19:30:33 -0700

The quintet finished with a happy tune, Scott Joplin's “Maple Leaf Rag.” Baltimore residents Rick and Jane Tewell said they enjoyed the concert outside the festival setting. “We're all for it. It's basically in our backyard, and we appreciate the ...
 
CapitalGazette.com
Sun, 13 Jul 2014 21:07:30 -0700

A year or two earlier, his piano instructor, Getha Klejnot, gave him the sheet music for Scott Joplin's classic ragtime piece, ''Maple Leaf Rag.'' He was instantly smitten with the sound of ragtime music. “Ragime has a pep and enthusiasm no other music ...

Monett Times

Monett Times
Tue, 08 Jul 2014 18:41:42 -0700

The music continued to range far beyond the years when ragtime was king, from the publication of Scott Joplin's "Maple Leaf Rag" in 1899 to the Jazz Age sometime in the mid 1920s. On Saturday afternoon, from the John Stark tent in the Sedalia square ...
 
Pacifica Tribune
Tue, 08 Jul 2014 17:24:42 -0700

These composers have given us such toe-tappers as the Maple Leaf Rag, the Ethiopia Rag, the Buffalo Rag, The Entertainer, Heliotrope Bouquet, "Bandana Days" and "Frogs Legs." Milne, who has also written about 40 rags, can not only play the tunes by the ...
 
Wayne Independent
Tue, 01 Jul 2014 12:41:15 -0700

The Moonlight on the Poconos Big Band starts off the festivities at 5 with their renditions of such swing favorites as “Moonlight Serenade” and “Maple Leaf Rag.” Page 2 of 2 - Dedicated to the preservation and performance of Swing Era big band sounds ...

Hamburg Sun

Hamburg Sun
Thu, 03 Jul 2014 06:36:43 -0700

The Buffalo Silver band played Angola's Summer Lawn Chair Concert Series in the New Angola Theatre on June 25. ANGOLA — Following heavy rains, Angola's Summer Lawn Chair Concert Series was moved from the village's Centennial Park to inside the ...
 
Albany Times Union
Tue, 24 Jun 2014 22:37:30 -0700

Albany. Marc Douglas, who is homeless, rolled a cigarette, sipped a 24-ounce can of Keystone Ice beer, scratched the ears of his mixed-breed dog, Oreo, leaned back on a bench and listened to the jaunty melody of Scott Joplin's "Maple Leaf Rag." It was ...
 
Broadway World
Tue, 08 Jul 2014 04:10:28 -0700

Although chronologically Weber's history lesson begins in 1899 with Scott Joplin's "Maple Leaf Rag" (the rag time number the host said, "went viral" for its time, was a "game-changer," and "the single most important American instrumental piece ever ...
Loading

Oops, we seem to be having trouble contacting Twitter

Talk About Maple Leaf Rag

You can talk about Maple Leaf Rag with people all over the world in our discussions.

Support Wikipedia

A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia. Please add your support for Wikipedia!