Scott Joplin

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Scott Joplin
Untitled (200 x 260 px).png
Joplin in 1903
BornNovember 24 c. 1868
DiedApril 1, 1917(1917-04-01) (aged 48)
Manhattan, New York City, U.S.
Resting place St. Michael's Cemetery
Education George R. Smith College
Occupation
  • Composer
  • pianist
  • music teacher
Years active1895–1917
Spouse
Belle Jones
(m. 1899;div. 1903)
Freddie Alexander
(m. 1904;died 1904)
Lottie Stokes
(m. 1909)
Awards Pulitzer Prize (posthumous, 1976)
Signature
Signature of Scott Joplin.svg

Scott Joplin (c. 1868 – April 1, 1917) was an American composer and pianist. [1] Because of the fame achieved for his ragtime compositions, he was dubbed the "King of Ragtime." [2] During his career, he wrote over 40 original ragtime pieces, [3] one ragtime ballet, and two operas. One of his first and most popular pieces, the Maple Leaf Rag , became the genre's first and most influential hit, later being recognized as the archetypal rag. [4] Joplin considered ragtime to be a form of classical music and largely disdained the practice of ragtime such as that in honky tonk.

Contents

Joplin grew up in a musical family of railway laborers in Texarkana, Arkansas, developing his own musical knowledge with the help of local teachers. While in Texarkana, he formed a vocal quartet and taught mandolin and guitar. During the late 1880s, he left his job as a railroad laborer and traveled the American South as an itinerant musician. He went to Chicago for the World's Fair of 1893, which played a major part in making ragtime a national craze by 1897.

Joplin moved to Sedalia, Missouri, in 1894 and earned a living as a piano teacher. There he taught future ragtime composers Arthur Marshall, Scott Hayden and Brun Campbell. He began publishing music in 1895, and publication of his "Maple Leaf Rag" in 1899 brought him fame. This piece had a profound influence on writers of ragtime. It also brought Joplin a steady income for life. In 1901, Joplin moved to St. Louis, where he continued to compose and publish and regularly performed in the community. The score to his first opera, A Guest of Honor , was confiscated—along with his belongings—in 1903 for non-payment of bills, (likely as a result of being robbed) and is now considered lost. [5]

In 1907, Joplin moved to New York City to find a producer for a new opera. He attempted to go beyond the limitations of the musical form that had made him famous but without much monetary success. His second opera, Treemonisha , was never fully staged during his life. In 1916, Joplin descended into dementia as a result of neurosyphilis. In February 1917, he was admitted to a mental asylum and died there three months later at the age of 48. Joplin's death is widely considered to mark the end of ragtime as a mainstream music format; over the next several years, it evolved with other styles into stride, jazz and, eventually, swing.

Joplin's music was rediscovered and returned to popularity in the early 1970s with the release of a million-selling album recorded by Joshua Rifkin. This was followed by the Academy Award–winning 1973 film The Sting , which featured several of Joplin's compositions, most notably "The Entertainer", a piece performed by pianist Marvin Hamlisch that received wide airplay. Treemonisha was finally produced in full, to wide acclaim, in 1972. In 1976, Joplin was posthumously awarded a Pulitzer Prize.

Early life

Joplin was the second of six children [6] born to Giles Joplin, a former slave from North Carolina, and Florence Givens, a freeborn African-American woman from Kentucky. [7] [8] [9] His birth date was accepted by early biographers Rudi Blesh and James Haskins as November 24, 1868, [10] [11] although later biographer Edward A. Berlin showed this was "almost certainly incorrect". [12] There is disagreement over his exact place of birth in Texas, with Blesh identifying Texarkana, [11] and Berlin showing the earliest record of Joplin being the June 1870 census which locates him in Linden, as a two-year-old. [13] [14]

By 1880, the Joplins moved to Texarkana, Arkansas, where Giles worked as a railroad laborer and Florence as a cleaner. As Joplin's father had played the violin for plantation parties in North Carolina and his mother sang and played the banjo, [6] Joplin was given a rudimentary musical education by his family, and from the age of seven he was allowed to play the piano while his mother cleaned. [15]

At some point in the early 1880s, Giles Joplin left the family for another woman and Florence struggled to support her children through domestic work. Biographer Susan Curtis speculates that Florence's support of her son's musical education was a critical factor behind her separation from Giles, who wanted the boy to pursue practical employment that would supplement the family income. [16]

According to a family friend, the young Joplin was serious and ambitious studying music and playing the piano after school. While a few local teachers aided him, he received most of his musical education from Julius Weiss, a German-born American Jewish music professor who had immigrated to Texas in the late 1860s and was employed as music tutor by a prominent local business family. [17] Weiss, as described by San Diego Jewish World writer Eric George Tauber, "was no stranger to [receiving] race hatred...As a Jew in Germany, he was often slapped and called a 'Christ-killer.'" [18] Weiss had studied music at a German university and was listed in town records as a professor of music. Impressed by Joplin's talent, and realizing the Joplin family's dire straits, Weiss taught him free of charge. While tutoring Joplin from the ages of 11 to 16, Weiss introduced him to folk and classical music, including opera. Weiss helped Joplin appreciate music as an "art as well as an entertainment" [19] and helped Florence acquire a used piano. According to Joplin's widow Lottie, Joplin never forgot Weiss. In his later years, after achieving fame as a composer, Joplin sent his former teacher "gifts of money when he was old and ill" until Weiss died. [17] At the age of 16, Joplin performed in a vocal quartet with three other boys in and around Texarkana, also playing piano. He also taught guitar and mandolin. [19]

Life in the southern states and Chicago

In the late 1880s, having performed at various local events as a teenager, Joplin gave up his job as a railroad laborer and left Texarkana to become a traveling musician. [20] Little is known about his movements at this time, although he is recorded in Texarkana in July 1891 as a member of the Texarkana Minstrels, who were raising money for a monument to Jefferson Davis, president of the former Confederate States of America. [21] However, Joplin soon learned that there were few opportunities for Black pianists. Churches and brothels were among the few options for steady work. Joplin played pre-ragtime "jig-piano" in various red-light districts throughout the mid-South, and some claim he was in Sedalia and St. Louis, Missouri, during this time. [22] [23]

In 1893, while in Chicago for the World's Fair, Joplin formed a band in which he played cornet and also arranged the band's music. Although the World's Fair minimized the involvement of African-Americans, Black performers still came to the saloons, cafés and brothels that lined the fair. The exposition was attended by 27 million visitors and had a profound effect on many areas of American cultural life, including ragtime. Although specific information is sparse, numerous sources have credited the Chicago World's Fair with spreading the popularity of ragtime. [24] Joplin found that his music, as well as that of other Black performers, was popular with visitors. [25] By 1897, ragtime had become a national craze in U.S. cities and was described by the St. Louis Dispatch as "a veritable call of the wild, which mightily stirred the pulses of city bred people.J" [26]

Life in Missouri

In 1894, Joplin arrived in Sedalia, Missouri. At first, Joplin stayed with the family of Arthur Marshall. At the time, Marshall was a 13-year-old boy, but he later became one of Joplin's students and a ragtime composer in his own right. [31] There is no record of Joplin having a permanent residence in the town until 1904, as Joplin was making a living as a touring musician.

Front cover of the third edition of the "Maple Leaf Rag" sheet music with Joplin portrait Maple Leaf Rag.PNG
Front cover of the third edition of the "Maple Leaf Rag" sheet music with Joplin portrait

There is little precise evidence known about Joplin's activities at this time, although he performed as a solo musician at dances and at the major black clubs in Sedalia, the Black 400 Club and the Maple Leaf Club. He performed in the Queen City Cornet Band and his own six-piece dance orchestra. A tour with his own singing group, the Texas Medley Quartet, gave him his first opportunity to publish his own compositions, and it is known that he went to Syracuse, New York, and Texas. Two businessmen from New York published Joplin's first two works, the songs "Please Say You Will" and "A Picture of Her Face", in 1895. [32] Joplin's visit to Temple, Texas, enabled him to have three pieces published there in 1896, including the "Great Crush Collision March", which commemorated a planned train crash on the Missouri–Kansas–Texas Railroad on September 15 that he may have witnessed. The march was described by one of Joplin's biographers as a "special... early essay in ragtime." [33] While in Sedalia, Joplin taught piano to students who included future ragtime composers Arthur Marshall, Brun Campbell and Scott Hayden. [34] Joplin enrolled at the George R. Smith College, where he apparently studied "advanced harmony and composition." The college's records were destroyed in a fire in 1925, [35] and biographer Edward A. Berlin notes that it was unlikely that a small college for African-Americans would be able to provide such a course. [4] [36] [37]

Although there were hundreds of rags in print by the time the "Maple Leaf Rag" was published, Scott was not far behind. His first published rag "Original Rags" had been completed in 1897, the same year that the first ragtime work appeared in print, the "Mississippi Rag" by William Krell. The "Maple Leaf Rag" was likely to have been known in Sedalia before its publication in 1899; Brun Campbell claimed to have seen the manuscript of the work in around 1898. [38] The exact circumstances that led to the publication of the "Maple Leaf Rag" are unknown and a number of versions of the event contradict each other. After several unsuccessful approaches to publishers, Joplin signed a contract on August 10, 1899, with John Stillwell Stark, a retailer of musical instruments who later became his most important publisher. The contract stipulated that Joplin would receive a 1% royalty on all sales of the rag, with a minimum sales price of 25 cents. [39] With the inscription "To the Maple Leaf Club" prominently visible along the top of at least some editions, it is likely 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. [40]

Scott Joplin House in St. Louis, Missouri Scott Joplin House.jpg
Scott Joplin House in St. Louis, Missouri
September 2, 1903 Advertising poster for A Guest of Honor by Scott Joplin A GUEST OF HONOR advertising poster.jpg
September 2, 1903 Advertising poster for A Guest of Honor by Scott Joplin
Cover of Scott Joplin's 1905 work "Bethena"; an unproven theory is that the woman on the cover is a wedding picture of Joplin's second wife, Freddie Alexander, who had died September 1904 Bethena.jpg
Cover of Scott Joplin's 1905 work "Bethena"; an unproven theory is that the woman on the cover is a wedding picture of Joplin's second wife, Freddie Alexander, who had died September 1904

Later years and death

Scott Joplin Memorial Scott Joplin Memorial bench 20200806 110917.jpg
Scott Joplin Memorial
Front cover of the "Wall Street Rag" (1909) sheet music WallStreetRagcover.jpg
Front cover of the "Wall Street Rag" (1909) sheet music

In 1907, Joplin moved to New York City, which he believed was the best place to find a producer for a new opera. After his move to New York, Joplin met Lottie Stokes, whom he married in 1909. [43] In 1911, unable to find a publisher, Joplin undertook the financial burden of publishing Treemonisha himself in piano-vocal format. In 1915, as a last-ditch effort to see it performed, he invited a small audience to hear it at a rehearsal hall in Harlem. Poorly staged and with only Joplin on piano accompaniment, it was "a miserable failure" to a public not ready for "crude" Black musical forms—so different from the European grand opera of that time. [48] The audience, including potential backers, was indifferent and walked out. [49] Scott writes that "after a disastrous single performance...Joplin suffered a breakdown. He was bankrupt, discouraged, and worn out." He concludes that few American artists of his generation faced such obstacles: "Treemonisha went unnoticed and unreviewed, largely because Joplin had abandoned commercial music in favor of art music, a field closed to African Americans." [34] In fact, it would not be until the 1970s that the opera received a full theatrical staging.

In 1914, Joplin and Lottie self-published his "Magnetic Rag" as the Scott Joplin Music Company, which he had formed the previous December. [50] Biographer Vera Brodsky Lawrence speculates that Joplin was aware of his advancing deterioration due to syphilis and was "consciously racing against time." In her sleeve notes on the 1992 Deutsche Grammophon release of Treemonisha, she notes that he "plunged feverishly into the task of orchestrating his opera, day and night, with his friend Sam Patterson standing by to copy out the parts, page by page, as each page of the full score was completed." [51]

By 1916, Joplin had developed tertiary syphilis, [52] [53] but more specifically it likely was neurosyphilis. On February 2, 1917, he was admitted to Manhattan State Hospital, a mental institution. [54] He died there on April 1 of syphilitic dementia at the age of 48 [48] [55] and was buried in a pauper's grave that remained unmarked for 57 years. His grave at St. Michael's Cemetery in East Elmhurst was finally given a marker in 1974, the year The Sting , which showcased his music, won for Best Picture at the Oscars. [56]

Works

Legacy

A commemorative plaque to Joplin in Texas Scott Joplin TxHM.jpg
A commemorative plaque to Joplin in Texas

Joplin and his fellow ragtime composers rejuvenated American popular music, fostering an appreciation for African-American music among European-Americans by creating exhilarating and liberating dance tunes. "Its syncopation and rhythmic drive gave it a vitality and freshness attractive to young urban audiences indifferent to Victorian proprieties...Joplin's ragtime expressed the intensity and energy of a modern urban America." [34]

Joshua Rifkin, a leading Joplin recording artist, wrote, "A pervasive sense of lyricism infuses his work, and even at his most high-spirited, he cannot repress a hint of melancholy or adversity...He had little in common with the fast and flashy school of ragtime that grew up after him." [90] Joplin historian Bill Ryerson adds that "In the hands of authentic practitioners like Joplin, ragtime was a disciplined form capable of astonishing variety and subtlety...Joplin did for the rag what Chopin did for the mazurka. His style ranged from tones of torment to stunning serenades that incorporated the bolero and the tango." [49] Biographer Susan Curtis wrote that Joplin's music had helped to "revolutionise American music and culture" by removing Victorian restraint. [91]

Composer and actor Max Morath found it striking that the vast majority of Joplin's work did not enjoy the popularity of the "Maple Leaf Rag", because while the compositions were of increasing lyrical beauty and delicate syncopation, they remained obscure and unheralded during his life. [62] Joplin apparently realized that his music was ahead of its time. Music historian Ian Whitcomb mentions that Joplin "opined that 'Maple Leaf Rag' would make him 'King of Ragtime Composers' but he also knew that he would not be a pop hero in his own lifetime. 'When I'm dead twenty-five years, people are going to recognize me,' he told a friend." Just over thirty years later he was recognized, and later historian Rudi Blesh wrote a large book about ragtime, which he dedicated to the memory of Joplin. [58]

Although he was penniless and disappointed at the end of his life, Joplin set the standard for ragtime compositions and played a key role in the development of ragtime music. And as a pioneer composer and performer, he helped pave the way for young Black artists to reach American audiences of all races. After his death, jazz historian Floyd Levin noted: "Those few who realized his greatness bowed their heads in sorrow. This was the passing of the king of all ragtime writers, the man who gave America a genuine native music." [92]

Museum

The home Joplin rented in St. Louis from 1900 to 1903 was recognized as a National Historic Landmark in 1976 and was saved from destruction by the local African American community. In 1983, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources made it the first state historic site in Missouri dedicated to African American heritage. At first it focused entirely on Joplin and ragtime music, ignoring the urban milieu which shaped his musical compositions. A newer heritage project has expanded coverage to include the more complex social history of Black urban migration and the transformation of a multi-ethnic neighborhood to the contemporary community. Part of this diverse narrative now includes coverage of uncomfortable topics of racial oppression, poverty, sanitation, prostitution, and sexually transmitted diseases. [93]

Revival

Joplin's star on the St. Louis Walk of Fame Scott Joplin St.Louis Walk of Fame 1996.jpg
Joplin's star on the St. Louis Walk of Fame

After his death in 1917, Joplin's music and ragtime in general waned in popularity as new forms of musical styles, such as jazz and novelty piano, emerged. Even so, jazz bands and recording artists such as Tommy Dorsey in 1936, Jelly Roll Morton in 1939 and J. Russel Robinson in 1947 released recordings of Joplin compositions. "Maple Leaf Rag" was the Joplin piece found most often on 78 rpm records. [27]

In the 1960s, a small-scale reawakening of interest in classical ragtime was underway among some American music scholars, such as Trebor Tichenor, William Bolcom, William Albright and Rudi Blesh. Audiophile Records released a two-record set, The Complete Piano Works of Scott Joplin, The Greatest of Ragtime Composers, performed by Knocky Parker, in 1970. [94]

In 1968, Bolcom and Albright interested Joshua Rifkin, a young musicologist, in the body of Joplin's work. Together, they hosted an occasional ragtime-and-early-jazz evening on WBAI radio. [95] In November 1970, Rifkin released a recording called Scott Joplin: Piano Rags [96] on the classical label Nonesuch. It sold 100,000 copies in its first year and eventually became Nonesuch's first million-selling record. [97] The Billboard Best-Selling Classical LPs chart for September 28, 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. In the top seven spots on that chart, six of the entries were recordings of Joplin's work, three of which were Rifkin's. [98] Record stores found themselves for the first time putting ragtime in the classical music section. The album was nominated in 1971 for two Grammy Award categories: Best Album Notes and Best Instrumental Soloist Performance (without orchestra). Rifkin was also under consideration for a third Grammy for a recording not related to Joplin, but at the ceremony on March 14, 1972, Rifkin did not win in any category. [99] He did a tour in 1974, which included appearances on BBC Television and a sell-out concert at London's Royal Festival Hall. [100] In 1979, Alan Rich wrote in the magazine New York that by giving artists like Rifkin the opportunity to put Joplin's music on disc, Nonesuch Records "created, almost alone, the Scott Joplin revival." [101]

In January 1971, Harold C. Schonberg, music critic at The New York Times, having just heard the Rifkin album, wrote a featured Sunday edition article titled "Scholars, Get Busy on Scott Joplin!" [102] Schonberg's call to action has been described as the catalyst for classical music scholars, the sort of people Joplin had battled all his life, to conclude that Joplin was a genius. [103] Vera Brodsky Lawrence of the New York Public Library published a two-volume set of Joplin works in June 1971, titled The Collected Works of Scott Joplin, stimulating a wider interest in the performance of Joplin's music.

In mid-February 1973 under the direction of Gunther Schuller, the New England Conservatory Ragtime Ensemble recorded an album of Joplin's rags taken from the period collection Standard High-Class Rags titled Joplin: The Red Back Book . The album won a Grammy Award as Best Chamber Music Performance in that year and became Billboard magazine's Top Classical Album of 1974. [104] The group subsequently recorded two more albums for Golden Crest Records: More Scott Joplin Rags in 1974 and The Road From Rags To Jazz in 1975.

Cover of the 1973 film, The Sting, which featured Joplin's music The Sting (1973 alt poster).jpeg
Cover of the 1973 film, The Sting , which featured Joplin's music

In 1973, film producer George Roy Hill contacted Schuller and Rifkin separately, asking each man to write the score for a film project he was working on: The Sting . Both men turned down the request because of previous commitments. Instead Hill found Marvin Hamlisch available and brought him into the project as composer. [105] Hamlisch lightly adapted Joplin's music for The Sting, for which he won an Academy Award for Best Original Song Score and Adaptation on April 2, 1974. [106] His version of "The Entertainer" reached number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and the American Top 40 music chart on May 18, 1974, [107] [108] prompting The New York Times to write, "The whole nation has begun to take notice." [100] Because of the film and its score, Joplin's work became appreciated in both the popular and classical music world, becoming (in the words of music magazine Record World ) the "classical phenomenon of the decade." [109] Rifkin later said of the film soundtrack that Hamlisch lifted his piano adaptations directly from Rifkin's style and his band adaptations from Schuller's style. [105] Schuller said Hamlisch "got the Oscar for music he didn't write (since it is by Joplin) and arrangements he didn't write, and 'editions' he didn't make. A lot of people were upset by that, but that's show biz!" [105]

On October 22, 1971, excerpts from Treemonisha were presented in concert form at Lincoln Center, with musical performances by Bolcom, Rifkin and Mary Lou Williams supporting a group of singers. [110] Finally, on January 28, 1972, T.J. Anderson's orchestration of Treemonisha was staged for two consecutive nights, sponsored by the Afro-American Music Workshop of Morehouse College in Atlanta, with singers accompanied by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra [111] under the direction of Robert Shaw, and choreography by Katherine Dunham. Schonberg remarked in February 1972 that the "Scott Joplin Renaissance" was in full swing and still growing. [112] In May 1975, Treemonisha was staged in a full opera production by the Houston Grand Opera. The company toured briefly, then settled into an eight-week run in New York on Broadway at the Palace Theatre in October and November. This appearance was directed by Gunther Schuller, and soprano Carmen Balthrop alternated with Kathleen Battle as the title character. [111] An "original Broadway cast" recording was produced. Because of the lack of national exposure given to the brief Morehouse College staging of the opera in 1972, many Joplin scholars wrote that the Houston Grand Opera's 1975 show was the first full production. [110]

1974 saw the Birmingham Royal Ballet under director Kenneth MacMillan create Elite Syncopations , a ballet based on tunes by Joplin and other composers of the era. [113] That year also brought the premiere by the Los Angeles Ballet of Red Back Book, choreographed by John Clifford to Joplin rags from the collection of the same name, including both solo piano performances and arrangements for full orchestra.[ citation needed ]

Copyright attorney Alvin Deutsch worked with Vera Brodsky Lawrence to make sure the Joplin estate owned the rights to his work. Deutsch negotiated with New York Public Library to get Treemonisha copyright and got the Joplin estate $60,000 in the '70s when someone infringed on that copyright. Their work helped to mount the show Treemonisha via Dramatic Publishing.

Other awards and recognition

Citations

  1. Curtis, Susan (2004). Dancing to a Black Man's Tune: A Life of Scott Joplin. University of Missouri Press. ISBN 0-8262-1547-5.
  2. Berlin, Edward A. (1994). King of Ragtime: Scott Joplin and His Era. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-510108-1.
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  11. 1 2 Blesh (1981) , p. xiv
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Ragtime – also spelled rag-time or rag time – is a musical style that flourished from the 1890s to 1910s. Its cardinal trait is its syncopated or "ragged" rhythm. Ragtime was popularized during the early 20th century by composers such as Scott Joplin, James Scott and Joseph Lamb. Ragtime pieces are typically composed for and performed on piano, though the genre has been adapted for a variety of instruments and styles. "Maple Leaf Rag", "The Entertainer", "Fig Leaf Rag", "Frog Legs Rag", and "Sensation Rag" are among the most popular songs of the genre.

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"Alexander's Ragtime Band" is a Tin Pan Alley song by American composer Irving Berlin released in 1911 and is often inaccurately cited as his first global hit. Despite its title, the song is a march as opposed to a rag and contains little syncopation. The song is a narrative sequel to Berlin's earlier 1910 composition "Alexander and His Clarinet". This earlier composition recounts the reconciliation between an African-American musician named Alexander Adams and his flame Eliza Johnson as well as highlights Alexander's innovative musical style. Berlin's friend Jack Alexander, a cornet-playing African-American bandleader, inspired the title character.

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The "Maple Leaf Rag" 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. As a result, Joplin became dubbed the "King of Ragtime" by his contemporaries. The piece gave Joplin a steady if unspectacular income for the rest of his life.

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John Stillwell Stark was an American publisher of ragtime music, best known for publishing and promoting the music of Scott Joplin.

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Arthur Owen Marshall was an American composer and performer of ragtime music.

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Richard “Dick” Zimmerman is a ragtime performer, historian, author and producer. He is regarded as being one of the key figures responsible for the worldwide revival of ragtime. Zimmerman is the first pianist to have recorded the complete works of Scott Joplin and in 1987 was awarded the first place prize “Champion Ragtime Performer of the World”. Zimmerman was technical advisor for the film Scott Joplin. He is a founder of the "Maple Leaf Club", and is the editor of its publication, "The Rag Times". Zimmerman is also a professional magician. He has contributed many signature illusions to the field of magic and has acted as consultant for such magicians as David Copperfield.

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The "Swipesy Cakewalk" is a ragtime composition written in 1900 by a musical duo consisting of the notable ragtime master Scott Joplin, who composed the trio, and the young composer Arthur Marshall, who composed the rest of the piece. "Swipesy" uses the simple syncopations of a cakewalk - the first beat being a sixteenth, eighth, sixteenth note division, and the second beat an even eighth note division. The style follows the AA BB A CC DD musical form common for both cakewalks and rags, particularly after the earlier publication of Joplin's hit "Maple Leaf Rag". Only the C section, composed by Joplin, departs from the cakewalk rhythm and is more pure ragtime. The composition was written in the late 1890s when Joplin was living with the Marshall family, and was teaching Arthur, composition.

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"Frog Legs Rag" is a classic rag composed by James Scott and published by John Stillwell Stark in December 1906. It was James Scott's first commercial success. Prior to this composition Scott had published marches. With "Frog Legs Rag", Scott embarked upon a career as a successful and important ragtime songwriter.

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Piano Rags by Scott Joplin is an album by Joshua Rifkin, consisting of ragtime compositions by Scott Joplin, released on the Nonesuch Records label in 1970. The original album's spine and various compact disc reissues render the title as Scott Joplin: Piano Rags. The record is considered to have been the first to reintroduce Joplin's music in the early 1970s, initially gaining critical recognition and later commercial success after several of Joplin's compositions were featured in the 1973 film The Sting. It became Nonesuch Records' first million-selling album.

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