Scott Joplin Jazz

admin 11/23/2021

View credits, reviews, tracks and shop for the 1990 CD release of 'King of Ragtime' on Discogs. Scott Joplin - the man and his music It is with good reason that Sedalia, Missouri has become central to the Joplin story and the site of the annual Scott Joplin Ragtime Festival. While Sedalia was Scott Joplin’s home for only a few years, it was a home with a special meaning for him. Scott Joplin was a musician and composer. He is considered the “King of Ragtime Writers.” Ragtime is music played in “ragged” or off-the-beat time. This varied rhythm developed from African American work songs, gospel tunes, and dance.

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  1. Scott Joplin (American Jazz) Library Binding – June 15, 2012 by Russ Roberts (Author) 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 rating. See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions. Price New from Used from Library Binding 'Please retry' $17.95.
  2. Scott Joplin was the best-known American ragtime musician and composer, setting the standard for all that followed. Ragtime — which gave birth to Jazz — has a rhythm in which the accompaniment is strict two-four time and the melody, with improvised embellishment, is in steady syncopation. Joplin`s instrument of choice was the piano.

Scott Joplin’s Solace: A Mexican Serenade is a very beautiful piece. It’s hard to believe that the form of Solace is based on a march. However, piano rags such as those by Joplin were formally based on marches.

Scott Joplin’s Solace: A Mexican Serenade is a very beautiful piece

Written Assignment #1: Jazz Origins

Scott Joplin’s Solace: A Mexican Serenade is a very beautiful piece. It’s hard to believe that the form of Solace is based on a march. However, piano rags such as those by Joplin were formally based on marches.
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Solace has several sections.

Listen specifically from 00:00 to 03:12, and address the following questions:
1. How many sections are within this three-plus-minute portion of the piece? Is there an introduction?

2. Do any sections repeat? How would you label them if you used letters to designate each section? Hint: the first section is from 00:09 to 00:47.

3. What is syncopation? Is there syncopation in this piece? How prevalent is syncopation in the melody?


4. Characteristically, rags have a steady “boom-chick, boom-chick” in the left hand, with the bass notes sounding on the beat and chords sounding on the “and” of each beat. Does the left hand play this sort of characteristic figure through Solace, or is it more elaborate than that?

5. Do any portions of the piece have a more distinctive 2/4 “feel” in the left hand than other portions? Provide counter numbers. Hint: The tempo of Solace is quite slow.

OnMusic Jazz – Written Assignment #2: Bebop

Written Assignment #2: Bebop
Tenor saxophonist Dexter Gordon was a leading figure in bebop, drawing upon the styles of both of Count Basie’s tenor players, Lester Young and Herschel Evans, to forge his own style in the bebop idiom. His composition Bikini exhibits an interesting and unique hybrid form.


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Listen attentively to Bikini performed by Dexter Gordon, tenor saxophone (ts); Jimmy Bunn, piano (p); Red Callender, bass (b); and Chuck Thompson, drums (d); and address the following questions:

1. The order of solos in this piece is: Gordon, Bunn, Callender, and Thompson (at end). Provide counter numbers for the beginnings and ends of all four solos.

2. Compare and contrast the solo styles, and describe them. Listen to how they phrase or create musical lines over the chord changes. Try to include some detail.

3. How many choruses does each of them take? Note: This piece is a 44-bar hybrid AABA song form in which each A section is a 12-bar blues chord progression, while the B section (the bridge) is a standard 8-bar section. The first chorus is 00:11 to 01:00.

4. What is your impression of this piece? How do these bebop soloists differ from the swing soloists that you have heard? Does the bebop ensemble treat or arrange the melody differently from the swing big band arrangements (of melody) that you have heard? If so, how?


5. Generally speaking, this band would have performed for what type of audience?

OnMusic Jazz – Written Assignment #3: John Coltrane

Written Assignment #3: John Coltrane
John Coltrane is an undisputed giant of jazz. There was an evolution in his creative style-both as composer and performer-from 1957 to 1964. Yet, there is an aspect of Coltrane’s performance artistry that remains distinctly identifiable throughout his career. Remarkably, his music would evolve further in the last three years of his life (1964-1967) into the realm of free jazz, some of which we will hear in this course.

Listening attentively to My Favorite Things played by John Coltrane, soprano saxophone (ss); McCoy Tyner, piano (p); Steve Davis, bass (b); and Elvin Jones, drums (d); and address the following questions:
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1. Provide counter numbers for the beginnings and ends of the solos by McCoy Tyner and John Coltrane. (The order of solos in this piece is: Coltrane (melody), Tyner, Coltrane.)

2. Tyner plays the A section and then “vamps” with the pedal point in the bass before he begins to solo. A vamp is when one or two chords are repeated, usually with a pedal point. Coltrane also states the A section in his solo. Describe their solo styles.

Scott joplin story

3. Listen to Tyner and Coltrane phrase or create musical lines over the chord changes. Do Tyner and Coltrane solo on the chord changes of the melody? Do you recognize the modal characteristics of these solo sections? Try to include some detail.

4. Describe the rhythmic feel of drummer Elvin Jones and bassist Steve Davis during Coltrane’s solo. Would you describe the style of these soloists as bop, hard bop, modal, elements of all or something else? Explain in detail using what you’ve learned from the Lessons about these particular styles.

Written Assignment #4: Jazz-Rock Fusion

Listen again to Birdland, the famous jazz-rock fusion piece by Weather Report: Wayne Shorter, soprano and tenor saxes; Joe Zawinul, keyboards, piano, vocal, melodica; Jaco Pastorius, electric bass, mando-cello, vocal; Alex Acuna, drums; and Manolo Badrena, tambourine, and address the following questions:
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1. The order of solos in this piece is: Zawinul, Shorter, Zawinul. Provide counter numbers for the beginnings and ends of these solos.

2. Describe the keyboard and piano accompaniment during Shorter’s solo. How would you compare/contrast the solo style of Shorter in Birdland with his tenor solo in Miles Davis E.S.P.?

3. How would you compare/contrast the solo style of Zawinul in Birdland with that of Herbie Hancock in E.S.P.?

4. Do you detect any ties between these jazz-rock fusion soloists and hard bop or free jazz?


Artist Biography by Uncle Dave Lewis

Scott Joplin Jazz

Scott Joplin was 'the King of Ragtime Writers,' a composer who elevated 'banjo piano playing,' a lowly entertainment associated with saloons and brothels, into an American art form loved by millions. Born in Texas in either 1867 or 1868, Joplin was raised in Texarkana, the son of a laborer and former slave. As a child, Joplin taught himself piano on an instrument belonging to a white family that granted him access to it, and ultimately studied with a local, German-born teacher who introduced Joplin to classical music. Joplin attended high school in Sedalia, MO, a town that would serve as Joplin's home base during his most prosperous years, and where a museum now bears his name.

In 1891, the first traceable evidence of Joplin's music career is found, placing him in a minstrel troupe in Texarkana. In 1893, he played in Chicago during the Columbian Exposition was held, reportedly leading a band with a cornet. Afterward, Joplin settled in Sedalia, worked with other brass bands and founding a vocal group called the Texas Medley Quartette. During an 1895 appearance in Syracuse, NY, the quality of Joplin's original songs for the Texas Medley Quartette so impressed a group of local businessmen that they arranged for Joplin's first publications. Around 1896, Joplin enrolled in Sedalia's George R. Smith College for Negroes to study formally, publishing a few more pieces in the years to follow.

In 1899, publisher John Stark of Sedalia issued Joplin's second ragtime composition, 'Maple Leaf Rag.' It didn't catch on like wildfire immediately, but within a few years the popularity of 'Maple Leaf Rag' was so enormous that it made Joplin's name; and Joplin earned a small percentage of income from it for the rest of his days, helping to stabilize him in his last years. By the end of 1899, Joplin presented his first ambitious work, the ballet The Ragtime Dance, at the Wood Opera House in Sedalia. It didn't appear in print until 1902, and then only in a truncated form. Joplin moved to St. Louis in 1901, as did Stark, who set his new publishing venture up as 'The House of Classic Rags.' Joplin wrote many of the other rags he is known for during this time, including 'The Entertainer,' 'The Easy Winners,' and 'Elite Syncopations.'

Scott Joplin Ragtime Jazz

In 1903, Joplin organized a touring company to perform his first opera, A Guest of Honor, which foundered after a couple of months, leaving Joplin destitute. He had recovered well enough to appear at the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair to present his rag 'The Cascades,' which proved his second great success. Joplin also married for a second time to a woman who died only a few weeks into their marriage after a bout with pneumonia, plunging Joplin into another bout of despair. During a visit to Chicago in 1907 he renewed an acquaintance with the St. Louis pianist Louis Chauvin, who did not long outlast the visit. Joplin utilized a strain drawn from Chauvin's playing into the finest of his 'collaborative' rags, 'Heliotrope Bouquet.' This was published after Joplin moved to New York in 1907. Stark had also resettled there, and they resumed their partnership to some degree, but Joplin also published through Seminary Music, likewise home to aspiring songwriter Irving Berlin. Through Seminary many of the best of his late works appeared, such as 'Pine Apple Rag,' the transparently beautiful 'Mexican serenade' 'Solace,' and the harmonically adventurous 'Euphonic Sounds.'

From 1911 until his death in 1917 most of Joplin's efforts went into his second opera, Treemonishia, which he heard in concert but never managed to stage during his own lifetime. With his third wife, Lotte Joplin, Joplin formed his own music company and published his final piano rag, 'Magnetic Rag' (1914), one of his best. By this time, debilitating, long-term effects of syphilis were beginning to break down Joplin's health, although he did manage to make seven hand-played piano rolls in 1916 and 1917; though heavily edited, these rolls are as close as one is likely to get to hearing Joplin's own playing. One of them is W.C. Handy's 'Ole Miss Rag,' which suggests that Joplin might have had a hand in its composition or arrangement. Joplin was tireless and selfless in his advocacy of his fellow ragtime composers, collaborating with James Scott, Arthur Marshall, Louis Chauvin, and Scott Hayden and helping to arrange others by Artie Matthews and the white New Jersey composer Joseph Lamb, whose work Joplin pitched to Stark.

Scott Joplin Jazz Music

'Maple Leaf Rag' remained a constant in popular music throughout the Jazz Age, but the better part of Joplin's work remained unknown until the 'ragtime revival' of the early '70s, during which 'Scott Joplin' became a household name and Treemonishia was finally staged by the Houston Grand Opera. Although primary sources on Joplin's music were still extant as late as the late '40s, today not a single manuscript page in Joplin's hand still exists and only three photographs of him have survived, along with precious few first-hand quotations. Joplin died in a mental facility convinced that he had failed in his mission to achieve success as an African-American composer of serious music. Were he alive today, Joplin would be astounded to learn that, a century after his work was first printed, he is the most successful African-American composer of serious music that ever lived -- by far. Some of his works have been recorded hundreds of times and arranged for practically every conceivable instrumental combination, played by everything from symphony orchestras to ice cream trucks. For a couple of generations of Americans who have even never heard of Stephen Foster, the music of Scott Joplin represents the old, traditional order of all things American.