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#1168749 - 03/25/09 04:32 PM Would you pedal the 'Maple Leaf Rag'?  
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Samuel1993 Offline
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I've just finished learning this piece. I'm not sure whether to use pedal or not.


Currently working on...
Chopin - Fantasie Impromptu in C sharp minor Op.66
Mozart - Piano Sonata in E flat K.282
Liszt - Romance in E minor "O pourquoi donc" S.196
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#1168791 - 03/25/09 05:16 PM Re: Would you pedal the 'Maple Leaf Rag'? [Re: Samuel1993]  
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Claude56 Offline
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No!!! Definetely not. Using the pedal destroys the march, sycompated, ragtimy style.

#1168795 - 03/25/09 05:22 PM Re: Would you pedal the 'Maple Leaf Rag'? [Re: Claude56]  
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survivordan Offline
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No. Most people dont realize there's supposed to be a little 'gap' of syncopation between the LH ocatves, and elsewhere. Pedaling fills those in superflously.


Working On:

BACH: Invention No. 13 in a min.
GRIEG: Notturno Op. 54 No. 4
VILLA-LOBOS: O Polichinelo

Next Up:

BACH: Keyboard Concerto in f minor
#1168804 - 03/25/09 05:54 PM Re: Would you pedal the 'Maple Leaf Rag'? [Re: survivordan]  
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jjtpiano Offline
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Using the pedal will muddy this piece to an unacceptable degree.


Live Music Is Best
#1168827 - 03/25/09 07:14 PM Re: Would you pedal the 'Maple Leaf Rag'? [Re: jjtpiano]  
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No pedal - nada - zed - zip. metronome, yes!


[ed.: didn't we just go through this MPR pedaling issue?]


"Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown."
David Loving, Waxahachie, Texas
#1168964 - 03/26/09 12:28 AM Re: Would you pedal the 'Maple Leaf Rag'? [Re: daviel]  
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BJones Offline
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Originally Posted by daviel
No pedal - nada - zed - zip. metronome, yes!


[ed.: didn't we just go through this MPR pedaling issue?]


No pedal. No space = no syncopation.

#1169017 - 03/26/09 05:27 AM Re: Would you pedal the 'Maple Leaf Rag'? [Re: BJones]  
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Bhav Offline
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I think it depends on the Piano. On my cheap Piano, it sounds a lot better pedaled.


Currently working on:

Joplin -

Maple Leaf Rag (finished)
Magnetic Rag (finished :))
The Entertainer
Stoptime Rag
Pineapple Rag
The Chrysanthemum
Reflection Rag

- Lots of rags to learn frown.
#1169042 - 03/26/09 06:58 AM Re: Would you pedal the 'Maple Leaf Rag'? [Re: Samuel1993]  
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Here you have the piece played by the composer:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMAtL7n_-rc&fmt=18

It is recorded on a piano roll which is not completely accurate, although one gets an idea of how it was played. Of course, the composer is not always the best "interpreter". Let your own ear and your own taste guide you. Record it (perhaps several versions) if you have to.




Best regards,

David Ramezani
#1169089 - 03/26/09 08:38 AM Re: Would you pedal the 'Maple Leaf Rag'? [Re: Samuel1993]  
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BJones Offline
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May I be so bold as to ask why people like this song? What's the continued fascination with this tivial ditty that 1000 years after it was written, people are still playing it?

tired

#1169097 - 03/26/09 09:00 AM Re: Would you pedal the 'Maple Leaf Rag'? [Re: BJones]  
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It was written in 1898, first published in 1906, and became the first work of music to sell over 1 million copies on score?

It is regarded by many to be the best Rag ever written, and it is also one of the easiest to learn thanks to the amount of repetition used in the piece.

I think you maybe meant 100 years, but then why do people still play Chopin, Mozart, or any other classical composer?


Currently working on:

Joplin -

Maple Leaf Rag (finished)
Magnetic Rag (finished :))
The Entertainer
Stoptime Rag
Pineapple Rag
The Chrysanthemum
Reflection Rag

- Lots of rags to learn frown.
#1169142 - 03/26/09 09:51 AM Re: Would you pedal the 'Maple Leaf Rag'? [Re: Bhav]  
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BJones Offline
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Originally Posted by Bhav
It was written in 1898, first published in 1906, and became the first work of music to sell over 1 million copies on score?

It is regarded by many to be the best Rag ever written, and it is also one of the easiest to learn thanks to the amount of repetition used in the piece.

I think you maybe meant 100 years, but then why do people still play Chopin, Mozart, or any other classical composer?


No, I meant 1000! It seems like I've been hearing 6 year olds play that song at recitals for the last 1000 years anyway! grin

Chopin, Mozart, and most of the other clasical composer's music has content. Some, more than others. Many of their compositions are aesthetically superb as well. Male Leaf Rag, on the other hand... I just don't get it.

Then again, rap artists sell gazillions of CDs, and consider each other "geniuses" if they can sample a rudimentary drum track. I imagine that compared to some of that, Maple Leaf Rag is the work of a super-genius. Maybe Wiley Coyote wrote it;

http://steynian.files.wordpress.com/2009/02/wile_e_coyote_super_genius.jpg

#1169147 - 03/26/09 09:56 AM Re: Would you pedal the 'Maple Leaf Rag'? [Re: Bhav]  
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Dear Bhav,
May I gently correct you re Maple Leaf Rag.

It was written about 1897 and then published by John Stark in Sedalia Mo. September 1899. It still remains the perfect model of classic ragtime.
All the very best to you.
John Gill
Australian Pianoman.

#1169220 - 03/26/09 11:41 AM Re: Would you pedal the 'Maple Leaf Rag'? [Re: john gill]  
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Hi ya, John. THE John Gill? My favorite down-under stride playing Bosendorfer artist? Playing Sidewalk Blues in this thread???...

Sedalia 2006 highlights

Welcome to PianoWorld!

Howard

#1169234 - 03/26/09 11:57 AM Re: Would you pedal the 'Maple Leaf Rag'? [Re: hv]  
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Ah, Howard - I always make sure I check out what you've written because I know you're on the ball with ragtime, and I have the Sedalia highlights bookmarked, as well as Sue's site, on my computer. Loved the Sidewalk Blues!

Cathy


Cathy
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Practice what you suck at - anonymous
#1169270 - 03/26/09 12:47 PM Re: Would you pedal the 'Maple Leaf Rag'? [Re: john gill]  
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Originally Posted by john gill
Dear Bhav,
May I gently correct you re Maple Leaf Rag.

It was written about 1897 and then published by John Stark in Sedalia Mo. September 1899. It still remains the perfect model of classic ragtime.
All the very best to you.
John Gill
Australian Pianoman.


Ooops, I were a few years off doh.


Currently working on:

Joplin -

Maple Leaf Rag (finished)
Magnetic Rag (finished :))
The Entertainer
Stoptime Rag
Pineapple Rag
The Chrysanthemum
Reflection Rag

- Lots of rags to learn frown.
#1169355 - 03/26/09 04:14 PM Re: Would you pedal the 'Maple Leaf Rag'? [Re: Bhav]  
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Some pedal. Do it the way it sounds good to you. Kind of depends on the piano, the room, the speed, your personal style.

"Maple Leaf" is Joplin's best-known work, but not my personal favorite, by a long way. The "Collected Works" offers a lot that is less-known, but in my opinion, better--- anyway, for my taste.


Clef

#1170038 - 03/27/09 08:28 PM Re: Would you pedal the 'Maple Leaf Rag'? [Re: Jeff Clef]  
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Yeah, definitely.

#1170290 - 03/28/09 12:58 PM Re: Would you pedal the 'Maple Leaf Rag'? [Re: Bhav]  
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Originally Posted by Bhav


It is regarded by many to be the best Rag ever written, and it is also one of the easiest to learn thanks to the amount of repetition used in the piece.


I certainly don't think it's one of the easier Joplin rags. The trio sections proves a stumbling block for many. Virtually all the Joplin rags use repeated phrases a lot.

Last edited by pianoloverus; 03/28/09 01:00 PM.
#1170404 - 03/28/09 04:04 PM Re: Would you pedal the 'Maple Leaf Rag'? [Re: David Ramezani]  
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Originally Posted by David Ramezani
Here you have the piece played by the composer:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMAtL7n_-rc&fmt=18

It is recorded on a piano roll which is not completely accurate, although one gets an idea of how it was played. Of course, the composer is not always the best "interpreter". Let your own ear and your own taste guide you. Record it (perhaps several versions) if you have to.




Interesting that he swings it.

There was a thread a while back asking about that.


Live Music Is Best
#1170617 - 03/29/09 12:13 AM Re: Would you pedal the 'Maple Leaf Rag'? [Re: jjtpiano]  
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There's a very limited few places I might use the pedal on that song... for example on the measure where you're playing the Ab-minor broken chord 4 times going up an octave each time, i think a few measures into the song if I remember correctly. Also I might consider its use sometimes in the second section of the song, where it like transitions into a Db key or something like that. Actually, though, that'd be one of those cases where I actually would like to sustain the treble and the low bass, but not the syncopated chord on beats 2 and 4 of each measure.


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#1170784 - 03/29/09 12:07 PM Re: Would you pedal the 'Maple Leaf Rag'? [Re: pianoloverus]  
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Bhav


It is regarded by many to be the best Rag ever written, and it is also one of the easiest to learn thanks to the amount of repetition used in the piece.


I certainly don't think it's one of the easier Joplin rags. The trio sections proves a stumbling block for many. Virtually all the Joplin rags use repeated phrases a lot.


Well I found it easy to learn coming from Grade 7 into my first advanced piece, and my sight reading is terrible.

I found the fingering on Magnetic Rag to be a little harder, and am having much difficulty with reading the bassline of Nocturne op 9, even though I find it easy to play as well.

I meant in terms of reading when I said easy, not in terms of difficulty, but it is going to take me a very long time to learn the rest of my pieces frown.

I highly recommend this piece for the Grade 7 to Grade 8 transition, and it really helped to strengthen my hands.


Currently working on:

Joplin -

Maple Leaf Rag (finished)
Magnetic Rag (finished :))
The Entertainer
Stoptime Rag
Pineapple Rag
The Chrysanthemum
Reflection Rag

- Lots of rags to learn frown.
#1171260 - 03/30/09 07:58 AM Re: Would you pedal the 'Maple Leaf Rag'? [Re: Bhav]  
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pianoloverus Offline
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Originally Posted by Bhav
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Bhav


It is regarded by many to be the best Rag ever written, and it is also one of the easiest to learn thanks to the amount of repetition used in the piece.


I certainly don't think it's one of the easier Joplin rags. The trio sections proves a stumbling block for many. Virtually all the Joplin rags use repeated phrases a lot.


I meant in terms of reading when I said easy, not in terms of difficulty, but it is going to take me a very long time to learn the rest of my pieces frown.


OK, but a piece's difficulty is not normally decided based on how easy it is to sight read.

#1171355 - 03/30/09 10:27 AM Re: Would you pedal the 'Maple Leaf Rag'? [Re: David Ramezani]  
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Hello David,

The piano roll of Maple Leaf Rag is the roll issued by QRS.
This is certainly (contrary to what the label says) Not Scott Joplin's playing. This roll appears to be taken from the roll issued as 'Connorized 10265' The left hand in the qrs roll is as played by Joplin on the Connorized but the right hand has been "swung" to give a jazzy effect.
The Connorized roll can be heard as issued on the Biograph record label. The same album also has a second version of what may or may not be Joplin's playing. This other roll was supposedly recorde by Joplin a few monthe after the first and clearly displays either a poorly cut roll or as is thought more likely a distressingly sad exposition of the deterioration of Joplin's playong as he became more ill with
tertiary syphilis.
Hope this is of interest to any of you who are into Ragtime

yours in harmony
John Gill

#1171362 - 03/30/09 10:43 AM Re: Would you pedal the 'Maple Leaf Rag'? [Re: hv]  
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Hi Howard
Yes that is I with the side walk blues. Feel reef to contact on
johngillpianoman@iinet,net.au

May be at Sacramento for the festival around thanksgiving this year

Yours in harmony
John Gill

#1171371 - 03/30/09 11:21 AM Re: Would you pedal the 'Maple Leaf Rag'? [Re: john gill]  
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Oh my goodness, I think I'll be flamed for this, but I've always used the sustain pedal in the Joplin rags (The Entertainer, The Easy Winners, Weeping Willow). True, I use it very sparingly, very lightly, and never hold it down past each measure. But I think it would sound awful (at least the way I play it) without some pedal. The biggest fallacy about the Joplin rags is that they are played way too fast. Joplin's notes always say, not too fast. For whatever it's worth, I think the rags are beautiful and several famous artists, including James Levine, have recorded them. I think the easiest one to learn is The Entertainer because it's in C-major, so half the battle is already won. I think the prettiest is Weeping Willow. I'm actually not that fond of Easy Winners; I don't know why I spent so much time learning it. The Maple Leaf just never hit me as something I'd want to learn, but to each his own.

#1172113 - 03/31/09 02:19 PM Re: Would you pedal the 'Maple Leaf Rag'? [Re: dglo]  
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Originally Posted by dglo
because it's in C-major, so half the battle is already won.


I'll never understand why most pianists think pieces in the key of C are a blessing. The keys of Db, Gb, and B offer a key-terrain topography that is far better suited to executing easily because the scales fit the natural shape of the hand (the three long fingers on the shorter black keys, and the shorter thumb and pinky on the long keys). The hand can maintain the same shape, without much in and out undulation as the hand moves the fingers from position to position.

#1172199 - 03/31/09 04:58 PM Re: Would you pedal the 'Maple Leaf Rag'? [Re: BJones]  
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Originally Posted by BJones
Originally Posted by dglo
because it's in C-major, so half the battle is already won.


I'll never understand why most pianists think pieces in the key of C are a blessing.


Frankly, it's obvious why.

Most pianists, before they reach a certain level, find lots of sharps or flats difficult. Imagine playing a piece where the key signature changed each measure and the sharps or flats weren't arranged in the standard way. I would guess a beginner would feel something like that when playing a piece with lots of sharps or flats in the key signature.

Most pianists beyond a certain level don't have that difficulty so that ease of execution becomes paramount.

That's why there are probably no "beginner pieces" in G flat.

#1172438 - 04/01/09 04:50 AM Re: Would you pedal the 'Maple Leaf Rag'? [Re: pianoloverus]  
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Who was it first said "You can never have enough flats"?

I confess, it's far more fun to let rip than play MLRag as purists would have you do in slower strict tempo. Half-pedal the third section like I imagine Fats might do.
You have to enjoy your hobby.


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A medley of extemporanea;
And love is a thing that can never go wrong,
And I am Marie of Romania.
#1172496 - 04/01/09 07:44 AM Re: Would you pedal the 'Maple Leaf Rag'? [Re: AD]  
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Originally Posted by AD

I confess, it's far more fun to let rip than play MLRag as purists would have you do in slower strict tempo. Half-pedal the third section like I imagine Fats might do.
You have to enjoy your hobby.


Not only is it more fun, but if look at my earlier post in this thread(or maybe another MLR thread?) you'll hear on Yutube that most of the best stride/ragtime pianists, including those who have won piano competitions, play it quite fast.

Here is a good tempo and performance IMHO:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RISjp-d38-0

Last edited by pianoloverus; 04/01/09 07:51 AM.
#1172497 - 04/01/09 07:45 AM Re: Would you pedal the 'Maple Leaf Rag'? [Re: AD]  
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Well, yeah, that's exactly why I like Joplin in C-major -- I'm not technically proficient enough to rip through a piece with umpteen sharps and flats!! I enjoy various key signatures in slower pieces, but playing Easy Winners in a fast tempo with all those flats just causes me to make a lot of mistakes. Since I'm already in my 50s, I guess I'll never reach 'a certain level.'

#1172520 - 04/01/09 08:51 AM Re: Would you pedal the 'Maple Leaf Rag'? [Re: survivordan]  
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Originally Posted by survivordan
No. Most people dont realize there's supposed to be a little 'gap' of syncopation between the LH ocatves, and elsewhere. Pedaling fills those in superflously.


Gap as in "rest" is not syncopation. What makes you think the left hand should be syncopated? (I bet you can't find single youtube performance by any well known pianist who does this)

#1175839 - 04/06/09 10:06 PM Re: Would you pedal the 'Maple Leaf Rag'? [Re: pianoloverus]  
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A6Lvv6dthds

Here's an example of where Rag got it's name.
Taking the classics and put in the rag style and rythm.

This is a wonderful example of just that.

#1176592 - 04/08/09 08:36 AM Re: Would you pedal the 'Maple Leaf Rag'? [Re: pianoloverus]  
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
... What makes you think the left hand should be syncopated? (I bet you can't find single youtube performance by any well known pianist who does this)
I think you're right about that rest in Maple Leaf. But LH syncopation is one of the hallmarks of the East-Coast ragtime style. aka Stride. Which is what makes it so difficult to play. Or listen to if you don't understand it. When I first listened to rolls of JPJ playing Carolina Shout, it started sounding like a jumble of notes at times when he began syncopating both hands simultaneously. It took Fats Waller's musicality to help me make sense of it. Or adding a little swing or boogie into the mix as JPJ did in later years. If you want to hear Maple Leaf with some of that special LH, listen to Eubie Blake or any of his protegees like Terry Waldo. Or Jim Hession who did some YouTube lectures where he discussed this calling it an interrupted bass line giving Eubie's Maple Leaf interpretation as an example:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UfJDfBP-A84

Howard

#1177394 - 04/09/09 01:53 PM Re: Would you pedal the 'Maple Leaf Rag'? [Re: hv]  
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I've played several pieces by Johnson and Waller including Carolina Shout, but I just think of them as stride pieces as opposed to some special form of ragtime. I would agree that the Blake version has syncopation but would say it's really Blake's stride composition based on the MLR.

I don't think if one is playing ragtime(Joplin)just as written or even with swing eighths in the RH, that the LH wouldn't have syncopation.


#1177627 - 04/09/09 10:24 PM Re: Would you pedal the 'Maple Leaf Rag'? [Re: BJones]  
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Originally Posted by BJones
May I be so bold as to ask why people like this song? What's the continued fascination with this tivial ditty that 1000 years after it was written, people are still playing it?

tired


Because it's a flawless gem of composition.

Last edited by Hrodulf; 04/09/09 10:24 PM.

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#1177628 - 04/09/09 10:33 PM Re: Would you pedal the 'Maple Leaf Rag'? [Re: BJones]  
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Originally Posted by BJones
Originally Posted by Bhav
It was written in 1898, first published in 1906, and became the first work of music to sell over 1 million copies on score?

It is regarded by many to be the best Rag ever written, and it is also one of the easiest to learn thanks to the amount of repetition used in the piece.

I think you maybe meant 100 years, but then why do people still play Chopin, Mozart, or any other classical composer?


No, I meant 1000! It seems like I've been hearing 6 year olds play that song at recitals for the last 1000 years anyway! grin

Chopin, Mozart, and most of the other clasical composer's music has content. Some, more than others. Many of their compositions are aesthetically superb as well. Male Leaf Rag, on the other hand... I just don't get it.

Then again, rap artists sell gazillions of CDs, and consider each other "geniuses" if they can sample a rudimentary drum track. I imagine that compared to some of that, Maple Leaf Rag is the work of a super-genius. Maybe Wiley Coyote wrote it;

http://steynian.files.wordpress.com/2009/02/wile_e_coyote_super_genius.jpg


Well, musically what makes this piece interesting is the shifts between a flat major and e major. That's an interesting chord progression because they share the enharmonic g sharp/a flat between those chords.

The form is also interesting since the first strain has a very dramatic sweep up the keyboard and strong material in terms of theme. Joplin develops this rhythmic and melodic theme throughout the rest of the rag, the syncopation being
- 2 3 4 1 2 - 4 1 2 3 4 - - - - . The last theme is particularly interesting as it starts strongly in d flat major, but ends in a flat major in a convincing cadence. This device, which I still havn't completely worked out, allows Joplin to modulate to d flat major in the trio, stay in d flat major in the final strain, but still end the rag in a flat major, without any awkward transition, or sounding like he was ending in the dominant of the d flat key.

And that's just a quick glance at this composition. There's probably a lot more that I completely missed.

Ragtime isn't for everybody. I've written 37 rags (not all of which are good) and probably only one or two of them are on the level of Maple Leaf Rag. If you don't think that's a good rag or don't get it, then classic ragtime just isn't for you.

Last edited by Hrodulf; 04/09/09 10:35 PM.

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