Scott Joplin

~ Person

Wikipedia

Scott Joplin (c. 1867/1868? – April 1, 1917) was an African-American composer and pianist. Joplin achieved fame for his ragtime compositions, and was later titled The King of Ragtime. During his brief career, he wrote 44 original ragtime pieces, one ragtime ballet, and two operas. One of his first pieces, the Maple Leaf Rag, became ragtime's first and most influential hit, and has been recognized as the archetypal rag.

Joplin was born into a musical family of laborers in Northeast Texas, and developed his musical knowledge with the help of local teachers, most notably Julius Weiss. Joplin grew up in Texarkana, where he formed a vocal quartet, and taught mandolin and guitar. During the late 1880s he left his job as a laborer with the railroad, and travelled around 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, continuing to tour the South. In Sedalia, he taught future ragtime composers Arthur Marshall, Scott Hayden and Brun Campbell. Joplin began publishing music in 1895, and publication of his Maple Leaf Rag in 1899 brought him fame. This piece had a profound influence on subsequent writers of ragtime. It also brought the composer a steady income for life, though Joplin did not reach this level of success again and frequently had financial problems.

Joplin moved to St. Louis in 1901, where he continued to compose and publish music, and regularly performed in the St Louis community. By the time he had moved to St. Louis, he may have been experiencing discoordination of the fingers, tremors, and an inability to speak clearly, as a result of having contracted syphilis. The score to his first opera, A Guest of Honor, was confiscated in 1903 with his belongings, owing to his non-payment of bills, and is considered lost by biographer Edward A. Berlin and others.

He continued to compose and publish music, and in 1907 moved to New York City, seeking to find a producer for a new opera. He attempted to go beyond the limitations of the musical form that made him famous, without much monetary success. His second opera, Treemonisha, was not received well at its partially staged performance in 1915.

In 1916, suffering from tertiary syphilis and by consequence rapidly deteriorating health, Joplin descended into dementia. He was admitted to a mental institution in January 1917, and died there three months later at the age of 49.

Joplin's death is widely considered to mark the end of ragtime as a mainstream music format, and in the next several years it evolved with other styles into jazz, and eventually big band swing. His music was rediscovered and returned to popularity in the early 1970s with the release of a million-selling album of Joplin's rags recorded by Joshua Rifkin, followed by the Academy Award–winning movie The Sting, which featured several of his compositions, such as The Entertainer. The opera Treemonisha was finally produced in full to wide acclaim in 1972. In 1976, Joplin was posthumously awarded a Pulitzer Prize.

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Discography

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Album

Year Title Artist Rating Releases
1971 Piano Rags by Scott Joplin (feat piano: Joshua Rifkin) Scott Joplin 1
1972 Piano Rags by Scott Joplin, Volume II (feat. piano: Joshua Rifkin) Scott Joplin 1
1973 The Red Back Book (New England Conservatory Ragtime Ensemble) Scott Joplin 1
1974 The Sting (featuring the music of Scott Joplin, conducted by Ron Falson) Scott Joplin; Ron Falson 1
1975 The Easy Winners (feat. violin: Itzhak Perlman, piano: Andre Previn) Scott Joplin 4
1985 Digital Ragtime (feat. piano: Joshua Rifkin) / Wall Street Rag (The Southland Stingers) Scott Joplin 1
1987 Scott Joplin Piano Rags (feat. piano: Joshua Rifkin) Scott Joplin 1
1988 Piano Works: 1899–1904 (feat piano: Dick Hyman) Scott Joplin 1
1990 The Red Back Book (New England Conservatory Ragtime Ensemble) / Elite Syncopations (The Southland Stingers) Scott Joplin 1
1990 King of Ragtime Scott Joplin 1
1990 Scott Joplin on Guitar (feat. guitar: Giovanni De Chiaro) Scott Joplin 2
1992 Scott Joplin’s Rag Time (feat. piano: Scott Kirby) Scott Joplin 1
1992 Treemonisha (1975 original cast) Scott Joplin 1
1993 Ragtime Music of Scott Joplin & George Gershwin Scott Joplin & George Gershwin 1
1993 Scott Joplin's Greatest Hits (feat. piano: Robert Strickland) Scott Joplin 1
1993 Elite Syncopations: Classic Ragtime From Rare Piano Rolls Scott Joplin 1
1993 Marches, Waltzes & Rags of Scott Joplin (feat. piano: William Albright) Scott Joplin 1
1993 The Best of Scott Joplin (feat. piano: John Arpin) Scott Joplin 1
1994 Scott Joplin Piano Favourties (feat. piano: William Conley) Scott Joplin 1
1995 The Complete Rags of Scott Joplin (feat. piano: William Albright) Scott Joplin 1
1995 Piano Rags (feat. piano: Roy Eaton) Scott Joplin 3
1997 The Complete Piano Music of Scott Joplin (feat. piano: John Arpin) Scott Joplin 1
1998 The Complete Rags of Scott Joplin, Volume 1 (feat. piano: Scott Kirby) Scott Joplin 1
1998 Scott Joplin on Guitar, Volume 2 (feat. guitar: Giovanni De Chiaro) Scott Joplin 1
1999 Scott Joplin on Guitar, Volume 3 (feat. guitar: Giovanni De Chiaro) Scott Joplin 1
1999 Scott Joplin on Guitar, Volume 4 (feat. guitar: Giovanni De Chiaro) Scott Joplin 1
1999 The Very Best of Scott Joplin Scott Joplin 1
2000 The Collected Piano Works, Volume 1 (feat. piano: Richard Glazier) Scott Joplin 1
2000 Scott Joplin: Greatest Ragtime Hits Scott Joplin 2
2002 The Best of Scott Joplin Scott Joplin 2
2002 The Complete Rags, Marches, Waltzes & Songs (feat. piano: Guido Nielsen) Scott Joplin 1
2003 The Entertainer: Classic Ragtime From Rare Piano Rolls Scott Joplin 1
2004 Piano Rags (feat. piano: Alexander Peskanov) Scott Joplin 1
2005 Rags to Riches: The Essential Hits (feat. piano: Robert Strickland) Scott Joplin 3 1
2005 Original Rags Scott Joplin 1
2007 Ragtime Piano Roll Scott Joplin 1
2009 Scott Joplin: The Easy Winners & Other Rag-Time Music / André Previn: A Different Kind of Blues Scott Joplin, André Previn; Itzhak Perlman, André Previn 1
2011 Treemonisha Scott Joplin 1
Jean-Pierre Rampal Plays Scott Joplin Scott Joplin 1
Ragtime Vol. 1: Original Piano Rolls 1899/1916 Scott Joplin 1
The Entertainer Scott Joplin 1

Album + Compilation

Year Title Artist Rating Releases
1987 Ragtime: Original Piano Rolls 1896-1917 Compilation Scott Joplin 1
1987 The Scott Joplin Collection Compilation Scott Joplin 1
1988 The Scott Joplin Collection Compilation Scott Joplin 1
1989 King of Ragtime Writers Compilation Scott Joplin 1
1989 The Scott Joplin Story Compilation Scott Joplin 1
1993 Complete Works (feat. piano: Richard Zimmerman) Compilation Scott Joplin 5
1994 Scott Joplin: His Complete Works (feat. piano: Richard Zimmerman) Compilation Scott Joplin 1
1994 Scott Joplin's Piano Rags Compilation Scott Joplin 2
1994 The Genius of Scott Joplin Compilation Scott Joplin 1

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