Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Scott Joplin - Maple Leaf Rag

Music became an industry when Scott Joplin composed and published the Maple Leaf Rag. This piece of sheet music sold over 1 million copies and gave birth to music as an industry. From piano rolls and sheet music to modern day ipod downloads, music has been an industry from the early 1900's. Music reflects the culture and history of our nation. The sheet music business was the primary source of musical sales in the early 1900's. It is a treasure chest of information about history and historical events. The purpose of this blog site is to highlight the historical sheet music the reflected the events of the first half of the 20th century....the birth of aviation, World War I and World War II. and disasters such as the sinking of the Titantic, and the very first female to run for President, did you know it was Gracie Allen. It's all in the music.

Scott Joplin's "Maple Leaf Rag" was the spark that ignited the music industry. During the time of Scott Joplin music was recorded on piano rolls. These piano rolls still exist and they allow us to hear the music as it was played by the composer's own hands. If you ever have the opportunity to visit St. Louis, you can go to the Scott Joplin House on Delmar Ave. Here they have several piano rolls made by Scott Joplin, the rolls are inserted into the player the piano, you pump the pedals to make the rolls turn, the music starts playing and the keys are moving up & down and actually recreating the music as it was played by Scott Joplin himself. If you can't make it to St. Louis, you can go to YouTube. There is a posting there of a Scott Joplin piano roll playing the Maple Leaf Rag. This was posted in 2006 and it has over 1,057,443 hits.

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