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Topic: Best Scott Joplin Rags  (Read 17389 times)

Offline williampiano

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Best Scott Joplin Rags
on: October 10, 2011, 02:28:35 AM
Which rags by Scott Joplin do you think are the best, or are your favorite?

My favorites are:
Wall Street Rag
Swipesy Cakewalk
Scott Joplin's New Rag
Euphonic Sounds
The Cascades

Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: Best Scott Joplin Rags
Reply #1 on: October 10, 2011, 03:26:40 AM
The ones I grew up with where Peacherine Rag, Maple Leaf Rag and The Entertainer and are the three that I feel closest connection to because of that! I also like The Augustan Club Waltzes.
"The biggest risk in life is to take no risk at all."

Offline musikalischer_wirbelwind_280

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Re: Best Scott Joplin Rags
Reply #2 on: October 10, 2011, 04:19:51 AM
I think there are actually very, very few rags I don't like  ;D but some of my Joplin favorites would be:

-Swipesy cake walk.
-The cascades.
-Peacherine rag.
-The entertainer (rather overused, I know, but I just can't help liking this one, too).
-Maple leaf rag (another overused one but same story as above  :P).
-Palm leaf rag.
-The easy winners.
-Something doing  ;)

Musikalischer Wirbelwind

Offline ted

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Re: Best Scott Joplin Rags
Reply #3 on: October 10, 2011, 08:22:30 PM
I like them all for varying reasons. Magnetic Rag and Euphonic Sounds are rather different. Until Magnetic, ragtime had expressed joy, exuberance, ecstasy and a sort of archaic sensuality; it had not embodied sadness or tragedy. These latter are very obvious in Magnetic; even the vigorous third strain has a doomed gaiety about it.

Nobody, as far as I know, has extended ragtime in the classically influenced direction indicated in Euphonic Sounds, which has some very unusual features. The many able proponents of the idiom over the last twenty or thirty years have taken the romantic direction, without exception. There are also very many who use the Maple Leaf form as a jelly-mould for traditional chord sequences. The challenge of Euphonic Sounds has never been accepted.

So those two are special for me in objective ways, but subjectively I like them all and still play many of them regularly.
"Mistakes are the portals of discovery." - James Joyce

Offline fleetfingers

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Re: Best Scott Joplin Rags
Reply #4 on: October 11, 2011, 07:31:54 AM
Maple Leaf has to be the best, right? So, let's just say that one's a given.  ;D

The Cascades was the first rag that I learned, so it will always be special to me. It was in a book of piano classics that I bought as a teenager, and I was completely smitten - had to get my hands on more of Joplin's music! My other favorites are Searchlight and Pine Apple...can't believe no one has mentioned these two yet!

Offline pianoplayjl

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Re: Best Scott Joplin Rags
Reply #5 on: October 13, 2011, 02:15:29 AM
Pineapple Rag
Funny? How? How am I funny?

Offline briansaddleback

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Re: Best Scott Joplin Rags
Reply #6 on: January 29, 2014, 10:33:05 PM
I know I am pulling up an old thread here (not sure on the forum culture regarding this) but didnt want to start a new thread or anything but

My favorites at the moment are

Sugarcane, Strenuous Life, and Combo March

Sugarcane is an amazing sounding piece which will really enthrall whoever your audience is because of its 'difficult' sounding and wide-ranged melody , however if you really study it , it's actually not too bad to learn. Which makes this piece a great one to add to one's repertoire.

Strenuous Life has a somewhat kiddie sound (for lack of a better term) to the first part; I kind of feel Joplin endearingly poked fun at this melody by making it and resolving it deceptively simple. The last part D section has a melody that is one of his best in the class of what I call "Farewell melody" ...meaning it is a melody where sounds of it reminds me of a feeling of departing from loved ones perhaps for a long time if not permanently.

Combo March is great. The C section climax march is very invigorating especially if you can kick up the bass part on your piano w the left hand octaves.. it is very authoritative, 'soldierly', and team -spirited....I can play that part for a half hour straight without getting tired of the tune. ..
Work in progress:

Rondo Alla Turca

Offline bryfarr

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Re: Best Scott Joplin Rags
Reply #7 on: September 29, 2023, 12:52:28 PM
This topic is quite old (2011). surprised there are only a handful of replies, and surprised it fell off - ragtime is a worthy challenge and fun to play.  I started when I was 13, The Entertainer was still the rage back then.  I've played many over the above rags but want to mention one that hasn't been mentioned yet - Sunflower Slow Drag, a collaboration by Arthur Marshall and Joplin.  According to Wikipedia, Marshall was a student of Joplin and wrote most of the piece.  It's excellent.  The next ones on my list to learn are Sugarcane (groovin c section) and Fig Leaf (this one is not in my book of "collected piano works of Scott Joplin").
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