Monday, March 4, 2013
A Record a Week: Music From the Motion Picture 'Scott Joplin'
MAPLE LEAF RAG
HELIOTROPE BOUQUET (Stomp Version)
CUTTING CONTEST/MAPLE LEAF RAG
MAPLE LEAF RAG (Honky-Tonk Version)
HELIOTROPE BOUQUET (Complete Version)
WALL STREET RAG
FINALE: THE ENTERTAINER/MAPLE LEAF RAG/GLADIOLUS RAG
This music is written by Scott Joplin and performed by Dick Hyman (and others), taken from the 1977 film Scott Joplin.
The movie details his life story and his trying to make it as an African-American musician in an all-white business. He sells off a song for a low price and ultimately becomes rich, though his health declines before he can reach a level where he considers being taken seriously.
I never saw the movie, but I do know that things weren't right and it took a lot of people like Scott Joplin to start breaking down the walls. Ragtime music is one of many styles that caucasian people latched on to, but didn't give credit until years later.
This album is full of songs that were part of the array of non-classical music you (or at least I did) learn when you take piano lessons. I always find it amazing to hear or learn the roots of songs that have become standards. It's amazing to think that these songs ever did not exist; they just feel as if they were played into existence at some time before things were being kept track of or recorded. The maple leaf rag, especially, is one that is so familiar it feels like it is just written into the DNA of music itself. Always a pleasure to listen to well played music and when you learn something along the way, that's even better.