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Scott Joplin

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  1. 1. ScottJo pr in( 1868- r er 7) * A e (5 J ' fl ' .." i 1"4 v-, .;,r.h HistoricalPerspective '/ -+ z'2; t -/ *p{, ' . Life for a personof color after the Civil War was extremelyhard 6c d," . Achievementsby black African Americans were not consideredsignificant. . Joplin was a man quite aheadof his time; he wasn't truly recognizedand appreciateduntil after the ragtime revival of the 1970s. Life of Scott Joplin . Grew up in a poor musical family in Texarkana,Texas. . Joplin's fatherdid not supportScottJoplin's desireto becomea musician. ' Ragtime, known as "dancin' music," developedaround 1900 and containedmany native African rhythms and beats. . Joplin moved to Sedalia,Missouri, and becamethe residentpianist at the Maple Leaf Club. Becameknown as the "King of Ragtime." . Joplin composedmore than fifty rags. Some include: "The Maple Leaf Rag," "The Entertainer," "The Easy Winners," and "The Sycamore." . [n 1908,Joplin composed ragtimeoperaTreemonisha. his ' With the failure of his opera and the diminishing importanceof ragtime music, Joplin becamevery depressed died on April l,1917. and Treemonisha . Composed 1908. in . ThreeActs, 230 pages,27 songs,I I characters . The music includes an overture,prelude, various recitatives,a ballet, small ensemblepieces, and a few arias. ' Never performed in its entirety during Joplin's life. The whole opera was first performed at the Atlanta Arts center in 1972 and also openedon Broadway the sameyear. ' Treemonisha was influenced by Joplin's feelings towards his race and the desirefor ragtime to becomeas popular as classicalmusic. He wanted to make the opera serious(like European operas)and entertaining.The opera also mirrors aspectsof Joplin's life. ' Musical accompanimentis romantic (charm and delight) but also has elementsof black fotk songs ' Treemonishais set on a southwestemplantation. Ned and Monisha, a black couple who want a child, find a baby under a tree. The child is namedafter the mother and the tree - Treemonisha. Treemonisha becomes leaderin the black community. a ' Joplin wanted to show that with strength,education,and perseverance, African Americans could overcome slavery. ' Joplin tried to print and perform the opera by himself, but was unsuccessful. ' With the failure of his opera,Joplin believed that he himself had failed to deliver an important message his people. to My Response ' Scott Joplin was a man well aheadof his time - it's too bad that nobody recognizedhis talent during his life, because was a very talentedman he ' Joplin was determinedto make life better for his race, and he did, in a way, althoughhis efforts were not recognizeduntil after his death ' Joplin has enduredtremendouscriticism and unfair social conditions (his music was usually not even regardedas a valid form of musical expression),but he was able to overcomethosehardships.He deserves recognition that he had earnedtoday. the
  2. 2. "A RealSlow Drag"* Scott Joplin Saluteyour partner. Do the drag,drag,drag. Stop and movebackward. Do the drag.All of you stop. Lookto your rightand do the drag,drag,drag. To your left, to your left, that's the way. (Chorus) Marching onward, marchingonward Marching that lovely to tune. Marching onward, marchingonward, Happyas a bird in June. Slidingonward, slidingonward, Listento that rag. Hop.And skip. Now do that slow, Do that slow drag. Danceslowly,pranceslowly, Whileyou hearthat prettyrag. Danceslowly,pranceslowly, Now you do the real slow drag. Walk slowly,talk slowly, Listento that rag, Listento that rag, H o p .An d s k i p. Now do that slow,do that slow drag. Movealong, Don'tstop,don'tstop dancing. Dragalong, Doingthe real slow drag. (Chorus)
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