James Scott’s Evergreen Rag

Evergreen RagMy favorite James Scott composition has long been Evergreen Rag, published by Stark Music Co. in 1915. The G major opening section is bright and cheerful. The B section—recapitulated at the end of the piece, like in most Scott rags—is one of Scott’s most interesting: the bassline countermelody in this section is well-shaped, descending when the right hand melody climbs. The C major trio is very simply syncopated with an eighth-quarter-eighth note pattern, contrasting well with the rhythms of other sections.

In several places (ms. 1-2 and 9-10 of the B section, the entire trio and ensuing bridge), James Scott forsook his typical thick chordings in favor of sparer textures, to beguiling effect. Max Morath’s recording of Evergreen Rag—from his World of Scott Joplin Vol. 2 album—is notable for its sensitivity. The sheet music for Evergreen Rag can be found at imslp.org.

Red Wood Coast

Brandon Byrne Ragtime Piano Composition
 | Website

Brandon Byrne is a ragtime composer, performer, and scholar. Max Morath said of Byrne, “Brandon’s unique compositions display unparalleled gifts and hidden virtuosity. His music reflects the past and challenges the future. His playing will touch your soul.” For a full list of his compositions, please visit his website.

Or look at our Subscription Options.