Ragtime Vignettes 

Three Black Crows (1899)

The “rare rags” page of Ted Tjaden’s website ragtimepiano.ca is a gold mine of American musical history worth your perusal. Three Black Crows—by F. Raymond

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Silent Night, Ragged Night

The long-venerable practice of “ragging the classics” is at play in Bob Milne’s Christmas-themed CD Silent Night, Ragged Night. The disc contains fifteen popular Christmas

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David Thomas Roberts • Poplarville

David Thomas Roberts’ peripatetic nocturnal contemplation of the Mississippi Gulf Coast in the late 1970’s inspired some of his most touching works, including Poplarville (1979).

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School of Ragtime

I have never understood why Scott Joplin’s instructional  (1908) is conspicuously absent from most “complete” recorded anthologies of the composer’s piano music. School of Ragtime is an apt

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Thompson Falls Rag

A “dark horse” in the first volume of Ragtime Wizardry is the second-to-last selection, Bryan Wright’s Thompson Falls Rag. Arpeggios—many with double notes—abound in this

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Christina Pepper

I met Christina Pepper (Austin) at this year’s Scott Joplin Festival in Sedalia, Missouri, and was deeply impressed by both her playing and her symposium

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Hen Cackle Rag

As a teenager I owned a cassette copy of Sidewalk Blues, a 1995 album of the now-defunct jazz group Elite Syncopation. I loved that recording,

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The Cactus Rag

Lucian P. Gibson is only known to have composed three works, one of which is The Cactus Rag, published by Stark Music Company in 1916.

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Rags Under Quarantine

Despite society’s abstinence from live music events in 2020, interesting Ragtime compositions were written during the Covid-19 pandemic, a testament to the music’s enduring appeal.

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Imperial Rag

Imperial Rag, Max Morath’s first Ragtime composition, was written in 1954 and eventually included in Cripple Creek: A Ragtime Suite for Piano three decades later.

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Sugar Cane (1908)

The opening section of Scott Joplin’s 1908 Sugar Cane is often compared to that of his earlier Maple Leaf Rag. Sugar Cane is “sweeter” and

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The Smoky Topaz

The Smoky Topaz, published in 1901 by Whitney Warner in Detroit. Her treatment of form in The Smoky Topaz shows her maturity as a teenage

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Cleopatra Rag

Cleopatra Rag

Cleopatra Rag (1915) is one of twelve of Joseph Lamb’s piano rags published by Stark Music Company. In an advertisement for the piece, the publisher

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Sunflower Slow Drag

Sunflower Slow Drag

This work—co-written with Scott Hayden in 1901—has continually been one of Scott Joplin’s most popular pieces. Many fine recordings exist of Sunflower Slow Drag. Richard

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Fig Leaf Rag

Scott Joplin’s ornate and harmonious Fig Leaf Rag is probably his most difficult piece to play. The B and C sections—with their right hand thirds

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