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Famous Quotes
Scott Joplin
(c. 1867 - 1917)
American composer and pianist

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“Don t play this piece fast. It is never right to play ragtime fast.”
-- Scott Joplin

"When I'm dead twenty-five years, people are going to begin to recognize me."
-- Scott Joplin

“Let me see you do the 'rag time dance'...
Turn left and do the 'Cake walk prance'...
Turn the other way and do the 'Slow drag'...
Now take your lady to the world's fair (...)
And do the 'rag time dance.' ”
-- Scott Joplin

“Because it has such a ragged movement. It suggests something like that.”
-- Scott Joplin on the derivation of the word "ragtime"

“Syncopations are no indication of light or trashy music, and to shy bricks at 'hateful ragtime' no longer passes for musical culture.”
-- Scott Joplin

"Marching onward, marching onward
Marching to that lovely tune
Marching onward, marching onward
Happy as a bird in June

Sliding onward, sliding onward
Listen to that rag
Hop and skip now do that slow, oh
Do that slow drag

Dance slowly, prance slowly
Now you hear that pretty rag
Dance slowly, prance slowly
Now you do the real slow drag

Waltz slowly, waltz slowly
Listen to the ragtime
Hop and skip
Now do the slow, oh, do the slow drag"
-- Verses from the opera, Treemonisha (1911) by Scott Joplin

"No doubt Joplin could play "ragged time," as it was first called because of its bouncing bass and syncopated right hand, as bumptiously as the next man. But by the time he began writing his rags down in the late 1890s, they had obviously become objects of care, even personal meaning for him."
-- "Scott Joplin: From Rags to Opera", by William Bender, in: Time (magazine) (15 Sep. 1975)

"A typical Joplin rag has a disciplined arrangement of repeats and returns not unlike that of the march, and a similar duple tune signature. Jazz probably got its start, Schuller believes, when saloon pianists who could not read music began improvising rags they had heard."
-- "Scott Joplin: From Rags to Opera", by William Bender, in: Time (magazine) (15 Sep. 1975)

"Small clear chords hung in the air like flowers. The melodies were like bouquets. There seemed to be no other possibilities for life than those delineated by the music."
-- Description of Coalhouse Porter, Jr., the main character in E. L. Doctorow's novel, Ragtime, sitting down to play Joplin's "Wall Street Rag"

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See also:
Middle Ages Music
Renaissance Music
Baroque Era Music
Classical Era Music
Romantic Era Music
Nationalist Era Music
Turn of Century Music

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