Scott Joplin (born between June 1867 – January 1868; died April 1, 1917) was an American musician and
composer of ragtime music. He remains the best-known ragtime figure and is regarded as one of the three most
important composers of classic ragtime, along with James Scott and Joseph Lamb.
In 1899, Joplin sold what would become his most famous piece, "Maple Leaf Rag" to John Stark & Son, a
Sedalia music publisher. Joplin received a one-cent royalty for each copy and ten free copies for his own use, as
well as an advance. It has been estimated that Joplin made $360 per year on this piece in his lifetime.
With a growing national reputation based on the success of "Maple Leaf Rag", Joplin moved to St. Louis,
Missouri, in early 1900 with his new wife, Belle. While living there, in 1900–1903, he produced some of his best-
known works, including "The Entertainer", "Elite Syncopations", "March Majestic", and "Ragtime Dance".
By 1916, Joplin was suffering from the effects of terminal syphilis. He suffered later from dementia, paranoia,
paralysis and other symptoms.
In mid-January 1917 Joplin was hospitalized at Manhattan State Hospital in New York City, and friends
recounted that he would have bursts of lucidity in which he would jot down lines of music hurriedly before
relapsing. Joplin died there on April 1, 1917. Joplin was 49 or 50 years of age, as his exact birth date is unknown.
|Rhythm On The Rock Productions
Videos - The Entertainer
©Rhythm On The Rock Productions
"The Entertainer" - Played by Christopher W. French
Ragtime Music written by, Scott Joplin, 1902.
Video created May 8, 2007 Running time 4min 46sec
Click here for more music from Christopher W. French
This Ragtime piano solo, The Entertainer, written by Scott Joplin, is extremely
popular with most piano enthusiasts and a great favorite for most people in
general. People would always ask me, "Can you play the Entertainer?" So one
day I finally decided to take on the task of learning it myself. Most often
people remember and associate it with the 1973 film, The Sting, but actually
it was written in 1902. "The Entertainer" is sub-titled "A rag time two step",
which was a form of dance popular until about 1911, and a style which was
common among rags written at the time. It is written primarily in the key of C,
although from bar 55 there is a section in F. This piano piece is one that most
pianists desire to have mastered and part of their repertoire, but it's not as
easy as it looks, I found it was very difficult to learn and took a great deal of
hours of practice over a long period of time. It's also very important for a
person to be able reach octaves easily because the song is filled with them.
The left hand is very busy too with all the bass notes and rhythms, making the
song challenging, but fun to play with all it's syncopations throughout. This is
just one of many of Scott Joplin's Ragtime songs. Another one that many
remember and ask for is, "Maple Leaf Rag" (his most famous piece,1899), or
"Solace" (1909) along with many others. To learn all of Scott Joplin's
Ragtime's would take a lifetime of devotion and hard work. I think I'll be
satisfied with the Entertainer for now, that's enough challenge for me. I would
recommend Scott Joplin's music for anyone who enjoys the piano and is
willing to put in the time it takes to learn his music. It's a lot of fun to play and
you can be sure that you will never regret learning it! Christopher W. French
Scott Joplin (1868-1917)
I have also recorded "The Entertainer" on digital audio. You can
listen to it here on this windows media player (after the video
above is finished playing). This Mp3 version of "The Entertainer"
is offered to you as a free download, providing that you observe
all of our Mp3 downloading stipulations. Click here
See more music by Christopher W. French