Joplin, Scott

born Nov. 24, 1868, Bowie county, Texas, U.S.
died April 1, 1917, New York, N.Y.

U.S. pianist and composer, the outstanding exponent of ragtime music.

Joplin was a classically trained pianist and composer. His compositions, including "Maple Leaf Rag" (1899), ragtime's first hit, and "The Entertainer" (1902), show an acute logic that transcends the sometimes mechanical dimension of the genre. He also wrote a ballet and two operas, including Treemonisha (1911), as well as several didactic works. He suffered a nervous collapse in 1911 and was institutionalized in 1916.

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▪ American composer and musician
born Nov. 24, 1868, Bowie county, Texas, U.S.
died April 1, 1917, New York, N.Y.
 American black composer and pianist known as the “king of ragtime” at the turn of the 20th century.

      Studying piano with teachers near his childhood home, Joplin traveled through the Midwest from the mid-1880s, performing at the Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893. Settling in Sedalia, Mo., in 1895, he studied music at the George R. Smith College for Negroes and hoped for a career as a concert pianist and classical composer. His first published songs brought him fame, and in 1900 he moved to St. Louis to work more closely with the music publisher John Stark.

      Joplin published his first extended work, a ballet suite using the rhythmic devices of ragtime, with his own choreographical directions, in 1902. His first opera, A Guest of Honor (1903), is no longer extant and may have been lost by the copyright office. Moving to New York City in 1907, Joplin wrote an instruction book, The School of Ragtime, outlining his complex bass patterns, sporadic syncopation, stop-time breaks, and harmonic ideas, which were widely imitated. Joplin's contract with Stark ended in 1909, and, though he made piano rolls in his final years, most of Joplin's efforts involved Treemonisha, which synthesized his musical ideas into a conventional, three-act opera. He also wrote the libretto, about a mythical black leader, and choreographed it. Treemonisha had only one semipublic performance during Joplin's lifetime; he became obsessed with its success, suffered a nervous breakdown and collapse in 1911, and was institutionalized in 1916.

      Joplin's reputation as a composer rests on his classic rags for piano, including "Maple Leaf Rag" and "The Entertainer," published from 1899 through 1909, and his opera, Treemonisha, published at his own expense in 1911. Treemonisha was well received when produced by an Atlanta, Ga., troupe on Broadway in 1972, and interest in Joplin and ragtime was stimulated in the 1970s by the use of his music in the Academy Award-winning score to the film The Sting.

Additional Reading
Peter Gammond, Scott Joplin and the Ragtime Era (1975); James Haskins and Kathleen Benson, Scott Joplin (1978); Edward A. Berlin, King of Ragtime (1994); Susan Curtis, Dancing to a Black Man's Tune: A Life of Scott Joplin (1994).

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Joplin,Scott — Joplin, Scott. 1868 1917. American pianist and composer known for his ragtime works, including “Maple Leaf Rag” (1899) and the opera Treemonisha (1911). * * * …   Universalium

  • Joplin, Scott — (24 nov. 1868, cond. de Bowie, Texas, EE.UU.–1 abr. 1917, Nueva York, N.Y.). Pianista y compositor estadounidense, exponente destacado de la música de ragtime, y de formación musical clásica. Sus composiciones como Maple Leaf Rag (1899), primer… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Scott Joplin — (between June 1867 and January 1868 ndash; 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, [cite web… …   Wikipedia

  • Scott Joplin — en 1907 Naissance 1867 Texarkana, Texas Pays d’origine …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Scott Joplin — Datos generales Nombre real Scott Joplin Nacimiento 24 de noviembre de 1868 …   Wikipedia Español

  • Scott Joplin — (* zwischen Juni 1867 und Januar 1868 bei Linden in Texas[1]; † 1. April 1917 in New York) war ein US amerikanischer Komponist und Pianist. Schlüssiger als andere Komponisten des Ragtime hat Joplin, der als „Vollender dieses Stils“ ang …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Scott Hayden — Naissance 31 mars 1882 Sedalia, Missouri, Pays d’origine  États Unis …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Scott — Scott, David Scott, Robert Falcon Scott, Walter * * * (as used in expressions) James Scott Connors Dred Scott, sentencia Dred Scott v. Sandford Fitzgerald, F(rancis) Scott (Key) Forester, C(ecil) S(cott) Haldane, John Scott Hancock, Winfield… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Scott Joplin House — Infobox nrhp | name =Scott Joplin House nrhp type = nhl caption = location= St. Louis, Missouri lat degrees = 38 lat minutes = 38 lat seconds = 14 lat direction = N long degrees = 90 long minutes = 12 long seconds = 53 long direction = W locmapin …   Wikipedia

  • Scott Joplin — noun United States composer who was the first creator of ragtime to write down his compositions (1868 1917) • Syn: ↑Joplin • Instance Hypernyms: ↑composer * * * Scott Joplin [Scott Joplin] …   Useful english dictionary

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