|Publisher:||Sphere Books Ltd||ISBN:||0 349 11412 9|
The revival of Scot Joplin's music has occurred partly because of its use in the film "The Sting" and partly because of Joshua Rifkin's recordings of his piano rags. Although composed at the turn of the century, its lasting power can be appreciated because of ragtime's influence on the worlds of jazz, popular and classical music.
Peter Gammond first explores Joplin's life from his birth in 1868 in Texarkana, Texas, to his death in a mental institution in 1917. He describes his family background; the beginnings of his career playing in the honky-tonks and brothels along the Mississippi; by his rise to fame as "King of Ragtime" and his subsequent decline following the failure of his opera Treemonisha. He then answers the questions: What is ragtime? How, is it played and how did it evolve from other musical forms? and discusses ragtime's influence on such key jazz musicians as Ferdinand Morton [Jelly Roll Morton] and Duke Ellington; on popular composers like Irving Berlin and George Gershwin; and on the classical composers, Copland, Darius Milhaud and Stravinsky.
Illustrated with early photos and song sheets, Scott Joplin and the Ragtime Era also analyses Joplin's works; includes a complete list of ragtime recordings and piano rolls; contains a comprehensive bibliography; and shows why Joplin must now be reckoned as one of the world's great popular composers.
This book came into my hands in a second-hand book shop in Barking, London whilst on holiday there in July, 2000. The blurb says it all and as a Scott Joplin fan, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Just right for when taking a break!