Scott Joplin, commonly known as the “King of Ragtime” music, was born on November 24, 1868, in Bowie County, Texas near Linden. Joplin came from a large musical family. His father, Giles Joplin was a musician who had fiddled dance music while serving as a slave at his master’s parties. His mother, Florence Givens Joplin, born free and out of slavery, sang and played the banjo, and four of his brothers and sisters either sang or played strings. Joplin talent was revealed at an early age.
Encouraged by his parent’s, he became extremely proficient on the banjo and gained an interest for playing the piano. After Joplin parents purchased a piano for the family, he taught himself how to play the instrument so well that his piano playing became remarkable. Joplin soon began playing for church and local social events. By age eleven, while under the teachings of a German music teacher named Julius Weiss, Joplin was learning the finer points of harmony and style. As a teenager, he played well enough to be employed as a dance musician.
In 1884, Joplin left home and traveled the Midwest for some time as an integrant pianist playing in saloons and brothels. He settled in SST. Louis a few years later and continued his studies. He found employment there in the city’s prostitution district playing as a cafe pianist. Joplin left SST. Louis In 1893 and performed at the Columbian Exposition In Chicago. He left there in 1 894 and arrived in Cedilla, Missouri, where he spent the next year or so entertaining the patrons of a private club on the second floor of a saloon by the name of “Maple Leaf Club.
In 1895, Joplin continued his studies at the George R. Smith College for Negroes where he soon published his first composition, the song Please Say You Will. From there, Joplin toured with an eight member Texas Medley Quartet across the country all the way up to Syracuse, New York. This Quartet disbanded in 1 897 and Joplin organized another group, the Seed Quartet, which performed off and on during the next few years. In 1899, Joplin composed the Maple Leaf Rag. This song soon became the most popular piano rag of the period.
It brought Joplin popularity, which inspired him to impose several more original rags. Joplin headed for New York in 1 907 where he continued composing music and began instructing others in music. He son sought a publisher for one of his most famous operas Tiresomeness. During this time, though, it never reached any success. This opera did not actually reach popularity until some 60 years later. New York proved to be stimulating for Joplin creative mind. There he published many In 1916, Joplin career came to an abrupt end.
Joplin contracted syphilis and began suffering the terminal effects of this disease. He suffered from paranoia, dementia, finalization, and other symptoms. In the latter part of 1916, he was admitted to Manhattan State Hospital, a mental hospital, where he would never leave until he passed away on April 1, 1917. After his death, Joplin body was buried in the Astoria section of Queens, New York in SST. Michaels Cemetery. In Joplin many years of composing, he was never actually acknowledged as the great composer that he really was.
There Just was not any opportunities for black musicians during those times to have their music heard by anyone in the serious classical world. Joplin music received recognition posthumously as a result of the revival of ragtime music in the sass’s, as well as during its popularity in the sass’s and sass’s. Throughout his entire life, Joplin was mostly influenced to increase his musical skills by his mother and father, both being musicians themselves. More than type of influence upon himself, Joplin was one to place the influence on others.
His works sparked the writings of his contemporaries, all those who studied with him, and all those who studied his music. Joplin led in the development of the music genre known as ragtime, which was a unique blend of European classical styles combined with African American rhythm and harmony. Throughout his lifetime, Joplin published some 60 compositions of which 41 were piano rags. Through his unique styles, he had developed the piano rag and American folk operas. He was mostly successful for his fusion of the Afro- American folk tradition with European art music forms and techniques.