Music Theory Colloquium: Alan Elkins, theory faculty
Form and Harmony in the Piano Rags of Scott Joplin
Much has been written about the life of Scott Joplin and the history of ragtime music in general, but scholarship in music theory has only begun to explore his output. In this presentation, I will discuss the relationship between harmony and musical form in Joplin’s ragtime piano music, as well as the connections between Joplin’s musical style and that of his contemporaries. While some aspects of Joplin’s musical language draw from other popular genres of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, some features appear to have first arisen in Joplin’s music. The innovations of Joplin’s early works may explain in part his success as a ragtime composer—particularly those of his Maple Leaf Rag (1899), which went on to become one of the best-selling piano rags of all time.
Admission is free and open to the public.
Cleveland Institute of Music
11021 East Boulevard
Cleveland, OH 44106