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222 Portrait of Joplin, Scott
 

Foundations of America

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Home Ragtime Articles of Interest 222 Portrait of Joplin, Scott

222 Portrait of Joplin, Scott

Scott Joplin the "King of Ragtime", was an African-American Composer and Pianist.  Although Scott had a short career he wrote 44 ragtime pieces. His Career started and he made a name for himself through a publication he wrote called "Maple Leaf Rag" in 1899.  The publication brought him a steady income, where he made a one cent commission of each sale of the publication.  Aside from a slow start in the first year it was released, half a million copies were sold by 1909.   

Joplin was born in northeastern Texas on November 4th, 1867 to a musical African-American family of laborers.  He lived in New York From 1907 to 1917.  There he believed he could really boost his opera career.  He was popular in New York even though his Operas did not do too well.  In New York he dedicated his time in composing and producing the opera called "Treemonisha".  This was the first grand opera composed by an African American. Unfortunatley the Opera was resulted unsuccessful.  Joplin Died in Manhattan State Hospital while he was fighting for his life against syphilis.  He Eventually died on April , 1917.  Although his music was popular and he did live a wealthy lifestyle he was not given the recognition as a serious composer until his music was featured in a motion picture called "The Sting" in 1973.  His Opera Treemonisha won the Pitzler Prize in 1976.  

 In Ragtime the book Scott Joplin's portrait was used to resemble the fugitive Coalhouse Walker in the newspapers since there were no pictures of him.  The attitude toward black Musicians during Ragtime was very discriminatory because most people during the time did not like seeing African Americans succeed in anything.  Coalhouse Walker and Scott Jolpin had the similarities that they were both African-American and that they both were discriminated on for being successful black men.  Which makes it even more interesting and witty that Joplin's Picture was used to portray Coalhouse Walker in the newspapers.  Not only were they attempted to be portrayed as the same person physically they did have the same lifestyle as successful African Americans in reality.    

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 20 September 2011 15:35  

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