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#1172520 - 04/01/09 09:51 AM Re: Would you pedal the 'Maple Leaf Rag'? [Re: survivordan]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 21309
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: survivordan
No. Most people dont realize there's supposed to be a little 'gap' of syncopation between the LH ocatves, and elsewhere. Pedaling fills those in superflously.

Gap as in "rest" is not syncopation. What makes you think the left hand should be syncopated? (I bet you can't find single youtube performance by any well known pianist who does this)

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#1175839 - 04/06/09 11:06 PM Re: Would you pedal the 'Maple Leaf Rag'? [Re: pianoloverus]
Surendipity Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/24/05
Posts: 129

Here's an example of where Rag got it's name.
Taking the classics and put in the rag style and rythm.

This is a wonderful example of just that.

#1176592 - 04/08/09 09:36 AM Re: Would you pedal the 'Maple Leaf Rag'? [Re: pianoloverus]
hv Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/18/04
Posts: 1242
Loc: Cape Cod
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
... What makes you think the left hand should be syncopated? (I bet you can't find single youtube performance by any well known pianist who does this)
I think you're right about that rest in Maple Leaf. But LH syncopation is one of the hallmarks of the East-Coast ragtime style. aka Stride. Which is what makes it so difficult to play. Or listen to if you don't understand it. When I first listened to rolls of JPJ playing Carolina Shout, it started sounding like a jumble of notes at times when he began syncopating both hands simultaneously. It took Fats Waller's musicality to help me make sense of it. Or adding a little swing or boogie into the mix as JPJ did in later years. If you want to hear Maple Leaf with some of that special LH, listen to Eubie Blake or any of his protegees like Terry Waldo. Or Jim Hession who did some YouTube lectures where he discussed this calling it an interrupted bass line giving Eubie's Maple Leaf interpretation as an example:



#1177394 - 04/09/09 02:53 PM Re: Would you pedal the 'Maple Leaf Rag'? [Re: hv]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 21309
Loc: New York City
I've played several pieces by Johnson and Waller including Carolina Shout, but I just think of them as stride pieces as opposed to some special form of ragtime. I would agree that the Blake version has syncopation but would say it's really Blake's stride composition based on the MLR.

I don't think if one is playing ragtime(Joplin)just as written or even with swing eighths in the RH, that the LH wouldn't have syncopation.

#1177627 - 04/09/09 11:24 PM Re: Would you pedal the 'Maple Leaf Rag'? [Re: BJones]
Hrodulf Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/02/09
Posts: 848
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: BJones
May I be so bold as to ask why people like this song? What's the continued fascination with this tivial ditty that 1000 years after it was written, people are still playing it?


Because it's a flawless gem of composition.

Edited by Hrodulf (04/09/09 11:24 PM)

#1177628 - 04/09/09 11:33 PM Re: Would you pedal the 'Maple Leaf Rag'? [Re: BJones]
Hrodulf Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/02/09
Posts: 848
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: BJones
Originally Posted By: Bhav
It was written in 1898, first published in 1906, and became the first work of music to sell over 1 million copies on score?

It is regarded by many to be the best Rag ever written, and it is also one of the easiest to learn thanks to the amount of repetition used in the piece.

I think you maybe meant 100 years, but then why do people still play Chopin, Mozart, or any other classical composer?

No, I meant 1000! It seems like I've been hearing 6 year olds play that song at recitals for the last 1000 years anyway! grin

Chopin, Mozart, and most of the other clasical composer's music has content. Some, more than others. Many of their compositions are aesthetically superb as well. Male Leaf Rag, on the other hand... I just don't get it.

Then again, rap artists sell gazillions of CDs, and consider each other "geniuses" if they can sample a rudimentary drum track. I imagine that compared to some of that, Maple Leaf Rag is the work of a super-genius. Maybe Wiley Coyote wrote it;


Well, musically what makes this piece interesting is the shifts between a flat major and e major. That's an interesting chord progression because they share the enharmonic g sharp/a flat between those chords.

The form is also interesting since the first strain has a very dramatic sweep up the keyboard and strong material in terms of theme. Joplin develops this rhythmic and melodic theme throughout the rest of the rag, the syncopation being
- 2 3 4 1 2 - 4 1 2 3 4 - - - - . The last theme is particularly interesting as it starts strongly in d flat major, but ends in a flat major in a convincing cadence. This device, which I still havn't completely worked out, allows Joplin to modulate to d flat major in the trio, stay in d flat major in the final strain, but still end the rag in a flat major, without any awkward transition, or sounding like he was ending in the dominant of the d flat key.

And that's just a quick glance at this composition. There's probably a lot more that I completely missed.

Ragtime isn't for everybody. I've written 37 rags (not all of which are good) and probably only one or two of them are on the level of Maple Leaf Rag. If you don't think that's a good rag or don't get it, then classic ragtime just isn't for you.

Edited by Hrodulf (04/09/09 11:35 PM)

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