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!
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;http://steynian.files.wordpress.com/2009/02/wile_e_coyote_super_genius.jpg
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.
Beethoven op 27 no 1 allegro vivace
J.S. Bach wtc book I prelude 10, fugue 10