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#2187099 - 11/22/13 10:29 PM Joplin technical support thread
Whizbang Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/27/12
Posts: 735
Did you know that the Joplin recital has been running about two months now--and that there are only four months left?

That's four months remaining, including Christmas family obligations and, for US ABF members, Thanksgiving obligations!

This thread is about questions. Are you running into difficulties in some part of the piece you signed up for? Ask it here and stump the chump.

I'll be happy to provide, for free, my opinion on any technical difficulties you're wrestling with. You will, of course, get what you pay for. However, I do promise for very thorny and interesting questions, I will certainly consider consulting my teacher for his advice--he's a pretty amazing musician with lots of ragtime expertise.

If you've got a question with a specific passage, do at least provide a measure number and a section number (for example, section C, measure 13). Scanning and posting an excerpt related to your question will be particularly helpful.

And, of course, if you have a general ragtime question, I'm always game to answer them.

As this has the chance of being a pretty intense thread, it may take me some time to get to each question. And, as folks here know, the answer is very often, "slow practice" so don't be shocked if you start to detect a theme smile
_________________________
Whizbang
amateur ragtime pianist

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#2187172 - 11/23/13 03:59 AM Re: Joplin technical support thread [Re: Whizbang]
peterws Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/21/12
Posts: 3440
Loc: Northern England.
"You will, of course, get what you pay for."

Hmmmm . . . . interesting!

Actually, the bit about playing things slowly (at the end) . . . good advice indeed. If you practice things in a hurry you slip up. Progress is made through hitting the right notes, not the wrong ones . . .
_________________________
"I'm playing all the right notes but not necessarily in the right order." Eric Morecambe

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#2187232 - 11/23/13 09:12 AM Re: Joplin technical support thread [Re: Whizbang]
Rerun Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/28/07
Posts: 579
Loc: Louisiana
Quote:
I'll be happy to provide, for free, my opinion on any technical difficulties you're wrestling with. You will, of course, get what you pay for. However, I do promise for very thorny and interesting questions, I will certainly consider consulting my teacher for his advice--he's a pretty amazing musician with lots of ragtime expertise.


Hey Whizbang, thanks for the bargain basement offer! grin

If you want to spot check my ears who are teaching me this tune in the key of C rather than G using Cory Hall's vid:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WMogQWmeL4A


... in the key of C, I'm getting the key change in the first bridge to D and the second bridge to G ... are you okay with that?

Thanks ...
_________________________
Rerun

"Seat of the pants piano player" DMD







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#2187286 - 11/23/13 11:26 AM Re: Joplin technical support thread [Re: Rerun]
Whizbang Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/27/12
Posts: 735
Originally Posted By: Rerun

... in the key of C, I'm getting the key change in the first bridge to D and the second bridge to G ... are you okay with that?


"Pleasant Moments" is in an ABBACCA format, so by "first" and "second" bridge, I'm assuming you mean the B and C sections?

As written:

* The A section is in G
* The B section is in D
* The C section is in C

D is the fifth scale degree of C and C is the fourth scale degree of G.

So if you wanted to move the A section into C, you'd move the sections to the corresponding scale degrees

* A section in C, yields
* B section in G (V), and
* C section in F (IV)

But since you're transposing a full fifth, your melody may end up sounding either very low or very high!

Since, by transposing a fifth, you're not changing the key signatures much, I'm worried I've misunderstood your question!
_________________________
Whizbang
amateur ragtime pianist

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#2187293 - 11/23/13 11:43 AM Re: Joplin technical support thread [Re: Whizbang]
Rerun Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/28/07
Posts: 579
Loc: Louisiana
Hey Whizbang , thanks for the quick reply. I'm a bit lost on the technical aspect of ABBACCA.

What sounded like the first key change happened at 0:39 of the tape, then it went back to the home chord at 1:32. At 1:59 was the next key change for the 2nd bridge.

Get me on the right track here, I've almost learned it but still have time to relearn it. grin

Thanks buddy...
_________________________
Rerun

"Seat of the pants piano player" DMD







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#2187346 - 11/23/13 01:25 PM Re: Joplin technical support thread [Re: Whizbang]
Whizbang Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/27/12
Posts: 735
The key changes you're hearing correspond to section transitions. "Pleasant Moments" starts with a 4-bar intro and then introduces a 16-measure theme.

Joplin then introduces another theme in a new key. This lasts for 16 measures and then repeats with a slight variation at the end.

Joplin returns to the original 16-bar theme.

After that, he introduces a new theme in a new key, which lasts for 16 bars and which then repeats with a slight variation at the end.

Finally, Joplin returns to the original theme, which he stitches to a coda.

The letters are just identifiers assigned to the themes and the doubled letters indicate the repeats.
_________________________
Whizbang
amateur ragtime pianist

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#2187372 - 11/23/13 02:26 PM Re: Joplin technical support thread [Re: Whizbang]
Rerun Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/28/07
Posts: 579
Loc: Louisiana
Quote:
The letters are just identifiers assigned to the themes and the doubled letters indicate the repeats.



Thanks Whizbang, never would have guessed what those letters described ... I've been working with his recording some more this am and hear where I need to tweak it a little.
_________________________
Rerun

"Seat of the pants piano player" DMD







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#2187420 - 11/23/13 03:58 PM Re: Joplin technical support thread [Re: Whizbang]
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5281
Loc: Philadelphia
I'm game, and will help out when I can. As for this line:

Quote:
Ask it here and stump the chump.

To anyone actually trying to stump whizbang, good luck. grin
_________________________
Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.

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#2187422 - 11/23/13 04:00 PM Re: Joplin technical support thread [Re: Whizbang]
Sam S Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/12/07
Posts: 1406
Loc: Georgia, USA
I have a serious question which may seem a little silly. But there are no stupid questions, right?

Why doesn't my piece ("Fig Leaf Rag") end in the same key that it starts in? It starts in Bb for the ABA sections (not counting the repeats), then goes into Eb for the CD sections. Never returns to Bb. I asked my teacher this question (she has a masters in theory from Eastman!) and she was very surprised. We looked at some others, and some of them returned to the original key and some didn't. She didn't have a good answer for me - not her fault, since I sprung the question on her.

Sam

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#2187484 - 11/23/13 06:57 PM Re: Joplin technical support thread [Re: Sam S]
Whizbang Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/27/12
Posts: 735
Originally Posted By: Sam S
Why doesn't my piece ("Fig Leaf Rag") end in the same key that it starts in? It starts in Bb for the ABA sections (not counting the repeats), then goes into Eb for the CD sections. Never returns to Bb. I asked my teacher this question (she has a masters in theory from Eastman!) and she was very surprised. We looked at some others, and some of them returned to the original key and some didn't. She didn't have a good answer for me - not her fault, since I sprung the question on her.


What a great observation and question!

Really, the convention of a piece returning to the tonic is just that--a convention.

Most rags DON'T return to the tonic. They're much more likely to end in the subdominant. That is, if the starting key is Ab, then the final key will be Db. If the starting key is Bb, then the final key will most likely be Eb. (This won't hold for those of you performing Joplin's waltzes.)

Why is that? Well, a huge influence on ragtime was the march. And marches didn't necessarily end in the same key they started. Now there was some debate as to whether one should go back to the start after the final march strain, but consider this quote:

Originally Posted By: John Philip Sousa in the "Etude" magazine, 1898

In reply to your question, "Is it proper that a two-step ending in a trio should end in a key foreign to the one it begins in," permit me to say this:

In the accepted form of compositions of march order, it was always customary to make the third part go to the subdominant, the most usual, and the dominant, the most unusual form. In my childhood in Washington I noticed that the bands parading with the regiments in nearly every instance, although the composition called for da capo, would finish playing on the last strain of the march; therefore, if it was done practically in the use of the march I could not understand why it should be done theoretically in the writing of the march. Accordingly, in composing my marches I ignored the old established rule and wrote with the idea of making the last strain of the march the musical climax, regardless of the tonality.
_________________________
Whizbang
amateur ragtime pianist

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#2187501 - 11/23/13 07:15 PM Re: Joplin technical support thread [Re: Whizbang]
Sam S Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/12/07
Posts: 1406
Loc: Georgia, USA
Thanks Whizbang - makes sense. I actually thought that maybe it should go back to the A section (da capo), but that would ruin the ending.

The other thing I noticed is that it doesn't really modulate - there's no bridge or series of modulating chords. There is a cadence in Bb at the end of the ABA, then suddenly it's in Eb at the start of the next section.

Sam

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#2187504 - 11/23/13 07:25 PM Re: Joplin technical support thread [Re: Sam S]
Whizbang Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/27/12
Posts: 735
Originally Posted By: Sam S
The other thing I noticed is that it doesn't really modulate - there's no bridge or series of modulating chords. There is a cadence in Bb at the end of the ABA, then suddenly it's in Eb at the start of the next section.


Some rags will insert an interlude between the AB sections and the trio--even then, it's sort of 'wham!' at the start of the trio. But one of the characteristics of rags is that the sections are very independent. Most rag composers didn't insert common thematic elements across the various sections.
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Whizbang
amateur ragtime pianist

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