Ragtime Composition Notes

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Back in Buenos Aires (De vuelta en Buenos Aires) (Ezequiel Pallejá, 2001). This, for me, represents the end of my short trips. Buenos Aires is home. [Ezequiel Pallejá]

Barwick Apartments Romp, The (James F. Andris, 1994). "The Barwick Apartments Romp" describes an apartment building in the Central West End where I lived for 13 years as it was during the 1904 World's Fair. You can hear the excitement of a late spring day in the city. [James F. Andris]

Behave Yourself (Roy Bargy, 1922). "Behave Yourself" was part of eight syncopated novelties by Roy Bargy published by Sam Fox Publishing Company during 1921-22.

Belle of Louisville (Frank French, 1990). "Belle of Louisville" follows the classic four-strain ragtime form. Named for the Steamship docked in Louisville, it concocts the driving rhythm of paddle wheels and the sounds of the rural heartland. [Frank French]

Big Man, The (Tom McDermott, 1990). This piece by the New Orleans composer and pianist Tom McDermott is a good example of the new musical style called Terra Verde. Tom wrote it in 1990 and dedicated it to his friend, David Thomas Roberts. "The Big Man" has been recorded on three CDs, Early Tangos to New Ragtime (© 1995, PianoMania), All the Keys & Then Some (© 1996, STD Digital Records) and Terra Verde (© 1996, Pinelands Recordings).

Bobby Jazz (Robert Stolz, 1919). Robert Stolz was a very famous Austrian composer of operettas and songs. He was born on August 25, 1880 in Graz, Austria and died on June 27, 1975 in Berlin, Germany. He wrote ca 60 operettas and many songs (e.g. "Zwei Herzen im Dreivierteltakt", "Im Prater blueh'n wieder die Baeume", etc. - songs of a genre generally known as "Wiener Lieder"). He also wrote songs in other styles and composed piano solos. His total output comprises over 1000 titles. Robert Stolz also composed some pieces in the "rag-like" (foxtrot) genre. "Bobby Jazz" from 1919 was his Opus 338.

Boldness - Op. 71 (Christoph Schmetterer, 2001). "Boldness" (op. 71) is one of my most ambitious rags. I tried to compose a rag within the traditional form of a Viennese waltz (like the "Blue Danube" waltz by Johann Strauss jr.). Therefore the rag starts with a harmonically interesting "Maestoso" introduction that uses the motif of the first strain. This introduction is followed by a faster stretta, which creates tension. Thereafter the rag itself begins. The A-strain (G-major) consists of 8 measures, but it has a harmonically interesting beginning. The B-strain (16 measures) is a variation of the A-strain in the key of Eb major. After a short transition the A-strain is played again. Another short transition modulates from G-major to C-major, the key of the C-strain. This strain has the rather unusual length of 20 measures. The Coda starts after the repetition of the C-strain. It starts with a variation of the C-strain in minor tonality, which leads to a recapitulation of the A-strain. This recapitulation leads into a dramatic finale. [Christoph Schmetterer]

Brise Argentine - Ragtime. - Two Step. - Tango. (Sigurd Carlson, 1913). "Brise Argentine" was published in August 1913 by Dahlströms musikförlag, Stockholm, and printed in Leipzig, Germany. The subtitle is a little bit confusing - there is no tango whatsoever in this composition! Perhaps it indicates that tango could be danced to this music, which sounds more like a slightly syncopated two-step, rather than a tango or even a rag.

Bug's Ear (William Rowland, 1975). "Bug's Ear", from 1975, was composed for my then-five-year-old daughter, Lynn. [William Rowland]

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Copyright © 1996 Oleg Mezjuev.
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