Ragtime Composition Notes

The Flowers

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Jim Jams (Roy Bargy, 1922). "Jim Jams" is another Bargy gem. An unusual feature here is the left hand in the B section which starts chord-octave, chord-octave instead of the usual octave-chord, octave-chord, thus adding the effect of more syncopation to an already thoroughly syncopated work.

Joyeux Nègres - Cake-Walk (Rodolphe Berger, 1903). An early French cakewalk by Rodolphe Berger. He was born in 1864 in Paris and died on July 18, 1916 in Barcelona. He composed many waltzes, which made him famous during his lifetime ("Le Roi de la Valse", as his publishers called him). "Joyeux Nègres" was published in 1903 when John Philip Sousa toured Europe and the piece is dedicated to him. Sousa was very popular in Europe and obviously the main influence why early syncopated popular music was written by Europeans during that period (e.g. "Coon's Birthday" (1903) by Paul Lincke (Germany), "Nigger Wedding" (1903) by Robert Vollstedt (Germany), "Le Piccadilly" (1904) by Erik Satie (France), etc.). Even Claude Debussy watched at least one of Sousa's European concerts and wrote a critical report about it in 1903.

JSB - It's a Rag! (Oskar Janner, 2010). JSB, composed in 2010, is a riddle - the dedication is a part of the riddle. You'll get the answer by playing or listening to the rag. [Oscar Janner]

Justin-Tyme (Roy Bargy, 1922). "Justin-Tyme" was one of eight syncopated novelties published by Sam Fox Publishing Company during 1921-22. It is curious that Bargy made the piano rolls of these pieces in 1919-20, before copyrighting them.

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Copyright © 1996 Oleg Mezjuev.
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