Ragtime Composition Notes

The Flowers

A || B || C || D || E || F || G || H || I || J || K || L || M
N || O || P || Q || R || S || T || U || V || W || X || Y || Z


Radical Rag for Irwin (Paul Copeland, 2000). This rag is dedicated to Irwin Schwartz, who has enhanced the sound of Paul's MIDI files. Paul explains: "Radical Rag for Irwin" is quite classic in structure INTRO AA B A1 CC INTRO D. (The intro going to D and not the A1 repeat is perhaps a little unusual). It is also reasonably classic in rhythm -- (the right hand). But that is where the similarities end!

Rag de la arboleda (Ezequiel Pallejá, 2006). Arboleda, in spanish, means a place with many trees (woods). It is a place to rest, to think, to take a time for oneself, to contemplate. It is a place adequate to simply live. [Ezequiel Pallejá]

Rag for Maria (Rag para María) (Ezequiel Pallejá, 1999). Dedicated to my wife, with whom I have been in love since I first met her thirty years ago. [Ezequiel Pallejá]

Rag for Robin, A (Hamish Davidson, 2000). This rag was written with Robin Frost in mind, and is dedicated to him for his inspiration and guidance. Afterall, it was Frost who inspired me to take up the piano. I tried to write in the style of Robin Frost. The A section is basically the same as a fiddle tune I wrote mid-1998 titled "Fiddler in the Closet". However, I have altered a few notes to make it more pianistic. The left hand in the A section is reminiscent of Frost's "Moon Devil", and the C section uses a pattern from the intro of Frost's "Three Sheets in the Ocean, One Foot in the Sunset, and You". The pattern is simply an arpeggiated F13 chord. [Hamish Davidson]

Rag of Many Colors (William Rowland, 1987). "Rag of Many Colors" came out in 1987, dedicated to my brother-in-law Jim Fanning, who likes Ragtime. [William Rowland]

Raggin' On Home (James E. O'Briant, 1997). While browsing through an antique shop, I came across a stack of old sheet music for piano. A few of the pieces looked as if they might have some merit, and they were quite inexpensive, so I bought a few. One of these was "The Homeward March", written, copyrighted and published in 1900 by S. G. Kiesling, 1035 Gates Avenue, Brooklyn, NY. The cover shows a winter scene, with two files of mounted calvary riding down a tree-lined, snowy road. Given the copyright date of 1900, I am guessing that these were US soldiers on their way home from the Spanish-American War.

Mr. or Ms. Kiesling listed this as "Composition No. 11" ( meaning Opus 11?), and advertising inside the covers of the sheet music shows reduced-size opening pages of some more Kiesling compositions, including "Midnight Solitude", "Reverie", "Electric Light Schottische", and "Crystal Mazurka".

"The Homeward March" turned out, in my opinion, to be of dubious musical value. However, there is a little rag-like figure that recurs in the third strain, that gave me the idea to re-write this march as a rag and see what might come of it. So I did, and the result is "Raggin' On Home", my third original (or in this case, almost-original) rag. [James E. O'Briant]

Ragtime Nightingale (Joseph F. Lamb, 1915). One of all too rare descriptions of how a great rag was inspired and set about is Joe's story of how he was inspired by Scott's "Ragtime Oriole" and the concept of a bird-call rag. He didn't know what a nightingale sounded like, but took a bit from Chopin's "Revolutionary Etude" and another bit from "Nightingale Song" by Ethelbert Nevin (a nineteenth-century sentimental composer once almost as well known as Stephen Foster). Highlight comes in section A which sets a mejestic mood, largely in C minor.

Ragtime Oriole (James S. Scott, 1911). An outstanding rag which pioneered the use of bird calls in ragtime. Joseph F. Lamb was so much inspired by this concept, that he four years later wrote his "Ragtime Nightingale". "Ragtime Oriole" was published on December 10, 1911 by Stark Music Printing and Publishing Co., St. Louis, Missouri.

Ragtime Railway (Hamish Davidson, 2000). The title is appropriate because of the way I have employed train sound effects throughout the piece. Train songs are very common in the blugrass tradition. The first one that comes to mind would be the "Orange Blossom Special". At the end of the piece, you may picture a group of young 'freight hoppers' jump off the train and watch it disappear over the horizon. This rag also contains traces of James P. Johnson's Harlem stride. The "Ragtime Railway" is dedicated to my dear grandparents, John and Helen (Davidson), Evelyn and Horace (Young). Three of them play music, and still perform. Helen (dec.) was not a musician, but Jack has played the bagpipes with the Morwell Caledonian Pipe Band for over 60 years, whilst Evelyn and Horace have played keyboard instruments since a young age. Thank you for passing on such a wonderful tradition! Merry Christmas! [Hamish Davidson]

Ragtime Rendezvous (James F. Andris, 1997). I wrote the "Ragtime Rendezvous" to honor the monthly meeting at Dressel's Café in the Central West End in St. Louis, where some of the best ragtime musicians in the world congregate for sharing this lovely turn-of-the-century music and conviviality. All are welcome to play. [James F. Andris]

Ramunder Rag (Kimo Viklund, 1988). Kimo Viklund from Söderköping, Sweden wrote this rag in 1988 inspired by his meeting with Kjell Waltman earlier that year. The piece is named after a hill in Söderköping called Ramunderberget. This rag has also been arranged for brass sextet and performed by a brass band at Medevi Brunn.

Reencuentro (Ezequiel Pallejá, 2006). At the begining of 2006, I have begun to compose rags again, after a gap of several years. The reason is absolutely mysterious for me. This means a new encounter with my old ragtime friends. [Ezequiel Pallejá]

Reindeer - Rag Time Two Step (Joseph F. Lamb, 1910). One of Lamb's light cakewalk-march inspired rags. In contrast to his more serious legato rags, part of the first strain is marked to be played staccato. The tempo marking is a quarter note equals 100. The second strain has a most beautifully flowing melody.

Rhythmism (William Rowland, 1975). "Rhythmism" was written for my Dad in 1975. [William Rowland]

Roll, The (El Rollo) (Ezequiel Pallejá, 2000). This slow rag was inspired by a symbol of early ragtime: the piano roll. [Ezequiel Pallejá]

Romanza Dramatica (Brian Keenan, 1997). "Romanza Dramatica" is a Terra Verde composition, and like "Crosby Farm" it draws inspiration from South American masters like Nazareth and Lecuona; it is not an evocation of a particular scenic landscape like so many of Brian Keenan's pieces are. It's a wonderful piano work, and is also one of the composer's personal favourites.

Rufenreddy (Roy Bargy & Charley Straight, 1921). "Rufenreddy" was the first collaboration between Bargy and Straight. Charley made the first roll of it with Roy making two versions on rolls and one disc recording. Another fine disc version was done by another Toledo pianist for the Paul Whiteman orchestra, Henry Lange.

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Copyright © 1996 Oleg Mezjuev.
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