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Joplin

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by John Robson, Mar 6, 2009.

  1. John Robson

    John Robson New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Jolin's rags are often played too fast. In these five, I've tried to follow the tempo markings, though they are subjective since there are no metronome indications. Notice the "note" after the last piece. This same "note" is found on several of the Rags.

    Scott Joplin: The Sycamore, Tempo di Marcia
    Scott Joplin: Palm Leaf Rag, Play a little slow
    Scott Joplin: The Cascades, Tempo di Marcia
    Scott Joplin and Arthur Marshall: Swipesy, Slow
    Scott Joplin and Arthur Marshall: Lily Queen, Moderato (Note: Do not play this piece fast. It is never right to play "Ragtime" fast. Composers)

    Joplin - The Cascades ( 3:39 )
    Joplin - Lily Queen ( 4:45 )
    Joplin - Palm Leaf Rag ( 4:46 )
    Joplin - Swipesy ( 5:46 )
    Joplin - The Sycamore ( 3:47 )
     
  2. wiser_guy

    wiser_guy Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    A nice selection of Joplin pieces and I'd say you have done a fine job dealing with and playing them.

    Two points to consider.
    Swipesy Cakewalk is played way too slow. Yes, tempi may be subjective but still you have to take care not to deprive the piece of its natural drive.
    And secondly, groove. Ragtime is interesting when it's groovy. Especially when you choose to play slow, groove becomes even more important.

    I know how challenging is to tackle Joplin pieces, thanks for recording and sharing them.
     
  3. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Hi John,
    you did a very fine job here IMO. I enjoyed them a lot.

    Pantelis, what do you mean with "groove" extactly. (It´s probably just because I don´t understand the word exactly, sorry. :oops: )
     
  4. wiser_guy

    wiser_guy Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Hard to explain. You might get an idea at this link: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Groove
    Dance music (I would argue, all music) needs the groove. It's the rhythmic feel that makes you get up and dance or foot-tap or swing along. To me, it's one of the most important aspects in one's playing. After all, why do you think the guys at Wiener Philharmoniker have so much success playing Strauss' dance pieces?
     
  5. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    These are up on the site John. Good stuff, I think. But, way too slow. It is good that you take Joplin's directions at face value. However I read on Wikipedia that this should perhaps be understood in the context of the current practice at the time, when ridiculously sily speeds were the norm. Joplin was right to oppose that but I don't think he'd have wanted them so slow as this. Or maybe he did... in any case IMO they rather drag at this leasurely pace. But you are to commended on the concentration and consistency.
     
  6. John Robson

    John Robson New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks for listening. You are probably right that most people would like these rags a bit faster. They are usually played faster. I deliberately tried to follow the tempo suggestions made by Joplin. Several pieces were marked "not too fast" or "Tempi de marchi." Only one piece is marked "Slow," and that is Swipesy. It was difficult for me to play it that slowly. I almost re-recorded it at a faster tempo, but decided not to. I decided to play it that slowly to make a difference from all of the other pieces. I agree a couple of the pieces would have had that "groove" wiseguy mentioned if I had played them a little faster and with more of a lilt. I hope they didn't sound too bad to anyone.
     

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