’Joplin did for the rag what Chopin did for the mazurka’ – it almost seems unnecessary to introduce the "King of Ragtime Writers", Scott Joplin. During his brief career the African-American composer and pianist wrote 44 original ragtime pieces, one ragtime ballet, and two operas. One of his first pieces, the "Maple Leaf Rag", became ragtime's first and most influential hit, and has been recognized as the archetypal rag.
As a composer Joplin refined ragtime, elevating it above the low and unrefined form that lived in popular imagination. Joplin's ragtime expressed the intensity and energy of a modern urban America and rejuvenated American popular music. His work paved the way for the recognition of future African-American musicians and music styles, such as novelty piano and jazz.
As part of the Mixed Bag series, Roger Cawkwell has arranged two Joplin rags for Woodwind ensemble.