On the sheet music of several rags Scott Joplin had printed “NOTICE! Don’t play this piece fast. It is never right to play Ragtime fast – Author.”

To which he might have added “It is not necessary to wear shoes and socks when playing Ragtime; and if you have a ponytail and a beard that’s OK too.”

Scott Joplin died of syphilis in 1917.

A vastly underrated composer.

Try Schenkerian analysis on this piece (as I did when I was 20 before I realised it was complete bollocks) and you will very soon run into trouble. If there are any young music students reading this, tell your teachers “Fuck Schenker!”.

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