Monday 12 April 2010

A welcome addition to my 'happy list' - Scott Joplin

I really think this deserves to be on my 'List of Things that make me Happy' (to go along with - watching animals play, stroking my 'pussies', flowers, seeing other people laugh, saki/margaritas (in moderation), Woody Allen comedies etc.
I recently bought on eBay a book of the sheet music of the complete Ragtime piano solos of Scott Joplin (including some marches and waltzes). I'm working my way through them and they really are a delight to play. Of course they aren't exactly profound - they weren't meant to be - but they are skilfully composed, with some of them having very daring and unexpected key-change lurches. I suppose a parallel music type would be trad-jazz - undemanding stuff, yes, but positively cheerful. It's difficult to listen to (or play) one of these pieces without a smile creasing one's features.
I already knew two or three of them - including the ubiquitous, but still clever. 'The Entertainer' - among them the 'Maple Leaf Rag' in a finger-friendly G major but I see that that version had been transposed down a semitone from the trickier and far more challenging Ab original, so this is how I'll be playing it from now on. Lots more delights in store. Happy music!


  1. I like your "Happy List" Ray. It is amazing what simple finds can lift our spirits.

  2. Thanks. Kyle I've added two more since you read it - and I'll doubtlessly be thinking of others to add. But I'd be very interested indeed to see written down what makes others happy too.

  3. Ray, you are on my Happy List.

  4. I can't top that one, Larry. Wish I'd thought of that idea before you. But thanks.