Maple Leaf Rag

Transcription available

Level: Int/Adv     Tuning: Standard



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The Maple Leaf Rag was Scott Joplin’s first and biggest hit. This piano piece was originally published in 1899 and put ragtime music at the forefront of American popular for the next ten years or so. Ragtime music enjoyed a resurgence in popularity in the early 1970’s, through recordings of Joplin’s work by artists like Joshua Rifkin and Dick Hyman. The use of his music in the soundtrack The Sting, with the accompanying hit single “The Entertainer”, really put it in the public’s eye.

Maple Leaf Rag was one of the first ragtime piano pieces I arranged for guitar. That was back in the early 1970’s at a time when, coincidentally, like a number of other guitarists around the world, I was heavily into arranging the classic piano rags by composers like Joplin, Joseph Lamb, James Scott and others for the “six string piano”.

But after a while “the mood passed” for me. I haven’t touched any of those pieces for years. Until recently, that is. A couple of years ago I started rediscovering this music and the pleasure of playing these arrangements again. And so here I am at it again. What goes around comes around I guess.

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About Bob

... is an award winning, Canadian finger-style guitarist and the 2003 U.S. National Fingerstyle Guitar Champion. He combines an eclectic mix of contemporary finger-style guitar and traditional roots music with a warm vocal style, tilted sense of humour and down to earth stage presence to provide a refreshing performance experience for music lovers in general. Definitely not just for "guitar geeks".

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