Ragtime, the blues, blues form, and 32-bar song form
Written for the piano, the rag was one of the most influential styles of music on early jazz. The left-hand accompaniment pattern of the rag was adopted in early stride-style jazz piano. Scott Joplin is one of the most famous rag composers.
Listen to The Entertainer by Scott Joplin. This piece has several sections. Listen specifically from 00:00 to 02:16, and consider the following questions:
1. How many sections are within this segment? Do any of those sections repeat? How would you label them if you used letters to designate each section?
2. Is there syncopation in this piece? How prevalent is syncopation in the melody? How important is the steady left-hand rhythmic pattern to our perception of syncopation in the melody?
3. Are there rhythmic/melodic figures that Joplin uses to build his melodies? How are these figures repeated and varied? Examine a brief passage a phrase or a section in as much detail as you can. Provide counter numbers. Then listen specifically to the section at 01:48-02:16. Are there differences compared to the section you chose? Is there variation in the melody?
4. Do you recognize this piece? It was made famous by the film The Sting in the 1970s.