As the son of a former slave, a musical pioneer, and posthumous winner of a Pulitzer Prize, composer Scott Joplin fought a lifelong campaign to have ragtime music accepted by the American public. This instructive biography includes all-new information about Joplin’s accomplishments. Born in Texas in 1868, Joplin showed enormous musical talent at an early age. When he was 20 years old, he began to tour the Midwest, demonstrating his command of the piano. He became famous for writing and playing ragtime music, a predecessor of jazz, which features a strong syncopation in its jaunty, African-based rhythms. Before Joplin, ragtime was considered vulgar. After Joplin became one of the first black composers to publish his songs, his compositions, such as “Maple Leaf Rag,” considered a masterpiece, and “The Entertainer,” featured in the 1973 Robert Redford/Paul Newman film, The Sting, helped ragtime attain national prominence.
Full-color and black-and-white photographs. Sidebars. Chronology. Further reading and Web sites. Index.
About the Author(s)
Janet Hubbard-Brown has written numerous books for children and young adults, including Chaucer, Hernando de Soto and His Expeditions Across the Americas, and The Labonte Brothers, all for Chelsea House. She also teaches fiction, is a regular contributor to Vermont Magazine, and is a freelance editor in Fayston, Vermont.