Plural Sax

Sax Sextets

A Bundle of Rags

Scott Joplin, arr. Ben Tordoff


A collection of three rags from the "King of Ragtime" at the height of his reign. Featuring the early but well known and loved "Maple Leaf Rag" (1899), the later and more relaxed "Elite Syncopations" (1902) and revisiting the style of Maple Leaf in the trickier "Gladiolus Rag" (1907).

Scott Joplin himself is said to have claimed that Maple Leaf Rag was going to make him "King of Ragtime Composers" and it was both the first of his compositions to reach a wide audience and went on to be his most enduring hit. Its sales provided him with a steady income for years to come, and to this day the title of "King of Ragtime" has stuck. He went on to write dozens of ragtime and other dances in his bid to elevate the music he loved from its saloon-bar roots into popular awareness. He returned to Maple Leaf rag in later years developing it into the more refined Gladiolus Rag which is also included here. Elite Syncopations is notable both for being one of the few remaining recordings of Joplin playing (as a piano roll) but also being used as the title work for the 1974 ballet "Elite Syncopations" by the Royal Ballet.

The rags in this bundle can also be downloaded individually here: Maple Leaf Rag, Elite Syncopations, Gladiolus Rag.

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© 2020 Ben Tordoff

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