Scott Joplin, ‘King of Ragtime,’ Born This Day in 1868, Leaves Lasting Legacy in American Music

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Library of Congress[1], Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
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Scott Joplin was born on November 24, 1868. He emerged as an influential figure in music history, leaving an indelible mark as the “King of Ragtime.”

His innovative compositions and piano skills transformed the musical landscape of his time. Joplin’s legacy resides in his pioneering work in ragtime music, infusing melodic sophistication into his compositions, which is known in his famous piece “Maple Leaf Rag.”

He elevated ragtime from its regional origins to a national craze, becoming a defining voice in American history.

Flowers lie on top of the simple bronze plaque at the grave of ragtime composer Scott Joplin, who died in 1917, in a cemetery in the Queens borough of New York October 3, 1974. The plaque was placed on the grave that for years went unnoticed and unattended. (AP Photo/Ron Frehm)

Scott Joplin died in 1917 at 48 years old. His legacy endures as a cornerstone of early American musical innovation.


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