Maple Leaf Rag (1899)
Scott Joplin (1867/8 – 1917)
SATB Saxophone Quartet
Maple Leaf Rag by Scott Joplin, arranged for SATB saxophone quartet. The Maple Leaf Rag (original copyright registered on September 18, 1899) is a ragtime composition by Scott Joplin. It was one of his earliest published works. It became the model for rags by later composers. The Maple Leaf Rag is one of the most famous of all ragtime titles. It earned Joplin the title “King of Ragtime”. None of Joplin’s other famous rags like “The Entertainer” or “Ragtime Dance” were quite as successful as the Maple Leaf Rag. However, rhe royalties earned by sheet music sales did provide Joplin with a steady income for the rest of his life..
This arrangement of The Maple Leaf Rag is is for SATB saxophone quartet and is in the original key.
- The range for each saxophone part is shown below.
- Score and audio excerpts are available above.
- Registered users may download a complete sample score and full length audio file of The Ragtime Dance by Scott Joplin.
About the Composer
Scott Joplin (November 24, 1868 – April 1, 1917). American composer and pianist.
Scott Joplin was “the King of Ragtime Writers”. He was a composer who elevated lowly entertainment associated with saloons and brothels into an American art form. Born in Texas in 1867 or 1868, Joplin was raised in Texarkana, the son of a laborer and former slave. As a child, Joplin taught himself piano on an instrument belonging to a white family that allowed him access to it. Later he studied with a German-born teacher who introduced him to classical music. Joplin attended high school in Sedalia, MO, a town that would serve as Joplin’s home base during his most prosperous years, and where a museum now bears his name.
In 1899, publisher John Stark of Sedalia issued Joplin’s second ragtime composition, “Maple Leaf Rag.” Although it wasn’t immediately a hit, after a few years the popularity of “Maple Leaf Rag” was so enormous that it made Joplin’s name; and Joplin earned a small percentage of income from it for the rest of his life. Joplin moved to St. Louis in 1901. There he wrote many of the other rags he is known for during this time, including “The Entertainer,” “The Easy Winners,” and “Elite Syncopations.”
From 1911 until his death in 1917 most of Joplin’s efforts went into his opera, Treemonishia, which he heard in concert but never managed to stage during his lifetime. Joplin formed his own music company and published his final piano rag, “Magnetic Rag” (1914), one of his best. By this time, debilitating, long-term effects of syphilis were beginning to break down Joplin’s health.
“Maple Leaf Rag” remained a constant in popular music throughout the Jazz Age, but the better part of Joplin’s work remained unknown until the “ragtime revival” of the early ’70s, when “Scott Joplin” became a household name. Houston Grand Opera even staged his opera “Treemonishia” .
Joplin died convinced that he had failed to achieve success as an African-American composer of serious music. Today, he would be astounded to learn that he is one of the most successful African-American composer of serious music that ever lived. Some of his works have been recorded hundreds of times and arranged for practically every conceivable instrumental combination, played by everything from symphony orchestras to ice cream trucks – even saxophone quartets..