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Scott Joplin was the talented son of an ex slave who was lucky enough to receive a classical music education. He sang and played in groups and bands in towns and cities along the banks of the Mississippi and its tributaries. Ragtime introduced a new kind of syncopation to the dances and marches of the time. It is probably not too fanciful to suppose that some of this rhythmic development crossed over from dancers to musicians. Many of these developments were taken forward a few years later into the development of Jazz and some crossed the Atlantic and were adopted by French composers such as Debussy and Satie.
Piano sheet music and player rolls were the only viable means of publishing this sort of music at the time but we know that just like Jelly Roll Morton, Scott Joplin played in bands with a range of instruments including cornets, besides the piano. So it is not too much of a stretch to imagine alternative instrumentation for these pieces. Once again we have found that the combination of steel drums and marimba bring a fresh appeal to this music with exotic New World overtones.Girls' Name Tunes in Ragtime Re-arranged and Re-recorded: AntoinetteEugeniaLeolaYou’ll find more here: Joplin Rags Dances & Marches .