Many Musics of America

Scott Joplin’s Ragtime


In this lecture recital, distinguished performer and scholar, Marilyn Nonken, performs and speaks to the music of Scott Joplin (1868-1917) and his collaborators Scott Hayden (1882-1915), Arthur Marshall (1881-1968), and Louis Chauvin (1882-1908).

These early-twentieth-century American artists formed a tightly-knit community, orbiting Joplin in their mutual roles as performers and composers, teachers, students, classmates, and kinfolk. Together, they created a soundworld merging urban and rural vocabularies, a ragtime music exploiting a rich harmonic, melodic, textural, and cultural vocabulary. Yet a critical ear towards their musical collaborations allows today’s audiences to recognize the diverse voices of each, distinguished by their individual approaches to expressive timing and form, sonority, and virtuosity.