Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 35 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
Exclusive to OpEd News:
Life Arts    H4'ed 11/24/18

What do we know about Scott Joplin?

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages)   1 comment, In Series: Daily Inspiration
Follow Me on Twitter     Message Josh Mitteldorf
Become a Fan
  (53 fans)

Tradition says he was born 24 November 1868, so he would have been just 150 years old today. The son of a newly-freed Texas slave, how did he learn what he learned about music?

Anecdotes relate that the young Scott Joplin gained access to a piano in a white-owned home where his mother worked, and taught himself the rudiments of music. In support of this story, we note its reflection in details of Treemonisha, an opera that Joplin published in 1911.

In 1896, it appears that he attended music classes at George R. Smith College in Sedalia,MO. Since the college and its records were destroyed in a fire in 1925, we have no evidence of the extent of Joplin's studies, but anecdotes suggest that until the end of the 1890s he still lacked complete mastery of music notation.

-- from Ed Berlin's brief biography

Joplin wanted to compose opera. His 1901 opera, A Guest of Honor, was about Booker T Washington's invitation to the White House. The topic was too hot to handle in that era, and Joplin could not find a publisher. He took it on tour, hiring a company of his own, but the box office proceeds were stolen, he couldn't pay the cast's hotel bill, and the hotel manager confiscated everything, including the score. The score was never seen again by Joplin or anyone.

His only published opera was Treemonisha, six years later.

Rate It | View Ratings

Josh Mitteldorf Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Josh Mitteldorf, de-platformed senior editor at OpEdNews, blogs on aging at Read how to stay young at
Educated to be an astrophysicist, he has branched out from there (more...)

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Follow Me on Twitter     Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Twitter Bans The Donald

Cold Fusion: Tangible Hope in an Age of Despair

Artificial Earthquakes

New Scientific Study: Smoking Gun Evidence of 9/11 Explosives in WTC Dust

PayPal cuts off Bradley Manning Legal Defense; Backs Off under Grass Roots Pressure

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend