The "Maple Leaf Rag" (copyright registered September 18, 1899) is an early ragtime musical composition for piano composed by Scott Joplin. It was one of Joplin's early works, and is one of the most famous of all ragtime pieces, becoming the first instrumental piece to sell more than one million copies of sheet music.
During 1916, Joplin recorded the "Maple Leaf Rag" on a piano roll with the Connorized and Aeolian Uni-Record companies, along with his other ragtime pieces - "Something Doing", "Magnetic Rag", "Ole Miss Rag" (composed by W.C. Handy), "Weeping Willow" and "Pleasant Moments - Ragtime Waltz".
"Maple Leaf Rag" is a multi-strain ragtime march with athletic bass lines and upbeat melodies. Each of the four parts features a recurring theme and a striding bass line with copious seventh chords. The piece may be considered the 'archetypal rag' due to its influence on the genre; its structure was the basis for many other famous rags, including 'Sensation' by Joseph Lamb.
It is more carefully constructed than almost all the previous rags, and the syncopations, especially in the transition between the first and second strain, were novel at the time.
Generally, the piece is not...