Sheet Music: Original Rags

TitleOriginal Rags
ComposerScott Joplin (1867–1917)
InstrumentationFlute solo
KeyG major
Time signature2/4
Tempo88 BPM
Performance time4:45
Difficulty levelintermediate
Download printable scorePDF Sheet Music (88 kB) (preview)
Download audio tracksMIDI (change tempo/key) MP3 (2.3 MB)
Date added2009-08-14
Last updated2009-08-14
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Saturday 15 August 2009

Tune of the Day: Original Rags

Early piano Ragtime by Scott Joplin

“Original Rags” was the first of Scott Joplin's rags to appear in print, in early 1899, preceding his “Maple Leaf Rag” by half a year.

The original cover page showed an old man picking up rags in front of a ramshackle cabin, and has been interpreted as a double pun, first on the activities of a rag (or junk) picker, and second on a slang term for ragtime, “picking the piano”. The piece was given the following credits: “Picked By Scott Joplin, Arranged By Chas. N. Daniels”. However, it is not known whether Charles N. Daniels actually arranged the piece, or merely transcribed it.

The rag is mostly in G major, except for the third section, which is in C major, and the fifth section (marked “Brilliant” in the sheet music), which is in D major.