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Work

Scott Joplin

Scott Joplin Composer

Sunflower Slow Drag (collab. with Hayden)   

Performances: 4
Tracks: 4
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Musicology:
  • Sunflower Slow Drag (collab. with Hayden)
    Year: 1901
    Genre: Other Keyboard
    Pr. Instrument: Piano
Scott Joplin collaborated with Hayden on another piece around this time, Felicity Rag. Most people assume that Joplin was overwhelmingly the dominant voice in these joint efforts and that judgment is probably correct based on a comparison of stylistic features. The music in Sunflower Slow Drag is full of gaiety and sunshine, having the chipper emotional character of Joplin's happiest compositions. That joyous manner might be attributed to the fact that he was then courting his first wife, Belle, whom he met through Hayden—she was his brother's widow. After a brief introductory passage, the jaunty main theme appears in all its ragtime cheer, a typical Joplin creation, especially in the way thematic phrases conclude. In the case of this one, its closing portion is remarkably close to that in the famous one from The Entertainer (1902). Moreover, the structures of the two pieces are similar (as are those in many Joplin ragtime works, of course), with big, rhythmic celebratory chords leading off the second subject in both works. Sunflower Slow Drag is certainly less encountered than The Entertainer, but this four-minute effort is an attractive piece quite deserving of the latter work's popularity.

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