Joplin, Scott Bethena – A Concert Waltz sheet music for Piano – The other was Scott Joplin – the 19th Century composer probably I first heard his music, when she used to play his beautiful waltz, Bethena. I am simply not that well-versed in musical notation to understand the nuances intended by a master such as Scott Joplin. Still, I felt a need to at least do this one .

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I played the piano for years, but was never really good, only competent. I played watered down versions of the classics for my piano lessons, but left to my own devices, there were two composers I loved and wanted to master — one was Eric Satie, whose Gymnopedies I staggered through for my GCSE music exam.

The other was Scott Joplin — the 19 th Century composer probably known best for ragtime melodies like The Entertainerwhich featured in the film The Sting.

I was defeated by the key signatures and great two-octave leaps of the left hand. But my mum could play really well, and it was through her, that I first heard his music, when sott used to play his beautiful waltz, Bethena.


Scott Joplin – Bethena – A Concert Waltz sheet music for Piano

Bethena is such a brilliant and sorrowful piece of music — the main theme is a haunting, syncopated melody, accentuated by the deep oom-pah-pah bass line. You can hear it here. Joplin wrote it after his second wife, Freddie Alexander, died.

By that time, Joplin had already suffered the death of a child from his first marriage. Freddie was only nineteen when they wed, but died ten weeks after their wedding of pneumonia.

Although Joplin had at one time made money from the publication of Maple Leaf Rag probably his most famous bsthena —very difficult to play! Only now is it considered to be one of his best compositions — music that showed he was both a ragtime composer and a classical composer, which is what he wanted to be. Ragtime, though technically difficult, was never taken seriously by critics. What a life Scott Joplin had — he grew up poor in a large family in Texas, taught himself the rudiments of piano in the house of the white woman his mother worked for, became a rail-road labourer, a travelling musician, a pianist in bethenna red-light districts before settling in Sedalia, Missouri.


Bethena – Wikipedia

As a child, I remember reading — or think I remember — that Joplin had died in an asylum of a broken heart when his opera, Treemonisha, was not given any attention. Set on a slave plantation near where Joplin grew up, the plot focuses on an 18 year old black woman, Treemonisha, scot leads her community towards salvation, through education. The score of Treemonisha was lost, and not rediscovered until the s, when it was put on in New York. Again, although known as a ragtime opera, it draws on a whole range of American musical idioms — black folk songs, pre-blues music, spirituals, classical music and ragtime.

Biographers think Joplin wrote behena for Freddie Alexander.

Bethena, memory and Scott Joplin

Joplin was 49 when he died. He died on April 1 st This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this website, you agree to their use.

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