Breedloves's Folk Songs



The “Maple Leaf Rag” is an early ragtime composition for piano 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 over one million copies. Joplin wrote the
Maple Leaf Rag circa 1897, in honor of the Maple Leaf Club, a black social club that
existed briefly during the late 1890s in Sedalia Missouri. Shortly after its completion,
Joplin told fellow ragtime composer Arthur Marshall that “the Maple Leaf will make me
King of ragtime composers. It was published in September 1899 (finally after Joplin
submitted the rag to three publishers) on sheet music by John Stark & Son, after and in its
first six months sold 75,000 copies, becoming “the first great instrumental sheet music hit
in America. Over 1 million copies of the sheet music were eventually sold, making Scott
Joplin the first musician to sell 1 million copies of a piece of instrumental music. In
addition to sales of sheet music, it was also popular in orchestrations for dance bands and
brass bands for years.

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