99 Comments

🎼🎹—THE—🎹—LAST—🎹—RAG—🎹🎵🎶


﴾THE LAST RAG﴿
by SoundEagle in 疾風知勁草

SoundEagle in 疾風知勁草

🎼🎹—THE—🎹—LAST—🎹—RAG—🎹

🎼 🎵 🎹🎹🎹🎹 🎶 🦅

SoundEagle in Playing Music on Keyboard

The Last Rag

The Last Virtue is empty like a hall
The Last Romance shunts lovers
The Last Work is never done at all
The Last Square has no corners
The Last Smile is a lifetime before
The Last Shout comes from whispers
The Last Memory is beyond recall
The Last Rag echoes the golden eras

🎼 🎵 🎹🎹🎹🎹 🎶 🦅

1996 Original Edition

2010 Special Edition

Composed by SoundEagle🦅, The Last Rag comes in two versions as shown above: the 1996 Original Edition and the 2010 Special Edition.

The Last Rag can be performed or listened to as a self-contained work, though it is also the middle movement of the three-movement Second Piano Sonata entitled “The Time Beyond”.

The Last Rag was first performed by Professor Stephen Emmerson in a music recital at the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University (formerly the Queensland Conservatorium of Music) in 1996, and was performed by David Pitman who played the Second Piano SonataThe Time Beyond” on 9 October 1997 at the New Music Collective Concert held in the Recital Hall of Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University featuring SoundEagle🦅’s various compositions.

The Second Piano SonataThe Time Beyond” (to which The Last Rag belongs) was also one of the major pieces featured at David Pitman’s final piano examination required for his Master’s Degree in Performance. The Last Rag was played by Professor Stephen Emmerson and recorded in the Orchestral Hall at Queensland Conservatorium by Daniel Fournier who, along with Peter Laughton, mastered all the edited tracks onto the CD entitled “The Rag Project” and released in 1998. More than a decade later, it had been fondly studied and played by Connie Stamatopoulou in 2009 and 2010.

The Last Rag had also been featured at least once on radio (in the vicinity of 2000 as the precise date is beyond recall) in one of the programmes hosted by Julian Day, an artist, composer and broadcaster who used to present the long-running experimental music programme called “New Music Up Late” as well as “Classic Breakfast and Afternoons” on ABC Classic FM.

The 2010 Special Edition of The Last Rag continues the salient features of the 1996 Original Edition further, including melodic angularity and atonality, contrapuntal textures, motivic extensions, thematic superpositions, harmonic piquancy, chromaticism, suspended tones, nuanced sonorities and dynamic expressiveness. Due to full-time filial commitments, both the score and the recording of the 2010 Special Edition are only just published by SoundEagle🦅 here in 2020.

Regardless of the degree to which the resulting composition may be regarded as an appropriation, reimagination or reinterpretation of classic Ragtime, The Last Rag has patently honoured the well-established tradition and true spirit of Ragtime in the process of sticking fairly closely to, whilst also deviating inventively from, the musical form of Ragtime. As the accompanying poem indicates, apart from conveying certain personal and philosophical messages, The Last Rag also serves as a meta-commentary or meta-narrative to Ragtime as a century-old genre, evoking nostalgia and contemplation, as well as simultaneously reflecting, acknowledging and transcending the eras and heritages of Ragtime and related genres. Overall, SoundEagle🦅 has sought greater freedom, unity, sophistication and expressiveness in The Last Rag to reach beyond the stereotype and confined scope of this unique genre whilst exploring innovative techniques to decisively push the envelope of the Ragtime vernacular and its vocabularies.

Those who have performed, orchestrated or analysed The Last Rag to a high standard are welcome to contact SoundEagle🦅 for the possibility of their work being featured.

Presented below is a list of the major components created and assembled by SoundEagle🦅 for this multimedia post. Clicking any of the listed items below will initiate an instantaneous jump to the corresponding section in 🎼🎹—THE—🎹—LAST—🎹—RAG—🎹🎵🎶.

SoundEagle Logos, News, Musical Events, Publications, Syndications and Teatime

The Last Rag
Music Videos

Read the scores whose pages have been synchronized to the music.
Switch each YouTube player to full screen for best viewing.

🎼🎹—THE—🎹—LAST—🎹—RAG—🎹

SoundEagle Logos, News, Musical Events, Publications, Syndications and Teatime

The Last Rag
Music Scores

Click any of the 12 images below to reveal and comment on the enlarged music scores displayed in a full-size carousel view.

Ragtime Encyclopaedia
🎼 🎵 🎹🎹🎹🎹 🎶 🦅

Visit the post entitled 🦅 SoundEagle in Art, Music and Ragtime 🎵🎹🎶 for a detailed, encyclopaedic discussion of the unique musical genre known as Ragtime.

99 comments on “🎼🎹—THE—🎹—LAST—🎹—RAG—🎹🎵🎶

  1. […] the post entitled The Last Rag 🎵🎹🎶 to read and comment on the music […]

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Brilliant composition of words. Awesome.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Wow!
    I love it.
    Nice lines.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Good easy listening started my morning off right. Thank you.

    Pat

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Warmest blessings, dear one.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. The first half sounded like an eccentric pianist going mad in an empty hall. Then out of the corner of his eye he catches a lone spectator, one who walked in and his depression lifted as his audience of one listened on. Nicely done. You have many talents sir.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Dear Jim

      Hi there! Thank you for your visit and comment. As can be seen, your Gravatar has time and again changed from a bird of some sort (your avian representation) to a human (presumably yourself) and vice versa. What has been driving those changes?

      Going by your description of the scenario, it seems that you have intuitively sensed or perceived madness, eccentricity and depression in the first theme of the music, which is characterized by melodic angularity and atonality as well as the minor tonality. Needless to say, the second theme (or thematic group) is more upbeat, being also in the major tonality. Your imaginative interpretation of the music has indeed given rise to a plausible storyline that is believable to, and aligned with, both your aesthetic and atheistic sensibilities.

      SoundEagle🦅 is pleased to inform you that since your last visit, this post has been dramatically improved and extended with several stylish animations as well as a detailed explanation of the provenance of the musical composition, which can now be enjoyed and studied in multiple formats available to you as the audio playbacks, the video captures of score with music, and the gallery of score sheets.

      Do you play one or more musical instruments, Jim?

      Liked by 2 people

      • I do play the guitar and drums (drum now days) and prefer more primitive forms of music lately. I have been forever intrigued with Native American song and rhythms, considering that home for now. My favorite is the Panama Tambor (I have two) that were handmade as gifts for me. Good vibes in the rhythm of of my universe.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Dear Jim

        SoundEagle🦅 looks forward to your publishing a new post demonstrating your musical preferences and your skillful deployment of those musical instruments that you mentioned. When the said post is published, please kindly leave a comment here to prompt me to visit and peruse your post.

        Liked by 2 people

      • There’s a possibility of that. I forgot to answer your other question. The wild turkeys are my normal avatar, but I was recently reminiscing on lockdown and could use a little pick me up. The girls will be back in due time.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Dear Jim

        Thank you for sharing a photo showing you and your daughter sitting on a hammock and playing the two Panama Tambors. When the girls return, you will no longer be a solo act but an ensemble. SoundEagle🦅 awaits learning more about your domestic music making in one of your new posts! According to Wikipedia:

        El Tamborito, literally translated to “the Little Drum”, is a genre of Panamanian folkloric music and dance dating back as early as the 17th century. The Tamborito is the national song and dance of Panama. The dance is a romantic, couple’s dance, often involving a small percussion ensemble, and in all versions; a female chorus. The Tamborito is performed in formal costumes in front of large, interactive crowds that form a large circle around the performers. The members of such crowds often participate in the percussion of the song as well as the actual dance itself. The Tamborito is most commonly performed during Panamanian festivals, and in particular, the Panama Carnival.

        By the way, is the wild turkey your favourite species of bird, Jim? Do you have wild turkeys where you live at Agua Buena, Panama? Here we have the bush turkeys, and they like to scratch the earth. It is the male turkey that cares for the eggs incubating in a large mound.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Here was a local gathering at my place in Agua Buena Tonosi Panama (there’s two Agua buena’s) There are a few pics of me and a local accordionista, Pacifico Dominguez, then the video is typico of the party outside the party in Panama. Ojer is playing my drum (which is only fair since he mentored me in making it. https://panamaminute.wordpress.com/
        The turkeys are wild. They make fun neighbors.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Dear Jim

        SoundEagle🦅 has recently been to your blog and noticed that you have been busy with commenting and have also defended your position very well in some of your replies. May you continue to keep up the good work!

        Have the girls returned to join you in the joyous and collective endeavour of making music? Perhaps your next musical composition can be titled as The Panama Rag or The Panama Minute Rag, though the latter could mean that you and the girls would only need to perform your composition for 60 seconds. Of course, you could repeat it many times, each with different variation(s) or some predetermined parameter(s).

        Given that Earth Day falls on the 22nd of April, did you have a chance to celebrate it in any manner with or without music? SoundEagle🦅 has indeed taken the opportunity to improve and update the expansive multimedia post about Earth Day. It is entitled 🦅 SoundEagle in Earth Day 🌍🌎🌏, which you are invited to visit, for it might inspire you to write your own Earth Day Rag!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Very different and it took a bit for me to settle in to really listen to this composition. When I saw the score I said, “Oh wow!” This piece is a rendition of extreme talent and many years of study combined. Well done! I really enjoyed this piece!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Amy

      Welcome to your very first experience with SoundEagle🦅’s blog post! Thank you for your compliment.

      Since your last visit, this post has been dramatically improved and extended with several stylish animations as well as a detailed explanation of the provenance of the musical composition. May you find the new additions both gratifying and edifying!

      By the way, do you play the piano and any other musical instrument? What kind of musical genres do you generally prefer to play or listen to?

      Liked by 2 people

      • OK! I’m now on this comment, Sound Eagle. I have to admit, I am ignorant regarding the intricacies of music. No I do not play an instrument, thus the reason for my ignorance. My instrument of choice is my camera. I make magic through that means. Your explanation of the improvements on your piece I’m so sorry to say is way over my head, and for this I do apologize. I understand your enthusiasm to share something you love so much, for that is the exact feeling I have when it comes to my photography. Photography is my passion as music is yours. Thus we can share one another’s passions through our blogs. I love listening to any kind of music that stirs my soul …. Classical, soft rock, easy listening, piano and violin solos, some opera. I usually have music playing around the clock in my home.
        I do look forward to your oncoming posts! Perhaps I will learn through you aspects of music I honestly don’t know. Have yourself a great day today!! xo

        Liked by 2 people

      • Dear Amy

        There is indeed a good parallel between us, insofar as music is a sonic canvas or landscape, whereas photography is a visual one just as rich in compositional potential. To that extent, and in recognition of your fondness for “Classical, soft rock, easy listening, piano and violin solo”, SoundEagle🦅 would like to cordially invite you to savour the beautiful music in the post entitled 🦅 SoundEagle in SoundCloud: Art, Music and Compositions about New Sensations, Love, Life, Country, Nature, Dreaming, Meditation and Spirituality 🏞🎼🎶.

        The said post contains the aesthetic and philosophical rationales behind some of those original musical compositions, including the revealing discussion between SoundEagle🦅 and SeaTurtle🐢. May certain musical compositions of SoundEagle🦅 there inspire your photography!

        Liked by 2 people

      • I just came back from your site, Sound Eagle, and yes I must agree that there is a solid parallel between your music and my photography. Both are ethereal. Both are spiritual. Both are emotion.

        And as I said on your site, I am bookmarking it so I can go to it while I am in my darkroom. Thank you so much!!

        Liked by 2 people

  8. Another testament to your diverse creative talents. Of the two versions of The Last Rag, I preferred the one from 2010, for reasons I can’t fully explain. I liked the butterfly animations, particularly the first, which gives a good impression of a swarm of migrating butterflies. Altogether, a highly aesthetic and meticulously produced post.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I like the improved animations; the one associated with the poll is my favourite among these. Altogether, a great effort!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I just loved both the compositions. I must say that both the pieces of music were so mellifluous that they definitely quietened my frayed nerves. Music after all is both magical and unifying.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. I love musics and words like this, always a good thing to listen to very early in the morning.

    This is so brilliant. Is there a way I can download it? (The music)

    Liked by 3 people

  12. Thank you for sharing this SoundEagle … Music can be such a powerful force in our world … and you have put a lot of work into what is here, sharing it with us. On my site http://www.ourbetterhealth.org , I have a few articles about how music can influence our well – being … feel free to have a look when you have a chance : )
    https://ourbetterhealth.org/?s=music

    Liked by 3 people

  13. Mesmerizing no words to describe it excellent job keep up the good work

    Liked by 3 people

  14. Hello SoundEagle. I know little to nothing about music but I like the 1996 edition better. To me it sounded softer and less jaring. Again music is not my thing so take my comment with a grain of salt. How long have you been playing? Hugs

    Liked by 4 people

  15. Hello SoundEagle! it’s been a long time! I’m glad to see you again!
    I’d choose the first [1996] but then it might also be because I heard that one first… still, I prefer it! Beautiful beautiful work, my dear friend! 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  16. Very fine. I still mourn the demise of the ragtime era. I can’t follow all the changes, but it’s quite a piece.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Dear Bumba

      Greetings, Mr Stephen Baum! Please be informed that your very first comment submitted to the first post through which you have availed yourself of a visit to SoundEagle🦅’s blog is a delight to read. Welcome!

      If you do have a preference for the 1996 Original Edition over the 2010 Special Edition, or vice versa, please feel free to register your preference using The Last Rag Poll provided in the post, where you can also view the polling results.

      Considering that you are an avid writer and amateur musician who have found The Last Rag to be “Very fine” and “quite a piece”, please kindly humour or enlighten SoundEagle🦅 as to why you “can’t follow all the changes” due to whatever issues you have encountered in the notated compositions and/or the recordings. As a curious and engaging creature, SoundEagle🦅 would like to thank you in anticipation. Looking forward to your revelation or insight!

      Lastly, but not the least, SoundEagle🦅 is pleased with being able to resurrect our connection with, and stoke our nostalgia for, the good old days of the Ragtime era with a commemorative piece for the century-old genre that we still love.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Greetings Sound Eagle,

        I’ll listen to the two versions. What I mean re following chord changes is that my current understanding is limited to simple diatonic chords – which makes ragtime comprehensible to me. And I love the ragtime songs and the early jazz. As for my familiarity with the old music, I’m just an old guy.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Dear Bumba

        How did you fare in your listening? Have you decided on which version of The Last Rag is your preferred one in order to cast your vote using The Last Rag Poll?

        In any case, you are very welcome to use or treat The Last Rag as your new medium or platform for launching your very first serious foray into chromaticism, which is in contrast or addition to diatonicism and modality.

        Liked by 1 person

  17. […] You can read about this, and listen to a couple of samples, at his blog. […]

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Wow just reading through your works from your website and wow 🤩 came to mind what a marvel you have created amazing 😉 x

    Liked by 4 people

  19. I never stop being amazed at your creativity: music, art, language — whatever the medium, you produce beauty.
    Thank you for sharing the planet with me.
    🙂
    Bob

    Liked by 3 people

    • Dear Dr Bob Rich

      Thank you, godfather, for granting your final seal of approval in situ to The Last Rag with your very own personal feedback in addition to approving and featuring The Last Rag on your very informative monthly newsletter entitled “Bobbing Around Volume 19 Number 11” as follows:

      Modern piano music can sound lovely

      I dislike most modern classical music, because I like melody, harmony and rhythm instead of what sound to me like tortured musical instruments. My dear friend in Queensland, “Sound Eagle,” has written lovely sounds for the piano, and has had his compositions preformed at concerts.

      You can read about this, and listen to a couple of samples, at his blog.
      Click here to see Dr Bob Rich featuring the banner used by SoundEagle for The Last Rag.

      Producing “lovely sounds for the piano”, which version of The Last Rag appeals to you more? You are also very welcome to cast your vote for your preferred version using The Last Rag Poll provided in the post.

      SoundEagle🦅 is very pleased and honoured to have had the opportunity to share the planet with you through such interaction as the one we are having now. Anticipating future ones to be even more satisfying, should you indeed “never stop being amazed at your [godson’s] creativity: music, art, language — whatever the medium”!

      Lastly, but not the least, your monthly newsletter entitled “Bobbing Around” is so rich in content that maintaining it month after month will keep you mentally young and supple for a very long time. You have indeed kept up the good work, so much so that the newsletter almost gives the impression that you are running a whole club, society or community!

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Thank you for the compliments, Sound Eagle. Actually, I am a rather slow copy of what I used to be, but then tomorrow is my 77.25th birthday.
    I like both versions of your Rag Time. If I must choose, it’s the newer one, but why not keep both?
    🙂
    Bob

    Liked by 3 people

    • Dear Dr Bob Rich

      Thank you for revealing that you prefer the 2010 Special Edition to the 1996 Original Edition of The Last Rag. Happy 77¼th birthday to you very soon! 🎂

      Wondering whether self-deprecating or self-confessed aging has got the better of you, SoundEagle🦅 understands you better and appreciates you even more after reading the following posts at LUCK-IT.net:

      Particularly noteworthy are four passages from the first post, reproduced by SoundEagle🦅 as follows:

      Dr Bob Rich was born in Hungary then shoved past the ‘Iron Curtain’ as a child in the 1950s and ended up living in Australia. He’s since tried to be an Olympic distance runner, become a nurse, gotten a PHD in Psychology and is presently an author. We asked him for his thoughts on being older than 70.

      I’ve never worried about status. As a young man, I realised that wealth can cost more than it’s worth. This is one of the things I’ve described in my novel, “Ascending Spiral”. It’s a good day when I learn something new: I am a learning addict. Romance? My wife would be VERY upset with me. Every day is a birthday. There is only NOW. The past is history, the future is a mystery. I give you a PRESENT.

      Before or after 70, realise that life has meaning. We are here as students: caterpillars munching on the green leaves of experience, until we graduate as butterflies. That’s when we learn the ultimate Lesson, which has been revealed by Confucius, the Buddha, Jesus, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, and lots of others. Read Corinthians 13. Whether we realise it or not, all of us are apprentice Buddhas.

      Bob believes the planet is in its 6th major extinction event and is presently working to reduce and delay disaster while simultaneously promoting compassion, decency and cooperation through fiction.

      SoundEagle🦅 considers you to have graduated as a butterfly — a blue one if you do not mind.

      🎼 🎵 🎹 🎶 🦅

      Since you clearly champion living in the “PRESENT”, there is a highly pertinent and elaborate post entitled 🦅 SoundEagle in Best Moment Award from Moment Matters 🔖🏆 awaiting your thorough perusal to wade through its multipronged analyses and multidisciplinary discussions about mindfulness and being in the here and now, plus other related matters and far-reaching implications. Happy reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Global Temperature Jazz – Paris Climate Accord Into the Twenties

    Liked by 3 people

  22. As a former trombonist who majored in Applied music in college, I recognize from the bass lines alone that all three versions are most difficult compositions to play under pressure for a Masters Degree Recital.

    Liked by 3 people

  23. I don’t believe I voted correctly. I was messaged that my response would be spammed!🤔Help!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Nevertheless, I will take the poll again. After listening to your piano compositions, I enjoyed the 2nd and 4th which were not allegro but andante. I do love piano music because it speaks to my heart. It is indeed a pleasure meeting you, Sound Eagle, now I can experience more of your amazing talent. ❤️❤️🌺🌺❤️❤️

    Liked by 2 people

  25. I have given my honest feedback. I have a question.. why is your music titled rags or ragtime when it does not have any characteristics of ragtime?🤔

    Liked by 2 people

  26. Hello Sound Rhythm! I meant only to identify the Skipped beats and polyrhythms of which has defined the original ragtime used in talkie film beginnings. The closest I have come with Ragtime and classical music is here:

    You and Your music are Awesome! Happy Friday!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear America On Coffee

      Hello again! There are indeed good indications that you have been ostensibly contradicting yourself by claiming at first that 🎼🎹—THE—🎹—LAST—🎹—RAG—🎹🎵🎶 “does not have any characteristics of ragtime” without giving any qualification or explanation, and then seemingly relented by restricting the scope of your initial claim to just “the Skipped beats and polyrhythms”, which are faring not much better in advancing the case.

      Anyway, SoundEagle🦅 is delighted that you found a rather clever arrangement of Beethoven Bagatelle No. 25 in A minor (WoO 59, Bia 515) for solo piano, commonly known as “Für Elise”, which was composed in 27 April 1810 but only published in 1867, forty years after the composer’s death in 1827. Please note that the arranger is Ethan Uslan, not Stephen Artner.

      There is another version of Ethan Uslan’s arrangement of “Für Elise” for piano duet with four hands as follows.

      Ethan Uslan’s arrangement is somewhat playful and tongue-in-cheek, though the result is not a true Ragtime in the strict sense, for the piece is played in a tempo exceeding the usual range for Ragtime. In other words, the slower tempo of Ragtime does not easily lend itself to superficial bravado and showmanship often adopted by pianists who tend to play much too fast to dazzle the audience and to show off their chops. Even something as technically demanding as 🎼🎹—THE—🎹—LAST—🎹—RAG—🎹🎵🎶 may appear or sound rather deceptively to be nonvirtuosic.

      More importantly, Ragtime has its own well-defined compositional structures with themes and patterns of repeats and reprises. Much later on, the whole Harlem Stride piano school and pianists such as Lucky Roberts, J P Johnson, Fats Waller, Earl Hines and Art Tatum did not “define” Ragtime, for they came afterwards, when the Ragtime of Scott Joplin and his contemporaries had already long gone out of favour.

      Yet, contrary to staying true to Ragtime, there is the inclusion in Ethan Uslan’s arrangement the genre of boogie-woogie (a style of blues played on the piano with a strong, fast beat characterized by a regular left-hand bass figure) on the one hand, and stride piano (whose players’ left hands often leap greater distances on the keyboard in a wider range of tempos with a much greater emphasis on improvisation) on the other. The inclusion or intrusion of boogie-woogie and stride piano is definitely not in keeping with the well-established tradition and true spirit of Ragtime.

      Furthermore, Ragtime is not supposed to be played with a(ny) swing feel (using the (approximated) triplet division). The “swing” associated with Ragtime does not refer to swinging the quavers or to swinging interpretation of the quavers, which distorts the straight timing and equal division of the quavers within a crochet beat. Rather, it refers to the lilting quality of the Ragtime akin to a gentle march, slow drag, two-step, cakewalk and other dance forms during or before the era of Scott Joplin and his contemporaries.

      In contrast to Ethan Uslan’s pseudo-Ragtime, here is a fine piece of authentic Ragtime called “Last Rag” by William Bolcom, who at the time of composing it in 1974, intended the piece to be the very last that he would ever produce in the genre, but later relented and created many more exquisite ones, much to the delight of advanced aficionados.

      Liked by 3 people

  27. Thank you Kindly..
    And I appreciate your visits, And you have created a fantastic space here in your blog which is so full of beautiful music and other inspirational content.. But my own time on the internet is very limited….
    I have been listening to your music while typing, and your Piano playing is very peaceful and soothing.. Thank you for the gift you share…. You are a very highly talented person.

    I wish you a delightful and soothing day SoundEagle.. Take care.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Dear Sue

      Greetings! Your new Gravatar is indeed a refreshing change. Did you arrange those flowers behind you?

      Welcome to SoundEagle🦅’s latest musical post. Thank you for your comment, compliment and good wish. In the interest of knowing more about your musical background, SoundEagle🦅 has been wondering whether you love to sing or play any musical instrument, and whether you have certain Ragtime pieces that you particular enjoy. Perhaps you can name some well-known ones used in movies.

      Here are more Ragtime (master)pieces for you to relish at the entertaining post entitled 🦅 SoundEagle in Art, Music and Ragtime 🎵🎹🎶, where you can watch live performances of pianists, bands, ensembles, theatres, operas and so on.

      In addition, more than a dozen new comments regarding 🎼🎹—THE—🎹—LAST—🎹—RAG—🎹🎵🎶 have been submitted since your previous visit. You are very welcome to join the lively conversations, some of which even include videos, two of which feature Beethoven’s famous “Für Elise” in Ragtime!

      May you find great pleasure in reading those comments as much as SoundEagle🦅 has throughout reading the numerous comments at your various blog posts.Rose Greeting

      Yours sincerely,
      ܓSoundEagle🦅

      Liked by 3 people

      • Many thanks Sound Eagle.. for the time you spend upon your replies.. My music tastes vary .. I was in a choir once upon a time.. Musically I dabble… with a string guitar not very well.. and earlier in my youth I used to sit with my Dad and play a little on the piano… but only by ear.. I cannot read music as such..
        Many thanks and you too enjoy your week.

        Liked by 2 people

  28. I’m not sure why this is titled as a “Rag”. It sounds more like mellow, contemporary, improvised jazz, which is good on it own merits. On the other hand, composers can name their compositions as they desire. It’s an interesting piece to listen to even though I normally do not listen to this particular style of music very often. As I’ve grown older, I do not listen to any style of music as frequently as in the past, so I hope you’ll excuse my tardy comment. Many older people taper back their music listening, I’m not sure why that is. I don’t know. Anyway, your piece was performed professionally and skillfully. Best of luck in the future.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Dear Blue Jay

      Thank you for liking and commenting on this musical post. SoundEagle🦅 would like to clarify that the featured composition has not been named The Last Rag without honouring the well-established tradition and true spirit of Ragtime as well as sticking fairly closely to, whilst also deviating inventively from, the musical form of Ragtime, about which you can learn more by reading the post entitled 🦅 SoundEagle in Art, Music and Ragtime 🎵🎹🎶. After all, it would be too simplistic, dismissive or perfunctory to be merely guided by (the first) impression or token knowledge of the genre to assess whether or not, or to what degree, 🎼🎹—THE—🎹—LAST—🎹—RAG—🎹🎵🎶 is actually a Rag or something else, as much as Maurice Ravel’s La valse, poème chorégraphique pour orchestre, which was originally conceived as a ballet but is more often performed or heard as a concert work or piano transcription nowadays, cannot be summarily dismissed as not (sounding like or being composed as) a true waltz. Furthermore, neither can 🎼🎹—THE—🎹—LAST—🎹—RAG—🎹🎵🎶 be just regarded as an appropriation, reimagination or reinterpretation of Ragtime without adequate qualifications or explanations.

      Indeed, some composers have attempted to push the boundary or envelope of certain genres, thus blurring the edges of distinct musical species, sometimes even cross-fertilizing them to produce hybrids or fusions, and at other times venturing much further still to produce and consolidate innovative approaches for creating new species or forms.

      That you put 🎼🎹—THE—🎹—LAST—🎹—RAG—🎹🎵🎶 in the vicinity of a “mellow, contemporary, improvised jazz” is quite revealing. Let us dive into your impression of the piece in greater detail.

      A Ragtime played as intended by the composer and according to informed historical practice will sound significantly slower and mellower than it does when the composition is being performed in a tempo exceeding the usual range for Ragtime, by pianists who (in)tend to play much too fast to dazzle the audience and to show off their chops, even if their interpretations and executions are not marred by superficial bravado and unsolicited showmanship. Many people may not be aware that Scott Joplin himself emphasized playing Ragtime slowly, much slower than what some people are or have been accustomed to. Consequently, even something as technically demanding, dramatic in character, and dynamic in expressive range as 🎼🎹—THE—🎹—LAST—🎹—RAG—🎹🎵🎶 may appear or sound rather deceptively to be (much) less difficult or virtuosic to play and less intense or energetic to feel than it actually is.

      Moreover, a true Ragtime is one that is to be played as notated without a swinging Jazz feel and without any improvisation. It should not be enlivened by or rendered more exciting with stylistic passages of boogie-woogie (a style of blues played on the piano with a strong, fast beat characterized by a regular left-hand bass figure) or stride piano (whose players’ left hands often leap greater distances on the keyboard in a wider range of tempos with a much greater emphasis on improvisation), both of which have continued to be mistaken for and conflated with some bona fide aspects of Ragtime.

      Of course, the “language” or “vocabulary” used in 🎼🎹—THE—🎹—LAST—🎹—RAG—🎹🎵🎶 is much more contemporary than that of the classic Ragtime of a century ago, not to mention the inclusion of extended techniques and advanced features such as melodic angularity and atonality, contrapuntal textures, motivic extensions, thematic superpositions, harmonic piquancy, chromaticism, suspended tones, nuanced sonorities and dynamic expressiveness, as stated in The Last Rag Notes. These additions have imparted a far more piquant ambience and sophisticated sound to 🎼🎹—THE—🎹—LAST—🎹—RAG—🎹🎵🎶 such that the resultant music has taken on the flavours of contemporary Jazz. However, designating 🎼🎹—THE—🎹—LAST—🎹—RAG—🎹🎵🎶 as solely or largely a contemporary Jazz composition would veer very precariously into the territory of oversimplification, gross generalization and misrepresentation, since a more thorough analysis of the music scores of 🎼🎹—THE—🎹—LAST—🎹—RAG—🎹🎵🎶 can reveal a significant number of elements and devices more characteristic of other musical genres, including but not limited to Ragtime, in conjunction with certain compositional features that are unique to 🎼🎹—THE—🎹—LAST—🎹—RAG—🎹🎵🎶 and never deployed in Ragtime nor commonly encountered in other genres, let alone in such particular configurations and combinations, both within and without the vast subject matter of pianism. By “pianism”, SoundEagle🦅 is referring not to Michel Petrucciani’s first Jazz album recorded under contract for Blue Note Records in 1985, but to the technical skill and artistry in composing piano music and playing the piano.

      As for sounding “improvised”, you are the first to opine so, though some might beg to differ. Regardless of what others may think or conclude in this respect, that you consider the piece to be improvisatory is all the more special, unusual, ironic or complimentary, considering that all melodic materials in The Last Rag have been logically arranged and tightly connected insofar as they are motivically methodical and contrapuntally intertwined, in contrast with the (much) less rigorously structured materials of extemporized passages in music. In other words, the organizational rigour of 🎼🎹—THE—🎹—LAST—🎹—RAG—🎹🎵🎶 has somehow not detracted from the organic, coherent and yet freewheeling feel of the work imparted or characterized by the congruous, synergistic and intricate relationships amongst the elements of the whole composition.

      In any case, SoundEagle🦅 is curious to know which edition of The Last Rag appeals to you more. You are also very welcome to cast a vote for your preferred edition using The Last Rag Poll provided in the post. Once again, thank you very much for providing your feedback, and for reconnecting with SoundEagle🦅 during this trying pandemic. Happy mid-May to you and happy listening here!Rose Greeting

      Yours sincerely,
      ܓSoundEagle🦅

      Liked by 3 people

  29. Wow, take my hat off to you. This is really a great blog!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Dear abetterman21

      Greetings! Thank you for visiting this post and praising this website with such positive term as “a great blog”. Let us dive from the general to the specifics of what constitutes the “greatness” of this blog. You may begin by pinpointing particular features that have piqued your interest or commanded your attention.

      For a start, SoundEagle🦅 is keen to know what your views and thoughts on this post are. You can also contextualize your answers by revealing your musical backgrounds and experiences, such as whether you love to sing or play any musical instrument, and whether you have particular Ragtime pieces that you relish, including the well-known ones used in certain movies or documentaries.

      You are also welcome to read and respond to any of the dozens of comments regarding 🎼🎹—THE—🎹—LAST—🎹—RAG—🎹🎵🎶. As you can see, some of the comments even include videos, two of which feature Beethoven’s famous “Für Elise” in Ragtime!

      May you find the intellectual satisfaction in reading the conversations between SoundEagle🦅 and various commenters comparable to the aesthetic reward from listening to the Ragtime music presented in this post.

      In addition, please kindly inform SoundEagle🦅 about which edition of The Last Rag has made a better impression on you. Feel free to cast a vote for your preferred edition by taking The Last Rag Poll.Rose Greeting

      Yours sincerely,
      ܓSoundEagle🦅

      Liked by 2 people

      • Hey SoundEagle! Great blog you have going here.I’m a saxophone man and it’s going well for me so far. Music I feel helps us to relax and also learn languages faster. For some reason. But due ot this, I’m a big fan for Jazz and ragtime helped jazz kickstart its popularity. Thus, I was drawn to your blog! Casted my vote and thanks for inviting me here. Keep up the great work here.

        Liked by 1 person

  30. That was a wonderful composition. I listened to the whole sonata on Soundcloud. It’s lovely. In terms of which version of The Last Rag I like best, I prefer the the 1996 version. I have voted.

    Liked by 2 people

  31. This is beautiful and brilliant. I hope you are doing well.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Thanks a bunch for sharing your old and new version of “The Last Rag”. You’ve inspired in me some novel composition and improv ideas. Thanks and cheers, mate!

    Liked by 1 person

  33. I love this piece of music. You have a unique blog 😊

    Liked by 1 person

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