One of my ragtimes

Apr 26, 2018

Hey guys, I just recently joined this group, and composed a ragtime called the ‘Red Shirt Rag.’ Any critique is acceptable and encouraged, but please don't swear. Thanks :)


[ Who swore?! ]  Your piece is decently musical, engaging, and clearly has ancestry in 'traditional' Ragtime. As someone else said already on your score-page: the main problem is that there isn't enough of it! 
A few suggestions: add a 'second half' (usually called 'Trio' section) in one flat - ie. subdominant key; stick (where possible) to 4-bar phrases within 16-bar strains; and aim for an overall IntroAABBA-keychange-CC(maybeDD) structure. If you invent a 'catchy' tune for an 'A' theme, the listener will particularly appreciate its reprise at the 'half-way' point of the piece. In notation: many people write 'centre-of-bar' [4-5] syncopation as tied-notes (same as across bar-lines, 8-1) - making it easier to read. You could perhaps consider whether 'Swing' is appropriate 'throughout' a piece, especially when it has more sections ...
Other possible developments, if you really like this style: build-in fuller Harmony, particularly in the LH note-groups; and/or find something for the right thumb to do at the beginning (or middle) of a 2- (or 4-) bar phrase. In an advanced style, there is usually an explicit Cadence (even a modulation to Dominant) at Bar 8 (of 16); and often a 'clever' chord or two in Bar 13 (of 16) to indicate the 'last-four' of the strain. In Ragtime, you're really writing 'lyrics' (like verse with lines and stanzas) but using only notes, not actual words ...
Hope this helps a little, Best, "IAPL". [ And keep up the pressure in Discussions on 'Improving BugScore' ;-) ]
@IAPL [ Someone swore in a song I had posted a few weeks ago ] Thanks! I'm still kinda new to ragtime composing, since I'm only level 5 and not a teenager yet. Thank you so much for all the improvement ideas! If I think of a D section I'll definitely add it after the C I'm trying to write. Also, mind checking out my other rag? It's unfinished since it only has IntroAABB, but I'll add to it and Red Shirt Rag. :) Thanks again for your help!
@MudkipMusic123 : Looking at 'Coffee Shop Rag', like the first one it's good so far as it goes ;-) - however just one small thing - if you start counting at Measure 17, the beginning of B  (I'd call it "1/2B" since it's 8 measures long, rather than the common - though not obligatory, 16) you'll find that after going through the repeats and 1st- and 2nd- time endings, the total comes to 17 measures - a dreaded *odd* number! 
This isn't some weird superstition - though there are plenty of those in Music ;-) . It's simply a kindness to listeners who are tapping their feet and 'counting' in twos, when the music stops at the 'expected' time. [Also pretty much essential if you're ever playing in a group with people accompanying you!] Here, you could simply 'lose' the current LH part of Measure 27, and replace it with the LH of 28, and it would still sound right ... 
@IAPL Thanks! :D

Yeah, uh, I'll fix the odd number... Thanks for the help! :)
@IAPL Fixed! Sounds much better now

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