New Ragtime composition!

May 18, 2018 - Please let me know what you think! :) if you follow me on here I will follow back. 


I believe we have acquaintances in common through the UK player-piano world ;-). Myself I no longer upload or play the 'social media' game on this site, but if you wish, please contact me through the email message-system and I can enlarge on what I've written below.

Your score ('The Childhood Sweethearts Rag') interests me enough - a slightly double-edged compliment ! - that I've spent a while (no doubt with a perfectionist's ear) playing around with the harmony in one or two places - especially the 'Trio' section (Bars 59-75).  Questions of general relevance to Composition within the overall Classic Rag genre could emerge:

a) When the LH deliberately rises or falls by semitone (chromatic steps), or by short scale-segment, then how much Harmonic 'disagreement' between Melody and Bass will the Listener's ear accept?  Examples: Bb in RH versus Bnat in LH, Bars 7-8 of 'The Childhood Sweethearts Rag', also LH F# versus either F-A-C or B-D-F chords in Bar 18;

b) When 'any' Chromatic note/chord is introduced simply 'for effect' (rather than as prelude to a deliberate chord/key change), then 'how urgently' must its other tendencies 'be cancelled' (by suitable choice of the notes that follow) before the Listener risks 'losing hold' of the background sense of Key?  Examples: Enat versus Eb (keynote!), Bars 60-61 of 'The Childhood Sweethearts Rag', also LH Bnat against RH Bb, Bars 72-73.

IMO many of these small ambiguities can be avoided (or improved) by consciously including enough 'supporting' and 'defining' notes in the RH (ie. more complete triads directly below the Melody - especially forming Cadence-like progressions across Bar-lines). Another approach is to 'test' any intended Harmonic structure or progression through 'reduction' to chords in the RH only, to begin with. There's a great deal to be said for using Keyboard Style as a 'template', when composing for the Keyboard ... ;-) 

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