Uploaded on Jan 15, 2017
My first choice for naming this piece was "Ragtime Serenade", but unfortunately, that's been taken at least twice. So I tried "Serenade Rag", but that's also taken. Then, I tried "Evening Ragtime", but that's taken, too! Thank goodness "Ragtime Evening" wasn't taken, or I'd be running out of name ideas fast.
("Ragtime Nighttime" doesn't seem quite as appropriate--I keep thinking that the ragtime playing rate goes up in the night.)
This is my first rag where I put a long, paused, cadential chord in the intro (Bar 4, to be specific). Don't hold down its paused chord too long there--the playback version's chord length is what I'd recommend. Emphasize the caesura instead--there should be plenty of silence there!
The first 2 strains are a return to old-style rags and more Joplin-like writing. "The Entertainer"-style octave chords are in the B strain (such as Bars 23-24). Bar 12's cheeky 16th-note triplet is a reference to Luca Allegranza (see "The Soy Sauce" in https://musescore.com/user/4143366/scores/2225921 for an example of how often he uses 16th-note triplets), who I've noticed definitely composes in the old style and should be commended for that. ...OK, the accompaniment texture in the A strain isn't quite a return to old-style rags--I still have a harder time using the typical ragtime left hand in slower rags.
The last 2 strains probably drift away from old-style rags. The C strain is filled with arpeggiated chords. I don't quite like how the playback assigns the arpeggios such varying lengths--I'd prefer if all the arpeggios were a bit faster than Bar 58's, but not as fast as the 16th-note arpeggio in Bar 55. (The sporadic octaves in the right hand, such as Bars 59-62, are rather like Joplin's "Maple Leaf Rag", though.) On reflection, the D strain even foregoes typical ragtime syncopation altogether! It revolves around accented, slurred chords instead (such as the middle two 8th-note beats in Bar 72).
...Well, like old-style rags, at least all 4 strains contain two 8-bar sections each that both start with the same 4-bar phrase (thankfully, the 4-bar phrase isn't reused between strains), and the intro uses the common structure of "Motif in octaves, then repeat that going down an octave each time" (rather like "The Entertainer" in all cases, in fact).
While this is technically slow enough to be considered a slow drag, I have a harder time thinking of it as such than my D-Reamy D-Rag (in https://musescore.com/user/9996931/scores/2405301).
There are occasional weird notes and chords, and they are intentional. The paused chord in Bar 4 is the tenser V augmented chord instead of a typical V chord. Bar 78 purposefully peaks with a F instead of the expected F#--I tended to hum that F more often than the F#.
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