The Rags Thread

Piano, Fortepiano and Harpsichord Music
Rob C.

Parcel Post Rag

Post by Rob C. » Tue Dec 08, 2015 4:02 am

Baisden, Harry C. - Parcel Post Rag -1913 [typeset].pdf
Baisden, Harry C. - Parcel Post Rag - 1913 [manuscript].pdf
Baisden, Harry C. - Parcel Post Rag - 1913 [midi].mid
Hello all,

This is the fourth, and last, of the Library of Congress rag manuscripts I have a copy of. A nice rag scored mostly in dotted rhythm. If you're wondering why the composer choose that title, the following quote from the Smithsonian Libraries website: "Parcel Post: Delivery of Dreams" http://www.sil.si.edu/ondisplay/parcelpost/intro.htm provides a possible answer.

Parcel post service began on January 1, 1913 and was an instant success. During the first five days of service, 1,594 post offices reported handling over 4 million parcel post packages. The effect on the national economy was electric. Marketing through parcel post gave rise to great mail-order businesses. In addition, parcel post created an immediate demand for special packaging suitable for mailing the wide array of commodities considered deliverable under the system.

Harry Baisden must have been hoping to capitalize on this new sensation by titling his new rag after it. I don't know if he ever submitted his manuscript to any publishers, but he did manage to copyright PPR before the month was over.

Enjoy!

Rob
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alfor
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Re: The Rags Thread

Post by alfor » Tue Dec 08, 2015 10:27 am

Dear experts,

we have hundreds of Ragtimes, Novelty piano solos, boogies, etc.
For teaching purposes I am looking for a dozen or so of the best / most exciting pieces of this genre.
I would very much appreciate any recommendations!

Thank you in advance!

All best

alfor
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Re: The Rags Thread

Post by fhimpsl » Tue Dec 08, 2015 12:47 pm

Lieber Freund Alfor!

It is a pleasure to see your posting in the ragtime thread! As always, your continued generosity in sharing rare and wonderful treasures of the 19th-20th century repertoire is deeply appreciated. Personally I value your contributions to Pianophilia as monumental in terms of musical quality.

The ragtime literature has many pieces which are of technical as well as interpretive value for classical pianists. By its very nature, this music teaches great left hand precision and speed. The 'classic rags' composed by Joplin, Lamb and Scott are musically superb and frequently offer technical challenges, particularly in octaves. I would recommend virtually any piano ragtime composition by these three composers, and base the decision on your own preference. Lamb's "The Ragtime Nightingale" will interest students from melodic and technical standpoints. The left hand is very reminiscent of Chopin Op. 10-12, although the composer credited the inspiration to Nevin's "Nightingale Song." Joplin's "Maple Leaf Rag" is the center piece of ragtime, challenging to a student (especially the trio), and an all-time favorite for teaching left hand syncopation.

In the novelty idiom, virtually all the Mayerl pieces are exceptionally attractive melodically, and many offer interesting challenges as well. His "Beetle In A Bottle" is a wonderful crossed-hands study at presto tempo (quite difficult played up to speed). Another challenging piece is Arthur Schutt's "Bluin' The Black Keys," which is also valuable from the standpoint of precision, fast execution of patterns involving fourths, and crossed-hand technique. From an interpretive rather than technical standpoint, I believe Joplin's "Silver Swan Rag" is valuable. The trio section requires correct accentuation and voicing, otherwise the beautiful melodic line can be readily lost. In the modern ragtime area, I have always regarded Bolcom's "Graceful Ghost Rag" as one of the beauties of the literature. Written in the gorgeous Bbm and modulating to Gb, it is wonderful both melodically and harmonically. It requires a great deal of control to perform effectively and without a rushed feeling.

Hopefully this provides some useful suggestions!

All Best,

Frank

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Re: The Rags Thread

Post by alfor » Tue Dec 08, 2015 9:55 pm

Dear Frank,

thank you very much indeed for your excellent suggestions!!!

All Best,

Alfred
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Re: The Rags Thread

Post by fhimpsl » Sun Dec 13, 2015 3:37 pm

Hi Rob C,

Thanks for your comments on the unknown rags, and for posting the rag manuscripts, all of which is greatly appreciated. I was able to identify a few more of these rags, and will list the information below. In reference to your question, LINK-AMC refers to the earliest rolls made for LINK style instruments. These machines used rolls which were joined end-to-end to create a loop, i.e. "endless format," which eliminated the need for machines to rewind after playing a multi-tune roll. When the company was founded in the early 'teens, it was known as the "Automatic Musical Company," which I think was in Binghampton, NY. These early machines played a roll 12" wide (as opposed to standard 11 1/4" for most rolls), and were perforated 6 to the inch. LINK later standardized all their machines to this 12" format.

On the unknown rags in Wurlitzer Mandolin PianOrchestra format, here is some new title information:

WURL MandPian 774-1 = "The Original Blues - A Real Southern Rag" by Ted S. Barron
WURL MandPian 774-2 = "Ebony Echoes - Old Fashioned Cake Walk" by Dan Walker
WURL MandPian 770-3 = "Ten Penny Rag - A Driving Hit" by Charles E. Brandon

Here attached is another mystery rag, which is interesting in that it was issued on DuoArt. It's in the "classical take-off" vein, but nonetheless a pretty good one. I have no information on this, but suspect the artist is either Frank Banta or Felix Arndt with an outside chance of Edna Bentz although I do not think this is one of her known tunes.

Enjoy,

Frank
Unknown Rag (Great Classical Take-Off) - pb Unknown Artist - DuoArt No. Unknown.mid
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Re: The Rags Thread

Post by fhimpsl » Sun Dec 13, 2015 3:58 pm

Here are a few more brain tickling unknown rags from coin-op nickelodeon rolls....some sound very familiar, but that is often the case.
Unknown Rag (Great One) - WURL ConcertPian 95-1.mid
Unknown Rag (Great, poss. Charles L. Johnson) - WURL ConcertPian 15A-2.mid
Unknown Rag (Good, Known) - NTW Sextrola 1646-10.mid
Unknown Rag (Great) - Auto H-SSS-5-10.mid
Unknown Rag (Rare, Indian Motif 2nd Theme) - COL O-169-2.mid
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Rob C.

Re: The Rags Thread

Post by Rob C. » Mon Dec 14, 2015 4:09 am

Grady (O'Grady), Richard Grant - Nonsense - 1911 (score).pdf
Grady (O'Grady), Richard Grant - Nonsense -1911 [midi].MID
Dear Frank,

Three more identifications. Awesome!! Great work. I've really been enjoying listening to the new batch of unknowns. Love the classical take-off, which, I agree, sounds hand-played. (How rare is it to hear an Indian Motif on a roll like the COL O-169-2 roll?)

I'd intended to post to the "School of Syncopation" thread today to thank you for all your fantastic postings (!), but, I'm putting that temporarily on hold because I can identify one of these unknown rags.

Unknown Rag (Good, Known) - NTW Sextrola 1646-10 is "Happy Rag: Ragtime Essence" (1913) by Richard Grant Grady (sometimes written as "Gradi," as it is on the cover of "Happy Rag," though his actual name was O'Grady). Here's a link to the score at the Templeton site: http://digital.library.msstate.edu/cdm/ ... 3851/rec/1.

I think I mentioned Grady's fine "Nonsense Rag" in a post a few years ago. It was copyrighted in January of 1911, licensed to be reproduced in a mechanical instrument that February (piano roll--US 64823) and was published for orchestra that March! I've heard a recording of Wally Rose playing this rag.

Grady renewed the copyright in 1938 and, Jerry Vogel (the same Vogel who still owned the copyright to 3 of Joplin's pieces in the 1970s) bought the copyright and kept publishing it until the copyright expired. This score is from Vogel's publication but the original 1911 cover is from an eBay scan (not the best quality, but fun to see nonetheless). The midi I'm posting was made in the spring of 2004 (though I just tagged it today). That was before I realized that no matter how careful you are when sequencing, you still must proofread :P , so I apologize if there are any errors.

Even if you have a copy of this score, Frank (which is likely), yours may not be as crisp and clean as this one. And, for our members who've never seen this, I hope you enjoy it!

Best,

Rob

PS: Thanks Frank for posting the Autopiano roll of "Blue Grass Echoes"--it was, as you said, much cleaner! Was that because that copy wasn't played as often?
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Re: The Rags Thread

Post by NBello » Mon Dec 14, 2015 4:43 am

Hope this info helps a bit.
Last edited by NBello on Tue Dec 15, 2015 5:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Rob C.

Re: The Rags Thread

Post by Rob C. » Mon Dec 14, 2015 4:05 pm

Excellent work, Nathan! Very impressive. I never would've gotten either of those. I didn't even have a copy of "Sand Paper," a John Stark publication, but quickly found one at Templeton. (I'm not sure how I missed that one, but I did.) http://digital.library.msstate.edu/cdm/ ... 4274/rec/1. And, it's so interesting that this version of VanAlstyne's "Cheese and Crackers" has an Indian motif. I wonder if the company who issued it even changed the title. (Speaking of CAC, I wrote the wrong question at the end of paragraph one of my previous posting above, Frank, so I edited in a correction.) You helped a lot, Nathan! Thanks for taking the time to identify these.

Thanks again,

Rob

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Re: The Rags Thread

Post by fhimpsl » Tue Dec 15, 2015 2:23 am

Hi Rob and Nathan,

Thank you both for the helpful information! As often happens with ragtime, the plot tends to thicken when identifying these obscure pieces. I'm familiar with "Sand Paper Rag" and always remember thinking it wasn't quite up to par for the material Stark published. Unfortunately, it does not appear to be the tune on that early Automatic H-roll No. SSS-5, tune #10, and we still have a mystery there. If you check the sheet music in Charlie Templeton's collection it will be clear, but I've attached a piano roll of "Sand Paper" for comparison as well. On "Cheese And Crackers" the first theme (only) is common to Van Alstyne's QRS roll, the other themes are completely different from the rag on Columbia O-169-2. However, this is an important clue and led to identifying the actual piece on the O-roll. It's also by Van Alstyne and also unpublished; titled (of all things) "The Welsh Rarebit Dream - Rag." This survives on a US nickelodeon roll intended for early Coinola instruments, called "C-rolls." This piece matches all three themes of the O-roll rag, and is attached also. We may never know the history behind Van Alstyne's "Cheese And Crackers" and "Welsh Rarebit Dream," and it would be difficult to even say which appeared first. I don't believe either piece was filed for copyright.

Rob, you asked about the roll of "Blue Grass Echoes;" well that is a 65-note roll produced for home use on a pianola push-up player and these were typically fairly well cut in terms of metronomic rhythm. That was not always the case with very early coin-operated machine music, as I've found many of these to be poorly cut with uneven rhythm. That's the case with the early endless coin-op roll of "Blue Grass" which was posted first. As to how rare rags with "Indian" themes are, there certainly are many lovely syncopated Indian intermezzos, but the way in which Indian thematic material in used in "Welsh Rarebit" is unusual to say the least.

Thanks again for your help and comments!

All Best,

Frank
Sand Paper Rag (Lew Schwab & Harry Elman) - US 63533.mid
Cheese And Crackers - One-Step For Dancing (VanAlstyne) - pbc Egbert VanAlstyne - QRS 100261.mid
Welsh Rarebit Dream Rag (Egbert VanAlstyne) - US Coinola 146-2.mid
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