Listening Assignment No. 1

Question numbers refer to individual songs, in order, on the cassette. There is no need to write at length on listening assignments. A page (at the most two) will do. Use musical terminology if you can, but at this point any terms will do as long as your meaning is clear. Typed or wordprocessed answers are preferred. Please put your name and social security number on your answer sheet(s).

The cassettes for this assignment are on reserve at the music listening desk on the fourth floor of Hunt Library. The cassettes will be available until 10:00 a.m. Monday (February 22) morning. All assignments are due at the start of class Monday morning. No Late papers will be accepted.


Three versions of Scott Joplin's "Maple Leaf Rag" are on reserve on cassette. While listening to it, please address the following:

1. Scott Joplin, piano roll (1916)

How Many themes or "sections" are in this rag? (Use the conventional letters for themes A, B, etc. and repeat the letter when and if the theme repeats - AA, BB, ABA, etc.) When themes repeat is there much variation in the repetitions?

2. Jelly Roll Morton (1938)

Although Joplin's rags were genuinely revolutionary in their time, Jelly Roll Morton's treatment of "Maple Leaf Rag" is equally radical. What is the most striking difference between his version and Joplin's (melodic? rhythmic? harmonic?)? When Morton repeats themes (although he does not follow Joplin's repeats closely) how much variety do you hear between them? Listen especially to the last stated theme and its repeat.

3. Sidney Bechet's New Orleans Feetwarmers (1932)

What is the most striking difference between this version and Joplin's?


4. What type (e.g., blues, jazz, rock, etc.) and style (e.g., Swing, Creole/New Orleans, Ragtime) of song is this and when was it most likely recorded (e.g., 1900-1915, 1915-1920, 1920-1925, 1925-1930, 1930-1935)

5. What type of song is this? What is its instrumentation and where (e.g., geographical context and social context) was it most likely performed? Why is this song relevant in the context of this course?