Scott Joplin Publishes Maple Leaf Rag Sheet Music

August 1899

Ragtime music emerged in the late nineteenth, early twentieth century as the first commercially popular black music. Rag performers parodied white perceptions of black people in minstrel songs by fusing them with black folk tunes. As a result, ragtime effectively protested racist caricatures while communicating black folk styles of performance and art through sheet music and piano rolls. Ragtime star Scott Joplin originally taught himself piano at the home of his mother’s white employer. His notation for Maple Leaf Rag, accepted for publication in August 1899, led to a ‘ragtime revolution’ in the market, thus dooming minstrelsy and establishing the modern music industry.


Scott Joplin. Scott Joplin International Ragtime Foundation,
Shafer, William J., and Johannes Riedel. The Art of Ragtime: Form and Meaning of an Original Black American Art. 2nd Printing ed., Baton Rouge,
Louisiana State U P, 1974.
Parakilas, James. Piano Roles: Three Hundred Years of Life with the Piano. New Haven and London, Yale U P, 2002. ProQuest Ebook Central,

Scott Joplin. Scott Joplin International Ragtime Foundation,