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AN ALBUM OF RAGTIME TENOR BANJO SOLOS. WRITTEN IN NOTATION AND TAB.
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AN ALBUM OF RAGTIME TENOR BANJO SOLOS. WRITTEN IN NOTATION AND TAB.

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CLIFFORD ESSEX MUSIC CO. LTD

The Home of the Banjo, Mandolin, Guitar and Kindred Instruments

An Album of Ragtime Tenor Banjo Solos

Written in Notation and Tablature

by Bill Somerville

Contents

 

CALICO  RAG by Lee  B.  Grabbe

CALLIOPE  RAG by James Scott & Bob Darch

RAGTIME  DANCE by Kerry Mills

PEACHERINE  RAG by Scott Joplin

PINE  APPLE  RAG by Scott Joplin

REINDEER  RAG by Joseph F. Lamb

SPAGHETTI  RAG by Lyons & Josco

TEMPTATION  RAG by Henry Lodge

THE  EASY  WINNERS by Scott Joplin

THE  ST. LOUIS  RAG by Tom Turpin

I have always been a great fan of Ragtime, and consider it to be an excellent vehicle for all styles of banjo playing.   In fact, the first recording of Joplin’s ‘Maple Leaf Rag’ was performed by classical banjoists.
In putting together this collection of Ragtime arrangements, I have selected some less well-known pieces, which I consider excellent examples of the genre, and eminently playable by tenor banjoists.
There are two pieces by Joplin – ‘Peacherine Rag’ and ‘Pineapple Rag’;  ‘St Louis Rag’ by Tom Turpin, whose ‘Harlem Rag’ was, in fact, the first piece of Ragtime to be published;  ‘Calico Rag’ by Lee B Grabbe is one of the lesser-known pieces, but is a very melodic number;  ‘Calliope Rag’ by James Scott is one of my personal favourites, and this arrangement includes the fourth part, which is often omitted;  ‘Kerry Mills’ Ragtime Dance’, published in 1909 by Kerry Mills,– the composer of ‘Whistling Rufus’ and many other melodious cakewalks, is a simple but effective piece;  ‘Reindeer Rag’ by Joseph Lamb was published in 1915, and demonstrates some of the advances in ragtime composition;  ‘Spaghetti Rag’ by Lyons & Josco, published in 1910, is a more complex piece, but still has the ‘ragged-time’ influence; and finally ‘Temptation Rag’ by Henry Lodge, published in 1909, is a great favourite of many ragtime pianists.
All these pieces of ragtime sound very fine when played on the tenor banjo, and are well within the capability of the average player.
One piece of advice, and I quote Scott Joplin:  “Do not play this piece fast!  It is never correct to play Ragtime fast.”
Bill Somerville

 

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