Colorado Power Piano

Power Piano as performed by
Howard Pancoast at the piano

Howard Pancoast
Karen Pancoast at the piano

Karen Pancoast

Scott Joplin

(1867-1917)

Scott Joplin

Growing up in Texarkana TX, Joplin had early music lessons from his father and the local German bandmaster who taught him classic German piano music and opera. As a young teenager, Joplin went to Kansas City and became one of the “professors” playing out of the Silver Dollar Saloon. The most popular music played at that time was marches and American folk songs such as I’ve Been Working On the Railroad. The boys learned these songs by ear and from one another, but jazzed up the rhythm, making it more syncopated and adding extra notes to the melody. This became known as ragtime. Joplin was the first great American composer in this new style of music starting around 1900. His first composition was the Great Crush Collision March, but his most famous, by far, was the Maple Leaf Rag.