Lead: Born during Reconstruction, Scott Joplin became a role model for talented black musicians as the Ragtime era blended into the Age of Jazz.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: Joplin was born in northeast Texas in 1868 to a laboring family suffering the abuse that was the lot of blacks at the hand of whites humiliated by the loss of the civil war and the Reconstruction regime imposed by the Federal government. He grew up in Texarkana. His parents were musically inclined and insured his exposure to church music. This aroused in him an early hunger to perform, eventually mastering guitar, cornet, and piano. His constant practicing enhanced Joplin’s natural talent which was only enriched by his German-born teacher Julius Weiss, who was so impressed with Joplin’s prospects that he gave him free lessons in advanced harmony, sight-reading, and musical theory. Though he was being schooled in the music of Mozart, Beethoven and Chopin, his first love was in the syncopated rhythms of ragtime.