Scott Joplin

  • Birth

    Scott Joplin was said to be born between June 1867 and mid-January 1868 near Linden, Texas.
  • Period: to

    Birth to Death

  • Age 11

    By the age eleven, Scott was learning the finer points of harmony and style on the piano.
  • Teenager

    As a teenager, Scott worked as a dance musician.
  • St. Louis

    After several years as an itinerant pianist playing in saloons and brothels throughout the Midwest, he settled in St. Louis. There he studied and led in the development of a music genre now known as 'ragtime.'
  • Late 1890's

    Scott worked at the Maple Leaf Club, which gave him the title to his best known composition, 'The Maple Leaf Rag," published in 1899.
  • Sedalia

    Scott played in sporting areas similiar to the Colombian Exposition in Chicago, and the following year moved to Sedalia, Missouri. From there, he toured with his eight-member Texas Medley Quartette as far east as Syracuse, New York
  • First Composition

    One of his first compositions, The Great Crush Collision, was inspired by a spectacular railroad locomotive crash staged near Waco, Texas in September of 1896.
  • New York

    In 1911, Scott moved to New York City, where he focused on the production of his operatic work, Treemonisha. This would have been the first grand opera composed by an African American. However it was unsuccessful.
  • Death

    After suffering deteriorating health due to syphilis that he contracted some years earlier, Joplin died on April 1, 1917 in Manhattan State Hospital.