wait do you guys know about Adolphe Sax
The first thing to know about this guy is that he almost died like, A LOT. so much so that his nickname as a child was "little sax, the ghost" (super creative ik but also someone pls start calling me this sjskshekih) Here is a short list of a couple things that have almost killed him, in no particular order:
drank sulfuric acid thinking it was milk
got hit in the head by a cobblestone
fell in a river and almost drowned
almost asphyxiated bc he fell asleep in a room where furniture varnish was drying
drank a concoction of white lead, copper oxide, and arsenic (yum)
swallowed a needle (that miraculously passed without puncturing his insides)
fell out a three story window
and, my personal favorite, bc what the actual fuck
fell onto a super hot skillet and really burned his face
Later in life, he would invent the saxhorn, saxtromba, and saxtuba, and of course, the Saxophone (all of which stemmed from when, as a child, he would mess around with clarinets in order to "make them sound better". ha roasted.)
he waited 2 years to get the patent for the saxophone bc he was afraid that someone had already invented it better, and he didn't want to plagiarize.
the funny thing is about his later life, is that people fucking hated him. like clubs-formed-for-the-specific-reason-of-not-liking-him hated him. like news-papers-published-articles-talking-about-how-much-they-disliked-him hated him. the worst part is that the saxophone didn't even become big in the music scene when he was alive (in France in the 1840s). in fact, there's a rumor that, during the debut of the saxophone, a competitor hated him so much that he actually kicked the saxophone and therefore prevented Adolphe from getting an award for it.
anyway. i just thought all this was fun because all these articles i read kept calling him a badass, when my main take away was that god, or some other cosmic entity really did not want the saxophone to exist.
and he did it anyway, the madlad
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Ragtime originated in African American music in the late 19th century and descended from the jigs and march music played by African American bands, referred to as "jig piano" or "piano thumping".
By the start of the 20th century, it became widely popular throughout North America and was listened and danced to, performed, and written by people of many different subcultures. A distinctly American musical style, ragtime may be considered a synthesis of African syncopation and European classical music, especially the marches made popular by John Philip Sousa.
Some early piano rags are entitled marches, and "jig" and "rag" were used interchangeably in the mid-1890s.Ragtime was also preceded by its close relative the cakewalk. In 1895, African entertainer Ernest Hogan composed two of the earliest sheet music rags, one of which ("All Coons Look Alike to Me") eventually sold a million copies. The other composition was called "La Pas Ma La", and it was also a hit.
As African musician Tom Fletcher said, Hogan was the "first to put on paper the kind of rhythm that was being played by non-reading musicians." While the song's success helped introduce the country to ragtime rhythms, its use of racial slurs created a number of derogatory imitation tunes, known as "coon songs" because of their use of racist and stereotypical images of Africans. In Hogan's later years, he admitted shame and a sense of "race betrayal" from the song, while also expressing pride in helping bring ragtime to a larger audience.
The emergence of mature ragtime is usually dated to 1897, the year in which several important early rags were published. In 1899, Scott Joplin's "Maple Leaf Rag" was published and became a great hit and demonstrated more depth and sophistication than earlier ragtime. Ragtime was one of the main influences on the early development of jazz (along with the blues). Some artists, such as Jelly Roll Morton, were present and performed both ragtime and jazz styles during the period the two styles overlapped. He also incorporated the Spanish Tinge in his performances, which gave a habanera or tango rhythm to his music. Jazz largely surpassed ragtime in mainstream popularity in the early 1920s, although ragtime compositions continue to be written up to the present, and periodic revivals of popular interest in ragtime occurred in the 1950s and the 1970s.
The heyday of ragtime occurred before sound recording was widely available. Like classical music, and unlike jazz, classical ragtime had and has primarily a written tradition, being distributed in sheet music rather than through recordings or by imitation of live performances. Ragtime music was also distributed via piano rolls for player pianos. A folk ragtime tradition also existed before and during the period of classical ragtime (a designation largely created by Scott Joplin's publisher John Stillwell Stark), manifesting itself mostly through string bands, banjo and mandolin clubs (which experienced a burst of popularity during the early 20th century) and the like.
A form known as novelty piano (or novelty ragtime) emerged as the traditional rag was fading in popularity. Where traditional ragtime depended on amateur pianists and sheet music sales, the novelty rag took advantage of new advances in piano-roll technology and the phonograph record to permit a more complex, pyrotechnic, performance-oriented style of rag to be heard. Chief among the novelty rag composers is Zez Confrey, whose "Kitten on the Keys" popularized the style in 1921.
Ragtime also served as the roots for stride piano, a more improvisational piano style popular in the 1920s and 1930s. Elements of ragtime found their way into much of the American popular music of the early 20th century. It also played a central role in the development of the musical style later referred to as Piedmont blues; indeed, much of the music played by such artists of the style as Reverend Gary Davis, Blind Boy Fuller, Elizabeth Cotten, and Etta Baker could be referred to as "ragtime guitar."
Although most ragtime was composed for piano, transcriptions for other instruments and ensembles are common, notably including Gunther Schuller's arrangements of Joplin's rags. Ragtime guitar continued to be popular into the 1930s, usually in the form of songs accompanied by skilled guitar work. Numerous records emanated from several labels, performed by Blind Blake, Blind Boy Fuller, Lemon Jefferson, and others. Occasionally ragtime was scored for ensembles (particularly dance bands and brass bands) similar to those of James Reese Europe or as songs like those written by Irving Berlin. Joplin had long-standing ambitions of synthesizing the worlds of ragtime and opera, to which end the opera Treemonisha was written. However, its first performance, poorly staged with Joplin accompanying on the piano, was "disastrous" and was never performed again in Joplin's lifetime.[The score was lost for decades, then rediscovered in 1970, and a fully orchestrated and staged performance took place in 1972. An earlier opera by Joplin, A Guest of Honor, has been lost
The rag was a modification of the march made popular by John Philip Sousa, with additional polyrhythms coming from African music.It was usually written in 2/4 or 4/4 time with a predominant left-hand pattern of bass notes on strong beats (beats 1 and 3) and chords on weak beats (beat 2 and 4) accompanying a syncopated melody in the right hand. According to some sources the name "ragtime" may come from the "ragged or syncopated rhythm" of the right hand. A rag written in 3/4 time is a "ragtime waltz."
European Classical composers were influenced by the form. The first contact with ragtime was probably at the Paris Exposition in 1900, one of the stages of the European tour of John Philip Sousa. The first notable classical composer to take a serious interest in ragtime was Antonín Dvořák.
French composer Claude Debussy emulated ragtime in three pieces for piano. The best-known remains the Golliwog's Cake Walk (from the 1908 Piano Suite Children's Corner). He later returned to the style with two preludes for piano: Minstrels, (1910) and General Lavine-excentric (from his 1913 Préludes), which was inspired by a Médrano circus clown
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