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|Welcome to Tull Glazener's
Free Mountain Dulcimer
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Each set includes tab sheets
Each set includes tab sheets
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This month's Free
James Sylvester Scott (1885-1938) is considered to be one of the "big three" in the development of ragtime music in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, along with Scott Joplin and Joseph Lamb. All three composers were able to synthesize the driving rhythms of their African-American heritage with the melodic lines of western European and American popular music in unique counter-point arrangements that became known as "ragtime". James Scott was born in Neosho, Missouri, and showed an amazing aptitude for music at an early age, including the gift of perfect pitch. Both his parents were former slaves, and struggled to provide for their large family. Scott taught himself to play piano by tinkering on instruments at the homes where his mother was hired to clean. One of the homes belonged to a prominent local pianist named John Coleman, who heard the young Scott playing one day, and quickly took him under his wing, giving him a solid foundation in both technique and theory. By the time the family moved to Carthage, MO when Scott was 14 years old, he was accomplished enough to begin playing professionally in clubs, saloons, trolley parks, silent move theatres, and on steam boats.
In 1906, Scott traveled to St Louis in order to meet his idol, Scott Joplin, and show him some of his original compositions. Joplin was particularly impressed with one of them, and introduced him to his publisher, John Stark. Stark published that composition under the name "Frog Legs Rag", and it immediately became a huge hit, second only to Joplin's own "Maple Leaf Rag" in terms of number of copies sold. Over the next 15 years, Scott wrote nearly 50 ragtime compositions that were published by Stark. One of his last published works was "Victory Rag", in 1921. That tune in particular became popular among string bands and jug bands of the day, which partially explains its popularity among old-time and bluegrass musicians today. Maybelle Carter recorded a flat-picked guitar version of it in the 1940's, and it was she performed often at live concert venues.
Here's a link to a YouTube video of this song performed by Arthel "Doc" Watson.
This is a 3-part arrangement (melody, bass, and harmony), so find a couple of playing partners and have fun!
In music and friendship,