Scott Joplin - Solace: A Mexican Serenade - a piano rag

Solace was first published by Scott Joplin in 1909. Joplin was somewhat dissatisfied with his previous publishers and "Solace" was one of the Rags published by Seminary. However Seminary did not deliver on Joplin's expectations and for later works he reverted back to his previous publishers. With Solace, Joplin had reached a new maturity where he could express a range of complex emotions lifting Ragtime far beyond its popular appeal as a light-hearted form of music. Certainly Solace is unusually complex among piano rags, and its subtitle "A Mexican Serenade" perhaps reflects the fact that its left hand rhythm suggests a slow latin Tango. The second half of this haunting tune featured on the soundtrack to The Sting during the more downbeat moments of the movie. Here is a video of the piece, and you can scroll down to see the sheet music, or download sheet music, midi and mp3 files using the links on the left-hand menu.

Solace was first published by mfiles shortly before the attacks of 9/11 and, given the music's title and nature, it seemed appropriate to dedicate the work to those affected by those terrible events.



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