Best Scott Joplin Compositions

Scott Joplin was an African-American composer and pianist. He was born in the late 1860's and died in 1917. During his years alive he wrote many pieces, most of which were of the genre "rag time", for which he was known.

The Top Ten

1 The Entertainer

I play this song on my piano and love playing it and I love listening to it. In fact, I am doing a report in school about a famous musician and I chose Scott Joplin because I love this song.

The entertainer is truly a masterpiece. Although overplayed, it still holds up as an amazing piece of music that'll never die. - FrankerZ

Really catchy

2 Maple Leaf Rag

Maple Leaf Rag was the first song that made me appreciate ragtime, and Scott Joplin has been my all-time favorite composer.

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You're mom gay

I'd be a fool not to include this piece of this list. The upbeat-ness and rapidity of this song make it amazing. The very "jumpy" feeling the song gives while still keeping it smooth is unbeatable. - FrankerZ

3 Augustan Club Waltz

The first time I heard this piece, I was completely taken away. I have listened to it many times and have played it many times more, but still cannot describe my love for this piece. There is something about it that reaches out and grabs my heart and doesn't let go. It is truly a magical piece. - FrankerZ

4 Kismet Rag

Definitely an underplayed song to say the least. Like all Scott Joplin pieces it has a steady yet powerful beat which creates an excellent atmosphere for the even better melody. - FrankerZ

5 Gladiolus Rag

Agreed! This is my favorite Joplin rag but there are others that come really close, such as the Reflection Rag and Bethena Waltz. This rag is pure poetry, an "art rag" that is just as sublime as any work by Frederic Chopin. It is a good example of the coherence of Joplin's rags.

Gladiolus Rag is considered by many to be one of, if not arguably the greatest of the mature, most highly developed rags of Joplin, along with such masterpieces as Fig Leaf, Rose Leaf, Wall Street. Joseph Lamb, who along with Joplin & James Scott was one of the great "big three" classic ragtime composers, highly prized this rag and named Gladious as his favorite of all the Joplin rags. No knowledgeable authority on ragtime would likely ever be found putting it below Kismet or Augustan Club Waltz, which despite nice qualities here and there of each, should not be considered top 10 among the Joplin repertoire.

The third evolution of the Maple Leaf Rag following Leola, the Gladiolus Rag exemplifies Joplin's development of the ragtime genre evident in his later works through its more complex harmonies and resonating melody. This piece has a unique charm to it, and listening intently will strike a subtle but wonderful feeling of nostalgia that can't quite be explained, but indeed deeply experienced.

6 Binks Waltz

Scott Joplin was not known for his waltzes but they are truly amazing! Once you listen to this piece you'll be hooked. This song is insane how it makes you calm, yet exited at the same time. Sit back, relax and listen to Joplin at his best. - FrankerZ

The best

7 Pineapple Rag


Great song, very cheery!

8 Fig Leaf Rag


It's great but it's very hard...

9 The Easy Winners

It's actually pretty catchy, but so painfully underrated.

10 Peacherine Rag

The Contenders

11 The Cascades
12 Wall Street Rag

This rag is so catchy and from start to finish is a joy to play

13 Paragon Rag

This is possibly Joplin's most underrated piece of all time.

14 Frogs Legs Rag
15 The Strenuous Life
16 Original Rags

Underrated, but great

17 Weeping Willow

A simple but moving rag that captures the core essence of ragtime.

18 Rose Leaf Rag

One of Joplin's later rags with a really nice melody and a really great ending!

19 Palm Leaf Rag

This one is smooth and good fun!

20 Sunflower Slow Drag
21 None To Equal

This one is shockingly underrated. I think it's brilliant! :D - Rocko

22 Reflection Rag

This one's actually my favourite piece of his. It's incredible. :D - Rocko

23 Swipesy

I've changed my mind, this one's my favourite. It's absolutely beautiful. :D - Rocko

24 School of Ragtime

I always find myself whistling this one. And I mean always. :D - Rocko

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