Jazz Origins

Instructions

Scott Joplin’s Solace: A Mexican Serenade is a very beautiful piece. It’s hard to believe that the form of Solace is based on a march. However, piano rags such as those by Joplin were formally based on marches.

 

Solace has several sections. Listen specifically from 00:00 to 03:12, and address the following questions:

  1. How many sections are within this three-plus-minute portion of the piece? Is there an introduction?
  2. Do any sections repeat? How would you label them if you used letters to designate each section? Hint: the first section is from 00:09 to 00:47.
  3. What is syncopation? Is there syncopation in this piece? How prevalent is syncopation in the melody?
  4. Characteristically, rags have a steady “boom-chick, boom-chick” in the left hand, with the bass notes sounding on the beat and chords sounding on the “and” of each beat. Does the left hand play this sort of characteristic figure through Solace, or is it more elaborate than that?
  5. Do any portions of the piece have a more distinctive 2/4 “feel” in the left hand than other portions? Provide counter numbers. Hint: The tempo of Solace is quite slow.

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