The Entertainer Free Piano Music by Scott Joplin
The Entertainer Free Piano Music by Scott Joplin is a ragtime two step piano piece which is great fun to learn and play.
Since this sheet music is the original arrangement it is definitely not for beginner piano students. It is an intermediate to advanced level piece for pianists with that level of skill.
This rag time was called a two step because that was a popular dance form around the time of 1911. After it fell out of popularity in the early 20th century it was again revived when it became the theme song to the very popular movie The Sting which starred Robert Redford and Paul Newman. After that The Entertainer even enjoyed a week at the top of the Easy Listening Charts.
The Entertainer is written in the key of C Major for the most part. However, music analysis of this piece would note be complete without mentioning that there are 4 sections to the piece and the third section, or section C, modulates to the Key of F Major to include B flat. There is a transition in the last part of the third section where the piece returns to the key of C Major and ends in that key throughout the end of the piece.
The overall form of the piece is A B A C D. Having performed this piece many times, it is highly recommended that you learn it one section at a time. Since the A section is repeated this will help you grasp a large part of the composition once you have learned only section A.
Classic Rag Music Elements
What makes a piece of music a rag? In the perfect form the classic rag music elements are:
1. The time signature is set in 2/4 time
2. There is a 4 measure introduction
3. Two themes, each 16 measures in length, make up the bulk of the piece
4. It concludes with another pair of 16 measure themes called the trio. This section modulates to the subdominant key and then returns to the original key before the final measure.
Few rags follow the outline above strictly and there are many variations. Sometimes the introduction is shortened or lengthened and sometimes there are transitional measures between the two themes.
Whatever form the classic American rag takes you can count on high energy and lively audience response. Enjoy!