William Bolcom: Graceful Ghost Rag

William Bolcom (born in Seattle, Washington, in 1938) is one of the most versatile contemporary American composers, writing chamber music, piano works, song cycles, concertos, music theatre, opera, and symphonies, displaying a mastery of many different compositional styles. After receiving his bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington in 1958, he studied composition at Mills College and at the Paris Conservatory. He continued his studies at Stanford University where he earned his doctorate in composition in 1964. Thereafter he taught or was composer in residence at a number of schools before becoming a professor of composition at the University of Michigan from 1973 to 2008. Throughout these years Mr. Bolcom developed his compositional abilities, attempting to break down what he saw as the artificial barriers between popular and serious music. As a pianist and composer, he became well known for his interest in ragtime music; Graceful Ghost Rag is one of several compositions in that genre. The Graceful Ghost first started as a piano piece, part of Three Ghost Rags in1970. It was then incorporated into a trio for clarinet, violin and piano, entitled Afternoon Cakewalk Suite, premiered by David Shifrin, Sergiu Luca and William Bolcom in 1979. In 1983, the composer reworked it into an arrangement for violin and piano. Material was added from the original work for piano solo (from which the arrangement was extracted), making it an actual variation on the Graceful

Downloadable sheet music: Graceful Ghost (Bolcom)

Paul Jacobs – Graceful Ghost Rag (William Bolcom).mov

William Bolcom’s Graceful Ghost Rag is the first in a set of three Ghost Rags and is dedicated to the composer’s father. The introduction resembles the left hand figure of the classic Maple Leaf Rag by Scott Joplin. Listen to Joplin play Maple Leaf Rag: youtube.com In contrast to the feel of a steady and syncopated? military march is this Jelly Roll Morton performance: youtube.com Unlike Joplin and Bolcom, Morton calls his version Maple Leaf Stomp, not a Rag–there is a great difference.

What is the name of this piano song? I absolutely love the song in this video and would love to learn how to play this on the piano.youtube.com/watch?v=XHb7Ig3yPgI&feature=relatedAnyone know this song?

Downloadable sheet music: Graceful Ghost (Bolcom)

Sorry Violet I tried, I literally searched each comment page on that video hoping someone would have posted the name of the song but nothing. =( I would “Shazam” it on my Itouch if I could but my wireless connection isn’t working right now so I cant use any Internet based program on it right now. I’ll re-edit my answer if I find out. In the mean time good luck! =)

‘Ragtime Piano 2’ (N305) –stockmusic.net/index.cfm/page/main.searchTracks/trackId/1785You’d have to ask the maintainers at the above site for more details. It’s probably unique to the above website.You’ve probably heard Scott Joplin’s ragtime melodies many times, but maybe not Joseph Lamb –Top Liner Rag — youtube.com/watch?v=D57wE-LAcScAmerican Beauty Rag — youtube.com/watch?v=4l1EMlNT9TMRagtime Nightingale — youtube.com/watch?v=o5GvE4NUxJAOr ‘Graceful Ghost’ by William Bolcomyoutube.com/watch?v=pQVoY3f-Ctc

What is the name of this piano piece? I want to learn to how to play this beautiful piano piece. I don’t know what it is called though. It’s in this movie I found on Youtube called tower of terror. It piano piece start from 8:30 to 9:01youtube.com/watch?v=SP9YRFFisBk&feature=relatedThank you, Matt
It was most likely written for the film. It seems loosely based on Schubert’s German Dance D.790, specifically the one in A flat major (although it is difficult to tell). Certainly the style is very similar.

I know for certain it is not this, but it does remind me a little of the “Graceful Ghost” rag by William Bolcom. youtube.com/watch?v=b25UwmONHRc&feature=relatedThe earlier poster could be correct, but I can’t help wondering if it could be taken from some of the other rags of Bolcom.

Best ragtime piano pieces? I have played The Entertainer and maple leaf rag. Do you have any other suggestions?:)
Well, working through all the Joplin rags should occupy you for a good time. If you want a step up from rag time, moving later on to novelty piano, Nola by Felix Arndt is a fun one. youtube.com/watch?v=G9mtJzsjxm0

Classical Rag (Kyrene) by E J Stark. It is in the piano book The Joy of Ragtime edited by Denes Agay. There are many composers featured there too, and other pieces by Scott Joplin.The only version I could find on youtube is youtube.com/watch?v=xhMtm6113jE

All of James Scott’s 38 published rags are herecantorion.org/musicsearch/composer/513/James%20Sylvester%20ScottThe Frog Legs Rag, Modesty Rag, and Efficiency Rag are probably his best known works.Here are Scott Joplin’s Ragscantorion.org/musicsearch?form_basic__action=&q=scott+joplinI am partial to Heliotrope, Peacherine, Solace, and Bethena.

Here are some of the ‘greatest hits’ from the Big Three:*Scott Joplin*- Pine Apple Ragyoutube.com/watch?v=3-PtpGBmr5E- The Easy Winners- Magnetic Ragyoutube.com/watch?v=g1P29xJf05I- The Strenuous Life (or course!)youtube.com/watch?v=WeNsIHodTAM (arranged for two pianos here, with the Labèque sisters)- Gladiolous Rag*Joseph Lamb*- American Beauty Ragyoutube.com/watch?v=pZAWp2CvYog&playnext=1&list=PLD0A69FB0096AF97F&feature=results_video- Ragtime Nightingaleyoutube.com/watch?v=wLhHUJebzII- Top Liner Rag- Bohemia Ragyoutube.com/watch?v=o1sJRC7cL-s*James Scott*- Grace and Beauty- Frog Legs Rags- Climax Ragyoutube.com/watch?v=u0QvLSnDUdc&playnext=1&list=PL2AA5FC2BDC44228D&feature=results_video- Ragtime BettyAnd then there’s also:*Charles L. Johnson*- Dill Pickles*Eubie Blake*- Baltimore Todolo*Frank French*- Bucktown Buck- Belle of Louisvilleyoutube.com/watch?v=kRmbPoGAclU*William Bolcom*- The Graceful Ghost Ragyoutube.com/watch?v=pQVoY3f-Ctc (‘must hear’ stuff)Etc.This link might come in handy: primeshop.com/MIDILibrary/midilist.htmAny recording of Rags with John Arpin and Mimi Blais might also prove more than useful. :-)Best,Raymond