The Maple Leaf Rag is associated with the city of Sedalia, Missouri: Joplin played as a solo musician at dances and at the major black clubs in Sedalia, among them the “Maple Leaf Club.” Joplin was sure that the piece would be a success—he told his student Arthur Marshall soon after he composed the piece that “The Maple Leaf will make me the king of ragtime composers.”
James L. King III’s arrangement for intermediate students is astoundingly faithful, using the complete AABBACCDD form (including the trio, which is often overlooked in other simplified arrangements).
Key: G major
Mood: happy, rhythmic
Pedagogy: syncopation, staccato, 8va/8vb markings, sixteenth-note syncopations, extended ragtime form