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A Mexican Serenade

Scott Joplin

performed by W. Brett Youens
          This piece, like The Entertainer and Pineapple Rag, found fame in the 1974 film "The Sting".

Solace contains many of the syncopations characteristic of ragtime, Joplin does not call it a rag, but rather a "Mexican Serenade".  Each strain of the piece contains a version of the Latin American habaņera rhythm, best known through its prevalent usage in tango music - and, somewhat less characteristically, in much of the American pop music of the late 1950's and early 1960's (e.g. Under the Boardwalk). Joplin had himself used this rhythm in at least two of his previous rags: Wall Street Rag (published only 2 months earlier) and Heliotrope Bouquet (published 2 years earlier, with Louis Chauvin).

             "Solace" is my pick for the most fitting title of any of Joplin's works.    
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