When I play bar 11, it sounds off. Compare to bar 15, you can see that the 2nd chord for the left hand is different. Is the second chord for the left hand in bar 11 a mis-print?

"Maple Leaf Rag", page 1, Yorktown Music Press, 1974

  • 4
    Also an error in the first-time bar (bar 16): the natural sign should not be there. May 31 at 9:50

The circled chord in bar 11 is wrong: the lowest note should be an F-flat. From the published first edition (from imslp.org):

enter image description here

There's also an error in bar 16: the A-natural should be an A-flat.


Yes, it's a misprint; it should be the same as the preceding chord. (See images below.)

However, in an interesting twist, Richard Zimmerman, who was the first to record Joplin's complete works, plays a variation not represented in the OP edition or in the editions below. Measure 11, as well as its repetitions at m. 15 and m. 43, he plays the F♭ major chord a third time before moving to the A♭ major chord on the final eighth-note of the measure.

The below link to Zimmerman's recording is timed to measure 7.

It may be further noted that Zimmerman strays from the published version elsewhere. Given that he was 1987's “Champion Ragtime Performer of the World”, it's reasonable to take his departures as stylistically appropriate.

The following two images come from Scott Joplin, Scott Joplin: Complete Piano Works, ed. Vera Brodsky Lawrence (The New York Public Library). This is considered the definitive edition of Joplin's works. The images are of m. 11 (page 26) and its reprise at m. 43 (page 27) (counting first and second endings as a single measure).

"Maple Leaf Rag" m. 11, New York edition

"Maple Leaf Rag" m. 43, New York edition

The same notation can be seen in the Shattinger edition: Scott Joplin, Scott Joplin: Complete Ragtime Piano Solos (Shattinger-International Music Corp., 1974).

"Maple Leaf Rag" m. 11, Shattinger edition

  • 1
    I think this is a deliberate mistake which in case of an illegal copy helps uncover where it had been copied from. May 31 at 8:53
  • @AndrásHummer: Since the original work is in the public domain, copying all of the notes of a work that does not identify itself as anything other than a faithful transcription of the original shouldn't be illegal. It may be possible for an editor to copyright a layout of a public domain work, but if someone copies enough aspects of a layout to commit copyright infringement, that should be obvious even if there aren't any wrong notes.
    – supercat
    May 31 at 23:54

As someone who played the Maple Leaf Rag countless time on the street, I concur: that's not what Scott Joplin wrote.


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