The Entertainer Scott


Download and print in PDF or MIDI free sheet music for The Entertainer by Scott Joplin arranged by James Brigham for Piano (Solo). Update: 4,000,000 VIEWS!!! Thanks everyone! (7/2/16)Update: 3,000,000 VIEWS!!! Yayyyyyyy party!!! (8/30/12) Update: 2,000,000 VIEWS. That number just blo.

It is an honor to be writing an article about a song by Scott Joplin, as he is such an unique artist.

Scott Joplin was born in 1868 and died in 1917, and he was an African-American artist, mainly composer and pianist.

He was famous for his ragtime compositions and he was considered to be the King of Ragtime.

His career was not too long, as he was active between 1895 and 1917, but in that time he wrote more than 100 original ragtime pieces, one ragtime ballet, and two operas.

His most famous hit was Maple Leaf Rag, a song that became ragtime's first and most influential hit.

The Entertainer Scott Joplin Sheet Music

The Entertainer is an amazing song written by Scott in 1902 as a classic piano rag. Its history is amazing, as it was at first sold as sheet music and in the 1910s as piano rolls.

The song was one of the classics of ragtime, has a length of 3:53 minutes and it is defined as the Ragtime two-step genre. It was published by John Stark & Son of St. Louis, Missouri, together with other two of Scott’s rags - A Breeze from Alabama and Elite Syncopations.

In 1973, the song was used as the main theme music for the movie named The Sting, which was an Oscar winner.

When looking into the free The Entertainer piano sheet music composition, we learn that is subtitled as A Rag Time Two Step, a form of popular dance in the 1910s, a common style among rags.

The song is structured as follows: Intro–AA–BB–A–CC–Intro2–DD, composed in the key of C major and it modulates to the F major.

The Entertainer is very technical and has amazing instructions, like for example, the B section containing an indication that the song is to be played an octave higher on the repeat.

It was amazingly received by the public, media, and critics and it is still used nowadays in all kinds of TV and media elements.

It has also been covered by many famous artists over the years, and for example, Marvin Hamlish adapted and orchestrated the song for the movie The Sting, in 1973 and with this version he won the Academy Award for Best Original Song Score and Adaptation in 1974.

The free The Entertainer piano sheets remain an evergreen between rags, it is a simple piano song and has all the instruction and amazing technical details for you to be playing it on your own, at your piano.

The Entertainer Song

We hope we can provide you all the information you need on our website.

An Analysis of Scott Joplin’s The Entertainer: A Ragtime Two Step

Ragtime compositions are intermingled with the rise of jazz and popular music during the late 19th century. As the romantic and contemporary musical eras became known for its specific contributions to music, ragtime composition set itself as purely an American composition, wherein it originated from African-American communities in the United States. Ragtime music established itself as a defining musical genre apart from its European counterparts. The structure of ragtime music are mostly based on jigs or marches; basically dance music with its unique African syncopation coupled with the strict musical structure from classical music.

Don't use plagiarized sources. Get Your Custom Essay on
An Analysis of Scott Joplin’s The Entertainer: A Ragtime Two Step

One of the best known and forerunners of ragtime composition was Scott Joplin. Born between 1867 of June or January of 1869, Joplin’s life coincided with the first generation of post-slavery era. The second eldest among six children, son of Florence Givins and Jiles Joplin in Texas, Scott Joplin began to show interest with the piano when his mother cleaned well-off homes where he would practice his music.

He was also born into a musical family, “Florence played the banjo and sang and Giles played the violin. Giles apparently taught his children the violin as well, for Scott, Robert, and William all played that instrument” (Berlin 1994, p. 6). By 1882 however, his mother had bought a piano which exposed his exceptional musical talent at a very early age, that German music teacher Julius Weiss gave the boy free piano lessons. Weiss was considered as the foremost influence in Joplin’s musical career because of his intent to expose the young Scott to European classical music, eventually leading him to compose a ‘classical’ genre of ragtime music.

For most of his adult life, Joplin spent touring the states and conducting performances. In 1902, Joplin composed his most popular pieces, The Maple Leaf Rag, Elite Syncopations as well as The Entertainer. However, at the time of his death, Joplin’s ragtime genre was quickly replaced by the rise of jazz and other forms of music. Ironically, it was not until the 1970’s that Joplin’s musical genius was receptively recognized by music critics around the world.

The Entertainer gained universal popularity when it was reintroduced in the 1970’s when the composition was used in the Oscar-winning movie The Sting. The whole melody of the piece is set to a dance rhythm; hence, a ‘two-step’ ragtime piece. The piece is set in the key of C major following a semi-rondo structure of AA BB A CC Intro DD. “The essence of The Entertainer A strain is the E-C alternation over changing harmonies, preceded by the D-D sharp pickup” (Berlin 1994, p. 107). The rondo structure starts first with the introduction and foremost theme with alternating C major notes followed by a succession of octaves that is evident throughout the AA-A-C structure. The theme may be simple, with merely the main theme alternating between two different themes. However, ragtime compositions generally follow a two or three theme structure, alternating from one theme to the other. Ragtime takes its roots from the western sonata variation where a theme (A) is replicated through a succession of ‘variations’ (A-AB-AC-AD…) while still utilizing the basic theme. The piece has a homophonic texture, where the G clef notation contains the melody while the bass clef contains support chords consisting of dyads, triads, and succession of octaves. The left-hand chords also provide a support melody, harmonizing with the main theme on the right hand.

The Entertainer did not receive much recognition until the ragtime revival of the 1970s. However, the piece represented the growing piano music structure as European music started to influence the United States. The Entertainer along with Joplin’s other compositions, became a symbol of ‘saloon’ music, as ragtime compositions were intended to be played on public places or social gatherings such as pubs, saloons, or private parties. Indeed, the piece resonate a ‘saloon’ feel; melodic yet simple in style as it provides a laid back and cheery dance feel. Ragtime music also characterizes the beginning of the Industrial age during the early 19th century. Before the popularity of jazz, The Entertainer and other ragtime pieces, defined an era in musical development.


Berlin, E. (1995). King of Ragtime: Scott Joplin and His Era. New York: Oxford University Press.