He is the most famous composer you've never heard of -- Scott Joplin was born near the end of 1867( the actual date is unknown) in Northern Texas. His parents were formerly enslaved and gave Scott some of his earliest music lessons. Scott taught himself to play the piano while his mother cleaned the houses of wealthy people who owned pianos (the Joplins did not have a piano at home). Later in his life, he began to write music and became known as "The King Of Ragtime" because of the style of music he created. An opera, music for ballet, and more than 44 ragtime dances for the piano are just a part of the music Joplin wrote in his life. Here are some of his most well-known compositions: The Entertainer Maple Leaf Rag The Strenuous Life Easy Winners Treemonisha- Scott Joplin's Opera! In English!
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Best known for her choral compositions (music written for choirs), Undine Smith Moore began piano lessons at age 7, graduated from Fisk University (Mrs. Spiller’s Alma Mater) in 1927, and began teaching music in public schools. Later in life, she became a college professor teaching music. She is recognized as one of the most influential composers of American choral music. Listen to the following examples: We Shall Walk In Peace Afro-American Suite Daniel, Daniel, Servant Of The Lord