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  • jazzpianist
    In my cleanup of the non-popular music female composers I found a glitch today, one that may have been detrimental in fact, but am asking for opinions and
    Message 1 of 13 , Mar 7 3:32 PM
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      In my cleanup of the non-popular music female composers I found a glitch today, one that may have been detrimental in fact, but am asking for opinions and hopefully some concurrence.

      The composer was Connecticut debutante Reva Marie Ritch. The piece in question is La Petite Boston: Waltz. But then again, was it? The cover by the Starmer brothers states Waltz. A write up in the Music Trade Review says Waltz. The copyright record at the Library of Congress says Waltz.

      The 2/4 signature and consistent syncopation - including across the center of many of the measures - says RAG.

      When this piece was recorded to a piano roll around 1912 it was released as a rag. Even though the title plate does not state rag, it also nowhere indicates that it is a waltz.

      How much difference do you think this made? The error could be on the Starmers, or whoever contracted the Starmers to do the cover, as most copyright records are based on what was sent into them from the publisher - a copy of the sheet music and a card with the necessary data. This indicates sloppiness by at least three potential individuals associated with Jerome H. Remick, a fairly reputable company overall.

      My conjecture is that there would be more copies of this piece around if the word Rag had been on the cover rather than Waltz, because many musicians DID judge a piece by its cover. Think about this - it was from 1911, the same year that Alexander's Ragtime Band was released, and an arguable peak year for piano ragtime in general; at least more so than prior years. Also consider that some music stores, much as record stores later did, filed pieces by genre. With fifty to sixty new pieces a week coming in this meant that very few employees got a chance to play through them all.

      So I feel that Ritch may have been short-changed by this careless error, and this otherwise fairly good rag might have turned into more compositions by this one-timer had it sold better. She did marry a bank manager and did all right for herself, and her daughter became a debutante much as she was back in the early 1900s. Still, why squelch a potential talent over a mistake like this, knowing that the word Waltz would possibly make many musicians pass on even opening the cover.

      Opinions? Conjecture?

      View the rag at:

      http://boundless.uoregon.edu/cgi-bin/showfile.exe?CISOROOT=/sheetmusic&CISOPTR=1794&filename=1795.pdf#search=%22Oregon%22

      Bill E.
    • johnk570
      Maybe it was written as a waltz, and then it was rearranged as a rag to cash in on the Alexander s Ragtime Band fad. I ve heard of cases where the title was
      Message 2 of 13 , Mar 7 7:17 PM
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        Maybe it was written as a waltz, and then it was rearranged as a rag to cash in on the Alexander's Ragtime Band fad. I've heard of cases where the title was changed, and there are some cases where the song undergoes minor changed between printings (Scott Joplin's New Rag, anyone?). That's really the best answer I can come up with.

        --- In EliteSyncopations@yahoogroups.com, "jazzpianist" <perfbill@...> wrote:
        >
        > In my cleanup of the non-popular music female composers I found a glitch today, one that may have been detrimental in fact, but am asking for opinions and hopefully some concurrence.
        >
        > The composer was Connecticut debutante Reva Marie Ritch. The piece in question is La Petite Boston: Waltz. But then again, was it? The cover by the Starmer brothers states Waltz. A write up in the Music Trade Review says Waltz. The copyright record at the Library of Congress says Waltz.
        >
        > The 2/4 signature and consistent syncopation - including across the center of many of the measures - says RAG.
        >
        > When this piece was recorded to a piano roll around 1912 it was released as a rag. Even though the title plate does not state rag, it also nowhere indicates that it is a waltz.
        >
        > How much difference do you think this made? The error could be on the Starmers, or whoever contracted the Starmers to do the cover, as most copyright records are based on what was sent into them from the publisher - a copy of the sheet music and a card with the necessary data. This indicates sloppiness by at least three potential individuals associated with Jerome H. Remick, a fairly reputable company overall.
        >
        > My conjecture is that there would be more copies of this piece around if the word Rag had been on the cover rather than Waltz, because many musicians DID judge a piece by its cover. Think about this - it was from 1911, the same year that Alexander's Ragtime Band was released, and an arguable peak year for piano ragtime in general; at least more so than prior years. Also consider that some music stores, much as record stores later did, filed pieces by genre. With fifty to sixty new pieces a week coming in this meant that very few employees got a chance to play through them all.
        >
        > So I feel that Ritch may have been short-changed by this careless error, and this otherwise fairly good rag might have turned into more compositions by this one-timer had it sold better. She did marry a bank manager and did all right for herself, and her daughter became a debutante much as she was back in the early 1900s. Still, why squelch a potential talent over a mistake like this, knowing that the word Waltz would possibly make many musicians pass on even opening the cover.
        >
        > Opinions? Conjecture?
        >
        > View the rag at:
        >
        > http://boundless.uoregon.edu/cgi-bin/showfile.exe?CISOROOT=/sheetmusic&CISOPTR=1794&filename=1795.pdf#search=%22Oregon%22
        >
        > Bill E.
        >
      • jazzpianist
        Too Richly Scored for this to be the case. Plus, the nature of the some of the phrases and syncopations are pretty far from a modified waltz. The error was
        Message 3 of 13 , Mar 7 7:25 PM
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          Too Richly Scored for this to be the case. Plus, the nature of the some of the phrases and syncopations are pretty far from a modified waltz. The error was clearly elsewhere.

          Plus, this would hardly be a minor change, and had the composer had an issue with a major change, it would have made it into at least some of the papers like MTR or the Mirror. You'd also have to ask - where was the waltz version to begin with?

          BE

          --- In EliteSyncopations@yahoogroups.com, "johnk570" <johnk570@...> wrote:
          >
          > Maybe it was written as a waltz, and then it was rearranged as a rag to cash in on the Alexander's Ragtime Band fad. I've heard of cases where the title was changed, and there are some cases where the song undergoes minor changed between printings (Scott Joplin's New Rag, anyone?). That's really the best answer I can come up with.
          >
          > --- In EliteSyncopations@yahoogroups.com, "jazzpianist" <perfbill@> wrote:
          > >
        • johnk570
          I guess it was just a major oversight by the printers then. And by major, I mean like ridiculously major. Sometimes these things just sorta happen, I guess
          Message 4 of 13 , Mar 7 7:27 PM
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            I guess it was just a major oversight by the printers then. And by major, I mean like ridiculously major. Sometimes these things just sorta happen, I guess (*shrugs*).

            --- In EliteSyncopations@yahoogroups.com, "jazzpianist" <perfbill@...> wrote:
            >
            > Too Richly Scored for this to be the case. Plus, the nature of the some of the phrases and syncopations are pretty far from a modified waltz. The error was clearly elsewhere.
            >
            > Plus, this would hardly be a minor change, and had the composer had an issue with a major change, it would have made it into at least some of the papers like MTR or the Mirror. You'd also have to ask - where was the waltz version to begin with?
            >
            > BE
            >
            > --- In EliteSyncopations@yahoogroups.com, "johnk570" <johnk570@> wrote:
            > >
            > > Maybe it was written as a waltz, and then it was rearranged as a rag to cash in on the Alexander's Ragtime Band fad. I've heard of cases where the title was changed, and there are some cases where the song undergoes minor changed between printings (Scott Joplin's New Rag, anyone?). That's really the best answer I can come up with.
            > >
            > > --- In EliteSyncopations@yahoogroups.com, "jazzpianist" <perfbill@> wrote:
            > > >
            >
          • Ragnar Hellspong
            Message 5 of 13 , Mar 8 1:16 AM
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              <<The composer was Connecticut debutante Reva Marie Ritch. The piece in
              question is La Petite Boston: Waltz. But then again, was it? The cover
              by the Starmer brothers states Waltz. A write up in the Music Trade
              Review says Waltz. The copyright record at the Library of Congress says
              Waltz. The 2/4 signature and consistent syncopation - including across
              the center of many of the measures - says RAG. <<

              Of course it is a rag. Perhaps Rich composed both a rag and a Boston
              Waltz and the compositions were mixed up? Reminds me of another misnamed
              rag - Fats Waller´s Wild Cat Blues.

              /Ragnar
            • Ragnar Hellspong
              I think the cover artist thought that the title - La Petite Boston - refered to the so called Boston Waltz so he added the word Waltz. He perhaps couldn t read
              Message 6 of 13 , Mar 9 1:33 AM
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                I think the cover artist thought that the title - La Petite Boston -
                refered to the so called Boston Waltz so he added the word Waltz. He
                perhaps couldn't read music or didn´t even see the score.

                However, it is much more likely that the title refers to a small dog - a
                Boston terrier.

                Nobody discovered the mistake until after printing and then the
                publisher didn't want to spend more money on an unknown woman composer. QED.

                /Ragnar
              • jazzpianist
                The Starmer Brothers drew an estimated 20,000 covers from 1898 or so into the mid 1920s for Frederick and the late 1930s for William. They were already top
                Message 7 of 13 , Mar 9 5:20 AM
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                  The Starmer Brothers drew an estimated 20,000 covers from 1898 or so into the mid 1920s for Frederick and the late 1930s for William. They were already top artists by 1911, and drew perhaps 1/3 or more of the covers found by nearly every publisher, including John Stark and E.T. Paull. They rarely made errors, and it was usually spelling, and not identification. They also followed instructions well. Therefore, while one of them could be culpable in this case, I would still maintain it was a Remick employee who made the blunder with the order.

                  Also, the ability or lack thereof to read music should have nothing to do with their work. Even if they could not distinguish the subtleties between an intermezzo or a light march, they can still read the request invoice sent to them. I would doubt that many of the artists ever saw the music before it was in print, since their work had to be completed before the printing was done, and the plates were usually made simultaneously by another firm, or the publisher themselves.

                  Read more on the Starmers and other artists at http://ragpiano.com/ragtime9a.shtml

                  Bill E.

                  --- In EliteSyncopations@yahoogroups.com, Ragnar Hellspong <ragnar.hellspong@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > I think the cover artist thought that the title - La Petite Boston -
                  > refered to the so called Boston Waltz so he added the word Waltz. He
                  > perhaps couldn't read music or didn´t even see the score.
                  >
                  > However, it is much more likely that the title refers to a small dog - a
                  > Boston terrier.
                  >
                  > Nobody discovered the mistake until after printing and then the
                  > publisher didn't want to spend more money on an unknown woman composer. QED.
                  >
                  > /Ragnar
                  >
                • jazzpianist
                  There are dozens of pieces around with the name Boston in them, much less other cities. Le petit Boston does not necessarily equate to a waltz. And again,
                  Message 9 of 13 , Mar 11 12:13 PM
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                    There are dozens of pieces around with the name "Boston" in them, much less other cities. Le petit Boston does not necessarily equate to a waltz. And again, the contents and the cover page clearly indicate that it is a rag, intended as a rag, and composed by the same person, and that only the cover is in error at this point, which is what the topic was to begin with. How much did the incorrect word Waltz on the cover - and keep in mind that there are a lot of pieces with Boston in the title that are NOT waltzes, so it should not be an automatic assertion like scotch and tape (or Johnnie Walker) - affect sales or interest in the piece.

                    Further investigation has made it clear that either a clerk at Remick or one of the Starmer brothers is to blame for the error, not the composer, who acquitted herself nicely with this piece (possibly arranged by Zamecnik or another Remick arranger).

                    Bill E

                    --- In EliteSyncopations@yahoogroups.com, "isidore" <isidoor2@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > http://www.ebay.com/itm/DREAMING-VALSE-BOSTON-vintage-sheet-music-1911-/190705124998?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2c66e94686
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > http://digitalcollections.baylor.edu/cdm/compoundobject/collection/fa-spnc/id/30267/rec/52
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > http://books.google.fr/books?id=YCO1j1CJXmcC&pg=PA301&lpg=PA301&dq=la+petite+boston+waltz&source=bl&ots=r_VbqMkVUA&sig=MrgYXXhcA1zbc--7Lz9niMqxTiA&hl=fr&sa=X&ei=m3U9UbyyKMue7AaOwIH4Bw&ved=0CGoQ6AEwCQ#v=onepage&q=la%20petite%20boston%20waltz&f=false
                    >
                    >
                    > on a french encyclopedia a » boston waltz » is a slower variation danced side by side :
                    >
                    > http://books.google.fr/books?id=YCO1j1CJXmcC&pg=PA301&lpg=PA301&dq=la+petite+boston+waltz&source=bl&ots=r_VbqMkVUA&sig=MrgYXXhcA1zbc--7Lz9niMqxTiA&hl=fr&sa=X&ei=m3U9UbyyKMue7AaOwIH4Bw&ved=0CGoQ6AEwCQ#v=onepage&q=la%20petite%20boston%20waltz&f=false
                    >
                  • isidore
                    http://www.ragtimepiano.ca/rags/waltz.htm
                    Message 10 of 13 , Mar 11 2:14 PM
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                      http://www.ragtimepiano.ca/rags/waltz.htm


                      --- In EliteSyncopations@yahoogroups.com, "jazzpianist" <perfbill@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > There are dozens of pieces around with the name "Boston" in them, much less other cities. Le petit Boston does not necessarily equate to a waltz. And again, the contents and the cover page clearly indicate that it is a rag, intended as a rag, and composed by the same person, and that only the cover is in error at this point, which is what the topic was to begin with. How much did the incorrect word Waltz on the cover - and keep in mind that there are a lot of pieces with Boston in the title that are NOT waltzes, so it should not be an automatic assertion like scotch and tape (or Johnnie Walker) - affect sales or interest in the piece.
                      >
                      > Further investigation has made it clear that either a clerk at Remick or one of the Starmer brothers is to blame for the error, not the composer, who acquitted herself nicely with this piece (possibly arranged by Zamecnik or another Remick arranger).
                      >
                      > Bill E
                      >
                      > --- In EliteSyncopations@yahoogroups.com, "isidore" <isidoor2@> wrote:
                      > >
                      > > http://www.ebay.com/itm/DREAMING-VALSE-BOSTON-vintage-sheet-music-1911-/190705124998?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2c66e94686
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > http://digitalcollections.baylor.edu/cdm/compoundobject/collection/fa-spnc/id/30267/rec/52
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > http://books.google.fr/books?id=YCO1j1CJXmcC&pg=PA301&lpg=PA301&dq=la+petite+boston+waltz&source=bl&ots=r_VbqMkVUA&sig=MrgYXXhcA1zbc--7Lz9niMqxTiA&hl=fr&sa=X&ei=m3U9UbyyKMue7AaOwIH4Bw&ved=0CGoQ6AEwCQ#v=onepage&q=la%20petite%20boston%20waltz&f=false
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > on a french encyclopedia a » boston waltz » is a slower variation danced side by side :
                      > >
                      > > http://books.google.fr/books?id=YCO1j1CJXmcC&pg=PA301&lpg=PA301&dq=la+petite+boston+waltz&source=bl&ots=r_VbqMkVUA&sig=MrgYXXhcA1zbc--7Lz9niMqxTiA&hl=fr&sa=X&ei=m3U9UbyyKMue7AaOwIH4Bw&ved=0CGoQ6AEwCQ#v=onepage&q=la%20petite%20boston%20waltz&f=false
                      > >
                      >
                    • isidore
                      another example of a Boston waltz which is definitively a rag :
                      Message 11 of 13 , Mar 11 2:21 PM
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                        another example of a Boston waltz which is definitively a rag :

                        http://mainemusicbox.library.umaine.edu/musicbox/pages/imagesequence2.asp?id=KAS_002888&seq=1&full=0


                        --- In EliteSyncopations@yahoogroups.com, "isidore" <isidoor2@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > http://www.ragtimepiano.ca/rags/waltz.htm
                        >
                        >
                        > --- In EliteSyncopations@yahoogroups.com, "jazzpianist" <perfbill@> wrote:
                        > >
                        > > There are dozens of pieces around with the name "Boston" in them, much less other cities. Le petit Boston does not necessarily equate to a waltz. And again, the contents and the cover page clearly indicate that it is a rag, intended as a rag, and composed by the same person, and that only the cover is in error at this point, which is what the topic was to begin with. How much did the incorrect word Waltz on the cover - and keep in mind that there are a lot of pieces with Boston in the title that are NOT waltzes, so it should not be an automatic assertion like scotch and tape (or Johnnie Walker) - affect sales or interest in the piece.
                        > >
                        > > Further investigation has made it clear that either a clerk at Remick or one of the Starmer brothers is to blame for the error, not the composer, who acquitted herself nicely with this piece (possibly arranged by Zamecnik or another Remick arranger).
                        > >
                        > > Bill E
                        > >
                        > > --- In EliteSyncopations@yahoogroups.com, "isidore" <isidoor2@> wrote:
                        > > >
                        > > > http://www.ebay.com/itm/DREAMING-VALSE-BOSTON-vintage-sheet-music-1911-/190705124998?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2c66e94686
                        > > >
                        > > >
                        > > >
                        > > >
                        > > >
                        > > >
                        > > > http://digitalcollections.baylor.edu/cdm/compoundobject/collection/fa-spnc/id/30267/rec/52
                        > > >
                        > > >
                        > > >
                        > > > http://books.google.fr/books?id=YCO1j1CJXmcC&pg=PA301&lpg=PA301&dq=la+petite+boston+waltz&source=bl&ots=r_VbqMkVUA&sig=MrgYXXhcA1zbc--7Lz9niMqxTiA&hl=fr&sa=X&ei=m3U9UbyyKMue7AaOwIH4Bw&ved=0CGoQ6AEwCQ#v=onepage&q=la%20petite%20boston%20waltz&f=false
                        > > >
                        > > >
                        > > > on a french encyclopedia a » boston waltz » is a slower variation danced side by side :
                        > > >
                        > > > http://books.google.fr/books?id=YCO1j1CJXmcC&pg=PA301&lpg=PA301&dq=la+petite+boston+waltz&source=bl&ots=r_VbqMkVUA&sig=MrgYXXhcA1zbc--7Lz9niMqxTiA&hl=fr&sa=X&ei=m3U9UbyyKMue7AaOwIH4Bw&ved=0CGoQ6AEwCQ#v=onepage&q=la%20petite%20boston%20waltz&f=false
                        > > >
                        > >
                        >
                      • Ragnar Hellspong
                        Message 12 of 13 , Mar 11 2:38 PM
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                          <<another example of a Boston waltz which is definitively a rag :

                          http://mainemusicbox.library.umaine.edu/musicbox/pages/imagesequence2.asp?id=KAS_002888&seq=1&full=0<<

                          No way, an unsyncopated 15 bar introduction does not make a rag.

                          /Ragnar
                        • jazzpianist
                          ... -- Bill Edwards replied -- Gotta ask. Did you look past the first few lines? Many, and I do mean many waltzes, including one of Joplin s, began with 2/4 or
                          Message 13 of 13 , Mar 11 3:37 PM
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                            --- In EliteSyncopations@yahoogroups.com, "isidore" <isidoor2@...> wrote:
                            >
                            >
                            > another example of a Boston waltz which is definitively a rag :
                            >
                            > http://mainemusicbox.library.umaine.edu/musicbox/pages/imagesequence2.asp?id=KAS_002888&seq=1&full=0
                            >
                            -- Bill Edwards replied --

                            Gotta ask. Did you look past the first few lines? Many, and I do mean many waltzes, including one of Joplin's, began with 2/4 or 4/4 sections as an introduction, then went into 3/4 time. At the bottom of the first page the piece goes into 3/4 time, and remains there clear to the lower right corner of the end. It is absolutely definitively a waltz, and positively absolutivetally or whatever not a piano rag, as there are no syncopations to be found, even in the introduction

                            I feel bad doing that, but this is one of those cases where details really do count and we have to be careful about disseminating misinformation, since it tends to fractal out at an alarming rate on the internet, giving birth to even more inaccuracies.

                            In short, Valse June is exactly as advertised - a non ragtime waltz.

                            Bill E.
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