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Crazy Bone Rag

By Charles L. Johnson

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Trombone, Concert Band - Advanced Intermediate
Composed by Charles L. Johnson. Arranged by Marc Oliver. Score, Set of Parts. 44 pages. Published by Ayotte Custom Musical Engravings (S0.118511).

Item Number: S0.118511

At the turn of the century, popular music fell into the following genres: country, rock, hip-hop and rap. In the 1980s, pop music was country, rock and disco. In the mid-1950s, it was country n' western, rock n'roll, doo-wop and solo artists from the previous big band era. In the 1940s, it was big band, western swing and hillbilly music. At the turn of the previous century, the popular music was ragtime. My, how times have changed. Ragtime was an early and "primitive" form of jazz. Some of the "licks" you hear in jazz today can be traced back to ragtime music. Because it was still in its "embryonic" stage, composers of the genre used structures of previous genres for their music, mostly marches. Like a march, a rag will have an introduction, a 1st and 2nd strains, either the 1st strain repeated or a 3rd strain, a trio, maybe a break strain, and a grandioso strain. Sometimes there is a da capo which will direct the musicians to go back to the beginning and play the music up to a fine. Almost all ragtime composers were piano players; therefore, all rags were piano pieces. Such is the case with "Crazy Bone Rag" by Charles L. Johnson, written in 1918. Johnson wrote over 400 pieces of music from his hometowns of Kansas City, Kansas and Kansas City, Missouri. His most popular piece was "Dill Pickle Rag" which was written sometime after Crazy Bone Rag. The original arranger of the band version is not known, so it can be assumed that Johnson wrote it, which probably explains the pianistic qualities of the band piece. Because of the intricacies of ragtime music, it is recommended that the rag not be played fast, but at a moderate walking tempo.

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