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MMD > Archives > March 1996 > 1996.03.29 > 06Prev  Next

Re: Joplin and Lawrence
By Matthew Caulfield

I checked the Copyright Office card file on "Fig Leaf Rag." There are two registrations one for "Fig Leaf Rag" by Scott Joplin punlished Feb. 24, 1908 by Stark Music Printing and Pub. Co., New Yrok; the other for "The Fig Leaf; rag and two step" by W.R. Lawrence, June 7, 1909, with claimant Wm. R. Lawrence, Philadelphia, Pa.

It is not impossible that two versions (arrangements) of the same tune were registered at different times, and not impossible that one was be registered under the composer's real name and another under a pseudonym. But is less likely that a tune be issued first under the real name and subsequently under the pseudonym; it is usually the other way around WHEN it happens at all. To me the evidence (including the slight variation in title and the fact that copyright registrations, being legal records, usually reveal pseudonymous usages) suggests--without proving-- that these are two different tunes by two different composers.

copy sent

(Message sent Fri 29 Mar 1996, 17:13:12 GMT, from time zone GMT-0500.)

Key Words in Subject:  Joplin, Lawrence

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