Joplin's "Pleasant Moments" piano roll - authentic or not?

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Joplin's "Pleasant Moments" piano roll - authentic or not?

Postby Mezjuev » Sat Feb 04, 2012 10:29 pm

Hello fellow ragtimers!

I have a question about Scott Joplin's piano roll recording of his own "Pleasant Moments". It was long considered to be lost:

"In April, May, and June of 1916, Joplin made seven hand-played piano rolls, six for the Connorized Company and one for Uni-Record... A sixth roll, Pleasant Moments, was advertised in the Connorized catalogue, but no copy has been found".

"King of Ragtime - Scott Joplin and His Era" by Edward A. Berlin

Then (I believe it was in 2006) Robert Perry from Australia claimed that he'd found this piano roll on Ebay:

I discovered the roll in an Ebay purchase, in the incorrect box. As a fan of ragtime, I knew instantly that this was the lost Joplin roll that collectors had been seeking for forty years or more.


The piano roll was then converted into MIDI and MP3 and posted on Robert Perry's website: (MIDI file) (MP3)

In September 2006 I played this roll at our annual Swedish Ragtime Meeting. I remember that Kjell Waltman expressed strong doubts about the authenticity of this roll, he basically said that "it didn't sound like Joplin at all".

So, here I am, asking this group the same question. Is this piano roll really considered to be authentic? Has anyone else expressed doubts about its authenticity? Has anyone else (other then Robert Perry) seen and examined the physical piano roll itself? What do the piano roll collectors and piano roll experts think of it?

Personally I have no opinion about this "case" as yet, I'd first like to hear what the rest of you think and know about this discovery, before I think anything at all.

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Re: Joplin's "Pleasant Moments" piano roll - authentic or no

Postby torsbyn » Sun Feb 05, 2012 2:22 am

Hard to tell: there is no embellishing of the type fpound on OLE MISS or one MAPLE LEAF. This version has a nice lilt to it, anslightly old fashioned hesitation walz phrazing. Could be, could be not. Anyway, those rolls were added to, touched up, as we all know.
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