<i>A Guest of Honor</i>, 1903

Edward A. Berlin

in King of Ragtime

Published in print March 1996 | ISBN: 9780195101089
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199853120 | DOI:
                   A Guest of Honor, 1903

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The author argues that, at the time, the very idea of “ragtime opera” was viewed by many as a self-contradiction. Opera was regarded as the highest form of musical art. Ragtime was at the opposite pole, being the choice of music of saloons and brothels, the coon songs of the minstrel and vaudeville stages. As related by Arthur Marshall, Scott Joplin had difficulties in his marriage with Belle Hayden (or Jones). The author argues that Marshall may have confused Belle with another woman in Joplin's life. Despite the death of his child and the breakup of his marriage, Joplin continued working. On February 16, 1903, he applied for a copyright on his new opera, A Guest of Honor, which was toured in the region.

Keywords: ragtime opera; Arthur Marshall; Belle Hayden; marriage; A Guest of Honor

Chapter.  5420 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: American Music

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