Scott Joplin was an
African-American composer and pianist, born in Texas, USA in 1867. His family was
musical, and in his teenage years and his twenties he worked as a travelling
musician. Later he settled in Missouri, where he started writing his
ragtime piano pieces, and some songs.
His most successful ragtime piece
was "Maple Leaf Rag", which earned him a small but steady royalty
income for the rest of his life. It was the first piece of sheet music ever to
reach sales in excess of one million!