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(born Nov. 24, 1868, Bowie county, Texas, U.S.died April 1, 1917, New York, N.Y.) U.S. pianist and composer, the outstanding exponent of ragtime music. Joplin was a classically trained pianist and composer. His compositions, including Maple Leaf Rag (1899), ragtime's first hit, and The Entertainer (1902), show an acute logic that transcends the sometimes mechanical dimension of the genre. He also wrote a ballet and two operas, including Treemonisha (1911), as well as several didactic works. He suffered a nervous collapse in 1911 and was institutionalized in 1916.
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