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The Phenomenon of Ragtime

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The Phenomenon of Ragtime

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  • December 2012
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TOPIC The Magic of Music
(the Storyline of Sara and Coalhouse Walker)
TOPIC The Phenomenon of Ragtime

Everyone knows the word 'music'. We repeat it almost daily in this or that context. But are there many people who can give a clear definition of this term on the spot?. If you ask 10 different people, you will get 10 different answers. In general, music is regarded as an art form that involves organized sounds and silence. It is expressed in terms of pitch (melody and harmony), rhythm (tempo and meter), and the quality of sound (timbre, articulation, dynamics, and texture). For me, music is something that arouses people's emotions, makes them laugh and cry, helps to relax and brings satisfaction. It is believed that music is a good therapy in treating illnesses, and I quite agree with it. Indeed, music touches the secret strings of people's hearts, and we can see how a person tried to use the power of music in the novel 'Ragtime' by E. L. Doctorow. Coalhouse Walker Jr. was a black pianist who had a love affair with young Sarah and abandoned her to later reunite. But Sarah, who bore his child was resentful when he came to her. Actually the music which Coalhouse Walker Jr. played one evening in the house where Sarah was shelterd had a great impact on the audience: 'Small clear chords hung in the air like flowers. The melodies were like bouquets. There seemed to be no other possibilities for life than those delineated by the music'. Everyone who was upstairs came down to see who was playing, to find the source of these magic sounds. Everyone except Sarah. Didn't it touch her feelings? I think it did. I haven't read the whole novel unfortunately, but I know that later Sarah and Coalhouse Walker will marry. And I suppose that the evening when he played in the living-room for the whole family was one of the crucial moments in their lives. But what kind of music was it? What 'roused the senses and never stood still a moment'? What made 'the...