June 8th, 2004


New music -- "Puppy Dog Rag"

I haven't finished making a sequence for Bird-Bath Rag yet -- a tune I wrote in late May which I'm only just starting to like. At first I wasn't sure if I liked it or not and thought maybe it needed more work but now I'm thinking it's OK, so I guess I'll make a proper MIDI sequence for that one.

But here's a cute little number I slaved over Saturday night. The melody of the first strain is something that has been in my head for months, and while it came easily, I had no idea what to do with the left hand. It took me about five hours to finish that one strain alone... and then I tweaked it again later in the composing process.

I compose using a sheet music program, essentially writing on virtual staff paper. When I had the first strain pretty much complete, I said to myself out loud, "OK, let's save this puppy..." I clicked Save As, then stared at the window. "Um, what shall I call this??" The fact that I called it a "puppy" got me wondering; I hadn't heard of any rags called Puppy, strangely. I looked in A Ragtime Compendium, which lists every ragtime tune known to man, and surprisingly there was no Puppy Rag. I decided to make it a bit cuter and name this Puppy Dog Rag.

Being a dog-titled tune, I just had to write a "dogfight" for it (the interlude played between repeats of the third strain -- a common element in marches).

I haven't put it on my web site yet, but here's the MIDI sequence all spiffed up and sounding good: Click to play it! Woof woof!

Ain't it cute??