Words and Music by Scott Joplin

Contents: Musical Numbers | Synopsis | To Libretto Page | To Links | E-mail

No. 1 Overture
No. 2 The Bag of Luck
No. 3 The Corn-Huskers
No. 4 We're Goin' Around
No. 5 The Wreath
No. 6 The Sacred Tree
No. 7 Surprised
No. 8 Treemonisha's Bringing Up
No. 9 Good Advice
No. 10 Confusion

No. 11 Superstition
No. 12 Treemonisha in Peril
No. 13 Frolic of the Bears
No. 14 The Wasp Nest

No. 15 The Rescue
No. 16 We Will Rest Awhile
No. 17 Going Home
No. 18 Aunt Dinah Has Blowed De Horn

No. 19 Prelude to Act 3
No. 20 I Want to See My Child
No. 21 Treemonisha's Return
No. 22 Wrong is Never Right
No. 23 Abuse
No. 24 When Villains Ramble Far And Near
No. 25 Conjurors Forgiven
No. 26 We Will Trust You As Our Leader
No. 27 A Real Slow Drag

These midi sequences are direct uncut transcriptions of the published 1911 piano/vocal score, with passages not included in the 1975 Houston Grand Opera recording (Nos. 1, 2, 8, and 17). The "highlights" of the opera (in the opinion of the editor of this site), marked with a , were sequenced by Gary Davis. The vocal lines in these numbers are voiced as a combination of reed organ and "vocal ahh." The remaining numbers are voiced as piano only, and are based on sequences from Doc Wilson's ragtime midi site, with tempos edited by Gary Davis. Brief audio excerpts from each number on the Houston Grand Opera recording are available at

Bonus track: Treemonisha Medley


The setting is a plantation community deep in the Arkansas woods in 1884. Zodzetrick, an old "conjuror," tries to sell Monisha a Bag of Luck. Monisha's husband, Ned, and daughter, Treemonisha, intervene and scold Zodzetrick for profiting from the fears and superstitions of their neighbors. Remus tells Zodzetrick that his friend, Treemonisha, being the only educated person of their race in the area, will someday rid the neighborhood of the conjurors' harmful and backward influence. As Zodzetrick leaves, a chorus of Corn-Huskers enters to begin work but, at Treemonisha's suggestion, pause for a ring dance (We're Goin' Around). As her neighbors start husking the corn, Treemonisha notices that other girls are wearing wreaths made out of leaves and starts toward a tree to harvest leaves for a Wreath of her own. Monisha stops her, explaining that it is a Sacred Tree because that is where she found Treemonisha as an abandoned baby, and where Treemonisha later played happily as a child. Treemonisha is Surprised to hear that Monisha is not her true mother, but Monisha reassures her that she and Ned love her as if she were their own blood. She and explains how they convinced the neighbors Treemonisha was their biological child and that they had a white lady undertake her education because there was no school in the area (Treemonisha's Bringing Up). Treemonisha is moved by Monisha's story and, respecting her attachment to the tree, goes with Lucy into the woods to pick leaves from another tree. The local preacher, Parson Alltalk, arrives to deliver a sermon filled with homilies and Good Advice. Lucy returns out of breath, telling her neighbors that Zodzetrick and his partner, Luddud, have kidnapped Treemonisha and taken her into the forest. Amid general Confusion, a group of men leave to rescue Treemonisha and Remus follows, taking a scarecrow to wear as a costume to scare the conjurors.


As a group of conjurors meet in the forest to receive instruction on the subject of Superstition, Zodzetrick and Luddud arrive with Treemonisha, insisting that she be punished for threatening their livelihood (Treemonisha in Peril). The conjurers leave momentarily to deliberate on an appropriate punishment, leaving Treemonisha alone among wild forest animals (Frolic of the Bears). The conjurors return and decide to throw her in a large Wasp Nest. As they begin to carry out their plan Remus arrives in his scarecrow costume. The conjurors believe he is the devil and run away. Treemonisha expresses her gratitude for Remus' well-timed Rescue and they start for home. On their way through the fields they meet a group of weary cotton pickers (We Will Rest Awhile), who give them directions back to their plantation (Going Home). As Remus and Treemonisha set out for home, the cotton pickers celebrate quitting time with a dance (Aunt Dinah Has Blowed de Horn).


Ned comforts Monisha, who is worried about her daughter (I Want to See My Child). Remus and Treemonisha return, followed by men from the neighborhood who have captured Zodzetrick and Luddud (Treemonisha's Return). The neighbors threaten to beat the conjurors but Treemonisha stops them and asks them to instead lecture the two men and let them go. Remus supports Treemonisha's position of nonviolence, pointing out to his neighbors that that Wrong is Never Right. Not completely convinced, the neighbors again hurl Abuse at the conjurors, only to be stopped by Treemonisha. The conjurors receive a lecture from Ned (When Villains Ramble Far and Near) and are released with the wary forgiveness of the neighborhood (Conjurors Forgiven). Impressed with Treemonisha's rational response to the incident, the neighbors - men and women alike - ask her to be the leader of the community (We Will Trust You as Our Leader). Treemonisha accepts, and leads her neighbors in dancing A Real Slow Drag.

Remus, Treemonisha, Lucy, and Andy do the Real Slow Drag in the 1975 Houston Grand Opera production.

garizona@yahoo. com

Comments, questions, suggestions welcome!

The Maple Leaf Rag Ring-Devoted To Scott Joplin
The Maple Leaf Rag Ring-Devoted To Scott Joplin
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Page first published July 8, 1998
Page last updated December 16, 2001