When something’s a little ragged, you don’t typically consider that a good thing, right? For example, ragged clothing may not be so great, but ragged rhythms have not only been celebrated, but revered as one of America’s most prized contributions to the world of music.

Hello – my name’s Garrett McQueen and on this edition of NoteWorthy I’d like to revisit the ragged rhythms of a genre known as ragtime.

If you’re familiar with ragtime, you probably know the name Scott Joplin already. He was definitely a leader in popularizing the genre in the early 20th century, but he did so alongside several others: one man, in particular, named Louis Chauvin.

Louis Chauvin was born in St. Louis, back in 1881. There isn’t a whole lot of information about his early life, but records show that he was well-respected as a pianist in that ragged style. His musical abilities earned him several connections and collaborations with leading musicians of the day, including the one and only Scott Joplin. This tune, called The Heliotrope Bouquet, is actually a work that was co-written by Louis Chauvin and Scott Joplin.

Chauvin died at the early age of 27 back in 1908, and his Heliotrope Bouquet is one of only three published works that he left behind. Despite his short life, and his small catalogue, his story and his contribution to the tradition of American ragtime make him an extremely noteworthy composer.

NoteWorthy is a production of WDAV Classical Public Radio.

Pictured: Louis Chauvin by OrangeBVLL – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0.