What's the Score?

Where Ragtime Press gets its sheet music

Sheet Music

When Sue Keller was a budding ragtimer she once asked Max Morath how she should go about getting her music published. "Forget it," he said. "There isn't enough of a market anymore for a publisher to make any money on ragtime. So do it yourself!"

So Sue Keller started Ragtime Press primarily to function as a vehicle to preserve the ragtime art-form, by providing a publication avenue to contemporary ragtime composers. It's true, there isn't much money in it, but with small press runs of 100, brisk mail order and festival sales, suplemented by CD sales... Ragtime Press continues to be a going concern.

The main source of Ragtime Press material is unsolicited composer submissions. Composers are motivated to make submissions by a desire to have their music professionally typeset at no cost to them. Most ragtime composers also want their music disseminated and played by others. Ragtime Press makes its product available to the composer at cost.

Occasionally, when the fancy strikes her, Sue Keller has been known to request permission to record a contemporary composition. It has been her practice to include at least 4 contemporary ragtime compositions on each of her CDs. Since her CDs are circulated to all ragtime and jazz radio stations, contemporary compositions and their authors get broad exposure and radio air play. And don't forget, ASCAP royalties accrue to the benefit of the composer, not the performer.

Sue Keller, being a trained and skilled composer herself, does all her own music notation. Notation is done with Coda Software's Finale program. Sheet music masters are created with a 600 dpi postscript laserjet. An outside printer service is utilized for the end product which is printed on heavy stock paper.

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Have an original ragtime composition? Send it to: ragtime@rtpress.com

Ragtime Press
P.O. Box 913
Orleans, MA 02653

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