Joplin never made an audio recording, his playing is preserved on seven piano rolls.
All seven were made between April and June 1916. Of these, the six released under the
Connorized label show evidence of significant editing, probably by William Axtmann, the
staff arranger at Connorized. It is believed by experts (discussion here) that these
rolls do not contain any useful information about Joplin's playing style. Ole Miss Rag was composed by W.C.Handy.
The other roll, a recording of "Maple Leaf Rag" was recorded on the Uni-Record label in June 1916.
It was recorded on better equipment than the Connorized rolls and was largely unedited thus
does give a true record of Joplin's playing. However at the time Joplin was suffering from the
advanced symptoms of syphilis which would take his life 10 months later, so this recording is not
a true record of his more youthful ability.
The Silver Swan Rag was composed by Joplin and published in 1914 on Master-Record 1239, but I have
found no evidence that this recording was played by Joplin.
The music currently available for this page which has been produced by recording a real pianola is generally
of very poor quality and has little entertainment or archival value.
All of Joplin's original piano rolls have been electronically scanned and converted to midi.
I have produced the music available here by computer processing these midi files.