“The Real West” — An Original Ragtime Piano Composition

“Wooded slopes and granite summits seen from the bottom of Yosemite Valley” by calvin kan on Unsplash

Here’s a new ragtime project I’ve been working on this month. Unlike my previous video post, this one’s actual title doesn’t relate to the footage. I actually call this rag “The Real West” and initially aimed to set it to various western U.S. footage. But, I couldn’t find anything to match my original vision, and then stumbled across this now-public-domain film “Design for Dreaming” (1956) from the Prelinger archive. I really loved how well it fit, which is somewhat odd, as I now envision this piece in a few completely different ways. I actually went back into the score and tweaked a few things after finding this footage, although such changes were subtle. Oddly, I also notice a strong presence of a particular E note throughout which seems to have rendered as though it is stressed, which it is not. Others may not hear it, but it seems to be a quirk of the rendering software used, or the particular piano soundfont.


Jim Dee maintains his personal blog, “Hawthorne Crow,” and a web design blog called “Web Designer | Web Developer Magazine.” He’s also contributes to various Medium.com publications. You can reach him at: Jim [at] ArrayWebDevelopment.com.