Jordan Alexander Key
Ragtime and Rhetoric: William Bolcom, "The Garden of Eden, III. The Serpents Kiss"
William Bolcom’s The Garden of Eden is a set of four piano rags, completed by Bolcom in 1969. Illustrating an abstract narrative from the Abrahamic Genesis-creation, the four rags encapsulate Bolcom’s third-stream Americana style, incorporating into a virtuosic piano piece intense melodic, harmonic, and formal composition with traditional rag rhythms, chromaticism, and expressive nuance. While the four rags of The Garden of Eden present a diversity of musical styles, it is i