Mad As A Hatter – Bluegrass Ragtime – Intermediate (Grade 4)

Mad As A Hatter – Bluegrass Ragtime – Intermediate (Grade 4)

(US) $2.73

(1 customer review)

Mad As A Hatter is a Bluegrass Ragtime piano solo in A major for established intermediate players at about the Grade 4 (ABRSM, AMEB or RCM) standard.

Listen to clip:


Mad As A Hatter is a quirky bluegrass piano solo with a swing ragtime feel, ideal for established intermediate players at the Grade 4 standard (ABRSM, AMEB or RCM).

The time signature is in 'cut common time' so this piece swings along at a merry pace of 192 bpm, however, it will also sound great at slower tempos.

The opening melody features cheeky syncopated eighth note quavers accompanied by a staccato ragtime motif in the left hand. Try to keep a light articulation in both hands so that you can hear plenty of 'daylight' in the rests. This will also help the syncopated feel of the piece.

In the middle section, the left hand takes over the melody with an elegantly rising refrain. The right hand staccato quarter note crotchets should be played delicately over the top of this melody to give it plenty of room to 'sing', and also so you can bring out the crescendo dynamics in these passages.

In bar 28, the left hand moves into the treble clef and the two hands then alternate in two playful downward runs, leading to a D.C. al Fine to finish the piece.

So where did the phrase, "mad as a hatter" come from? Most people believe it came from the hat making industry in Luton (England) during the 18th and 19th centuries. Hatters used poisonous mercury compounds in the felt making process which caused them slurred speech, memory loss and tremors. On a lighter note, the Hatter and the March Hare in Lewis Carol's 1865 book 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland' are referred to as "both mad" by the Cheshire Cat. Hence the 'Mad Hatter's tea party'!

The piano sheet music for Mad As A Hatter comes with with three audio tracks in MP3 format:

  • Performance
  • Play-along backing
  • Slow tempo practice backing

P.S. If you listen carefully, you might be able to hear a crazy kazoo playing along with the tuba bass line :).

Additional information

Audio Downloads

Performance MP3, Playalong Backing, Slow Tempo Playalong Backing









Time Signature

Simple Duple (e.g. 2/4)


Established Intermediate (Grade 4)


Sheet music

1 review for Mad As A Hatter – Bluegrass Ragtime – Intermediate (Grade 4)

  1. ANITA ELLIS (verified owner)

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