What is ragtime?

  • (noun): Music with a syncopated melody (usually for the piano).
    Synonyms: rag

Ragtime

Ragtime (alternatively spelled rag-time) is an original musical genre which enjoyed its peak popularity between 1897 and 1918. Its main characteristic trait is its syncopated, or "ragged," rhythm. It began as dance music in the red-light districts of African American communities in St. Louis and New Orleans years before being published as popular sheet music for piano. Ernest Hogan was an innovator and key pioneer who helped develop the musical genre. Hogan is also credited for coining the term Ragtime. Ragtime was also a modification of the march made popular by John Philip Sousa, with additional polyrhythms coming from African music. The ragtime composer Scott Joplin became famous through the publication in 1899 of the "Maple Leaf Rag" and a string of ragtime hits that followed, although he was later forgotten by all but a small, dedicated community of ragtime aficionados until the major ragtime revival in the early 1970s. For at least 12 years after its publication, the "Maple Leaf Rag" heavily influenced subsequent ragtime composers with its melody lines, harmonic progressions or metric patterns.

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Some articles on ragtime:

Ragtime Composers
... By far the most famous ragtime composer was Scott Joplin ... Scott are, together with Joplin, acknowledged as the three most sophisticated ragtime composers ... Other leading ragtime composers include Jelly Roll Morton, Eubie Blake, Charles L ...
Timeline Of Music In The United States (1880–1919) - 1911
... Irving Berlin's "That Mysterious Rag" is the first ragtime song to not revolve around explicitly black lyrical themes ... Berlin shifts to describing his work in this style as "syncopated", rather than "ragtime" ... His "Alexander's Ragtime Band" is "conspicuously representative" of the Tin Pan Alley songwriters, and brings about a "brief revival of interest in (ragtime)" despite ...
That International Rag - Composition
... Despite the song's title, critics doubt whether the work is actually ragtime ... The reliance upon ragtime piano pieces is a good case in point ... Berlin's Alexander's Ragtime Band and later The International Rag (1913) were ragtime songs but not ragtime music ...
List Of Sedalia People - Arts - Music
... Scott Hayden (1882–1915), composer of ragtime music George Thomas Ireland (1866–1963), renowned ragtime clarinet player, journalist in Sedalia for almost 50 years Scott ...
Alexander's Ragtime Band (film)
... Alexander's Ragtime Band (1938) is a film released by Twentieth Century Fox that takes its name from the 1911 Irving Berlin (1888-1989) song "Alexander's Ragtime Band ... generally traces the history of Jazz music from the popularization of Ragtime in the early years of the 20th century to the acceptance of Swing as an art form in the late 1930s using music composed by ...

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