The origin of ragtime comes from the African American culture and music derived from New Orleans. This genre was stemmed from those involved in the secular, classical, and spiritual music of the 19th century and transformed into a complex style that had no focus on actual lyrics or singing. Ragtime grew in popularity and by the late 19th century was the most popular genre until the mid 20th century.
In order to play ragtime, the artists had to be very skilled in regards to their rhythm. This genre is known for the high level of syncopation throughout the pieces of music. A lot of the younger people during this time enjoyed listening to ragtime while the older generation did not understand why the music was so popular. Considering the skill that went behind playing this style of music, African Americans during the time who played ragtime allowed others to see the raw talent and technique that these artists had.
A few years ago, I found out about another famous artist that was well known during the prime of ragtime, James Hubert “Eubie” Blake. He is one of my cousins on my father’s side and when I found out about him while I was in high school, I wanted to learn as much as I could about his impact in music and the African American culture.
Ragtime has influenced many performers and genres to come.