Let's Get Down With Ragtime
The genre of ragtime was most popular in the very late 1800s into the early 1900s. It started as being influenced by minstrel shows performed in St. Louis, Missouri, banjo styles, and certain syncopated dance rhythms from the cakewalk. Ragtime had a “left hand” beat, which was a slower and steady beat while the “right hand” beat was a fast bouncing beat. Ragtime later evolved in the late 1900s into the playing of upbeat, bouncy pianist music in Mississippi and Missouri.
The cakewalk originated during slavery and it was a contest. slave would get in pairs and dress as their slave masters and their wives and put on a dancing show, pretending and acting like their masters. It was sort of like an mimic and exaggeration of their masters.
Scott Joplin (“King of Ragtime”) (“The Maple Leaf Rag”)