Ragtime started as a way of playing any kind of music by “ragging” the melody, a rhythmic trick which originated with the African American plantation culture of the mid-1800s.

The first exposure of African-Americans in the public domain was through black-face minstrel shows, a form of entertainment introduced by whites. A minstrel show was composed of three different sections; the opening walk-around, the middle section, and the concluding section. This is the rooting of ragtime commodification.

Influentially, Jazz evolved from ragtime, adopting its syncopation styles. Scott Joplin is considered the “King of Ragtime”. Many are familiar with his compositions “The Entertainer” and “Maple Leaf Rag”.

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