Ragtime music was started in the late 1800s by African Americans in bars, saloons and brothels. These were the only places at the time that allowed African Americans to perform. Ragtime music consisted of ragging which were embellished melodies. African American ragtime musicians did not plain on converting their compositions to be printed and sold. The piano players of the music received tips at bars and saloons which means the music was financially attractive.
Scott Joplin was a ragtime musician who composed “Maple Leaf Rag” in 1906. In my opinion “Maple Leaf Rag” resembles the instrumental music that would play in the background of old movies. They remind me of Charlie Chaplin scenes. White ragtime artist like James Scott are examples of how white people try to learn and copy techniques that African American artist use.