Ragtime is a syncopated rhythm that was popular in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Many people used ragtime music for dancing or swinging. The most used instrument is ragtime is the piano which is referred to as piano thumbing because of the upbeat song. Ragtime was the main influence for jazz music, that gained popularity in the 1920s.

Scott Joplin is a very prominent ragtime artist known as the “King of Ragtime.” His most famous song is called “The Maple Leaf Rag.” One could compare the lyrics to the song to modern day pop or dance music. It is not sad like blues and it definitely is not like gospel. Ragtime gives the audience a light and whimsical feeling. Ragtime greatly influenced the musical idea of cakewalks, coon songs, and minstrel shows that portrayed the racism in that time period.