Ragtime was popularized from 1896 to 1920.  Ragtime  is usually categorized by Upbeat music played on a piano. Ragtime popularized sheet music. People would buy sheet music and then play it in their homes. Ragtime played on the piano can be recognized because then left hand would play easier part on the piano, a few chords that would alternate. Then the right hand would be the syncopation that would give the song an upbeat melody. The city that ragtime was very popular in St. Louis, Missouri. There were some very degrading ideas and events associated with ragtime. The general marketing scheme for ragtime included cakewalks and “coon songs.” The songs were often degrading towards black people and typical lyrics in ragtime songs were sung in a Negro Dialect. A Cake walk is where black couples would dance, slaves would compete, mimicking their masters. All this would be put on as a show for their masters. Some famous ragtime artists include:

  • Scott Joplin (called the King of Ragtime)
  • James Hubert Blake
  • Jelly Roll Morton
  • James Scott
  • Tom Turpin

Ragtime played out when jazz became popular turning into swing, which was an early form of jazz.

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