Throughout time ragtime has been defined as song, dance, and syncopated instrumental music. The genre of ragtime must be described according to its duality between written music and oral tradition, between early jazz and classical music, and between African American and European American music.
Eubie Blake, ragtime pianist and composer, is one of the most important figures in early-20th-century African-American music.
Fats Waller, African-American pianist, singer, songwriter, earned fame for his comedic radio performances in the 1930s.
Jelly Roll Morton was an American pianist and songwriter best known for influencing the formation of modern day jazz during the 1920s.
James Scott, African-American ragtime composer, regarded as one of the three most important composers of classic ragtime. He is known for his expansive use of the keyboard and a "call and response" style melody.