Ragtime was a genre that originated in the late 19th around 1896 and began to decline in popularity in the 1920s. The style has its origins in cities such as St. Louis. Ragtime was one of the first that genres that created the syncopations of tunes and syncopated marches. The melody was very fast and upbeat, becoming one of the first genres to go mainstream in the united states. Ragtime also was used in order to exploit and depict black folk in a negative light. Coon songs were a pre-ragtime vocal form that was popular until the 1900s. These songs were filled with crude, racist lyrics that were often sung by white performers in blackface. Ragtime was a syncopation of marches into one melody. A pianist would perform this using their right hand which is also known as their weak hand and their left hand to perform bass notes. These syncopated marches became known as rags and they had a sound that was upbeat.