Ragtime was a popularized syncopated or rather “ragged” musical style that originated from the rivers along Mississippi and Missouri during the 1890s to 1918. This style of music was inspired by African American banjo beats, minstrel show songs, and cakewalk. Ragtime music featured solo piano styles that followed a strict two-four time. Ragtime music created by African Americans soon left a major impact on mainstream culture. Prominent ragtime artists are Ben Harny, Ernest Hogan, and Scott Joplin.
One of the most successful artists during Ragtime was Scott Joplin. Regarded as sophisticated and talent, Joplin was most noticeably praised for his piano compositions. Joplin’s most famous piece is the “Maple Leaf Rag”. “Maple Leaf Rag” became the first and most influential and prominent ragtime hit. Joplin created over 100 ragtime compositions, influencing future ragtime composers.