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ragtime paper

ragtime paper - The History of Ragtime When looking at the...

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The History of Ragtime When looking at the history of jazz as a whole, some of the earliest forms of jazz can be seen in the late 1800s and early 1900s with the creation of ragtime jazz. Ragtime jazz started out as popular dance music before it was actually put on sheet music for piano players to read. Ragtime was usually written in 2/4 or 4/4 meter with a mainly left hand pattern of bass notes on odd-numbered beats and chords on even-numbered beats which accompanied a syncopated melody in the right hand. As a whole, ragtime is more of a musical genre that can be applied to any meter. What sets ragtime apart from other genres of music is a defining syncopation where melodic accents occur between metrical beats. As a result, a melody occurs that seems to avoid some metrical beats of the accompaniment by stressing notes that will either anticipate or follow the beat. The effect that the music has on the listener is that it forces them to move to the beat. Ragtime was very popular in the early 1900s and with that popularity came a rich history, many different styles and composers, and even some revivals in the mid 1900s. Ragtime originated in many African American communities in the late 19 th and early 20 th centuries. The music came from the jigs and marches played by all-black bands, which was common in northern cities with heavy black communities. When the 20 th Century rolled around, ragtime became extremely popular throughout the United States. Although performed by mainly African-Americans, ragtime was listened to, danced to, written by, and later even performed by people of different subcultures. A distinct American style, ragtime was considered a mixture between African American syncopation and European classical music, though this may be oversimplified. A huge
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step in making ragtime popular came in 1895 when black entertainer Ernest Hogan published two of the earliest known sheet music rags, one being “All Coons Look Alike to Me,” which eventually sold a million copies. Even though the song’s success helped introduce the country to ragtime music, its use of racial slurs created many derogatory imitation tunes, “coon songs,” which had many stereotypical and racist images of blacks
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