History of Ragtime

Topics: Jazz, Music, Blues Pages: 2 (611 words) Published: November 14, 2013
Haley Plemons

RA-2

1. Easily defined ragtime is known as an early mixture of African, African-American, and Eurpoean musical elements. Ragtime has an unending set of variations with added embellishments. Known as the hottest musical rage of late 1890’s to early 1900’s, ragtime brought together established techniques and incorporated them with European march format. This fused syncopation influences from Africans with harmonic ways of African Americans and Europeans. Rhythmic syncopation was brought into American homes through, at first, Minstrel shows, then by ragtime by piano “professors” who were usually black pianist who played for social functions, dances, bars, and ill-repute homes. Another way this was made popular was by cutting contests. These contests would allow “professors” to outplay one another by adding embellishments that were improvised on spot reflecting on what was later made known as jazz. A solo pianist, to this day, still uses this technique in the jazz culture. Scott Joplin is one of the major creators who is given almost sole credit for the then new music but was also overlooked due to his color by biased white scholars limiting him as “only” a ragtime composer. Another popular ragtime composer was John Philip Sousa. Sousa was known for using marches, along with minstrel and ragtime pieces in his bands standard shows. His popularity through his works The Stars and Stripes Forever, played every Fourth of July, The Washington Post, used by American military bands, and The Liberty Bell March, which was the theme song for Monty Python’s Flying Circus, created imitators all over. With musicians reforming already established music by adding their own ideas and improvisations into the works jazz was born. 2. The basic forms and techniques used in blues music lead back to Africa and into America through slavery. Blues music uses certain notes bent or embellished. Blues music used a formal structure of 12-bar which is most commonly used in...
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