Ragtime and Blues

Topics: Jazz, Blues, Ragtime Pages: 3 (911 words) Published: December 3, 2013
 Ragtime and Blues

Ragtime and Blues are the two music styles that give Jazz her name and life. Ragtime and blues, which are generated and rose into popularity at mostly the same time of period, are usually considered as closely connected because of Jazz and yet are very distinctive music styles. They affect Jazz in different perspectives, such as Ragtime in the usage of syncopation, the swing feeling, and Blues in the composition form, the improvisation, and the “Soul”. Similarity and difference:

What both Ragtime and Blues share is their Black regions. They are both a classic and important component of early Black popular music. Almost all commentators expressed their view that the originators of Ragtime were black, and even some believe that it was imported from Africa; and yet Blues was believed to start in slavery which involved with large population of African Americans. As Scott Joplin, one of the most influential Ragtime musician, stated, “ There has been ragtime music in America ever since the Negro race has been here.” and this poetic statement would perfectly apply to Blues as well. Historically, ragtime and blues started and rose into popularity at basically the same time. Ragtime’s huge popularity was abetted with the huge dimension of the print of “Maple Leaf Rag” by Scott Joplin in 1897. Almost the same time, classic blues like “St. Louis Blues” and “Memphis Blues” was composed by W.C. Handy. For a long period of time, specifically from 1890s to 1920s which was the time when Jazz becomes a dominant popular music style, ragtime was the typical popular music form in America. The popularity of Blues and Ragtime at early ages was strongly associated with the popular theater in late 19th and early 20th century. Even though ragtime and blues share the same origin and same historical path, they are indeed very different music styles, which determines their contribution to Jazz and make it a new and yet unique music. The...

Bibliography: Jones, LeRoi (Amiri Baraka). Blues People: Negro Music in White America New York: Morrow 1963
Berlin, Edward A. Ragtime: A Musical and Cultural History. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1980
Haskin, James. Black Music in America: A history Through its People. New York: Harper Trophy, 1987. “Ragtime and the Blues: The First Age of Black American Music”
Carruth, hayden, Sitting In: Selected Writings on jazz, Blues and Related Topics. Iowa City: Univ. of Iowa Press, 1986. “Got Those Forever Inadequate Blues”
Tirro, Frank. Jazz: A History, Second ed. New York and London: W. W. Norton and Company, 1993. “The Blues”
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