Ragtime

  
  
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Ragtime, a uniquely American, syncopated musical phenomenon, has been a strong presence in musical composition, entertainment, and scholarship for over a century. It emerged in its published form during the mid-1890s and quickly spread across the continent via published compositions. By the early 1900s ragtime flooded the music publishing industry. The popularity and demand for ragtime also boosted sale of pianos and greatly swelled the ranks of the recording industry. Ragtime seemed to emanate primarily from the southern and midwestern states with the majority of activity occurring in Missouri -- although the East and West coasts also had their share of composers and performers. Ragtime's popularity promptly spread to Europe and there, as in America, soon became a fad.

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It is not easy to define ragtime. Like jazz, another distinctly American musical art form, ragtime's composers, practitioners, and admirers each see its boundaries differently. However, these groups are distinguished by subgroups of purists who generally agree on, and stand by, a precise definition:

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Ragtime -- A genre of musical composition for the piano, generally in duple meter and containing a highly syncopated treble lead over a rhythmically steady bass. A ragtime composition is usually composed three or four contrasting sections or strains, each one being 16 or 32 measures in length.

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This definition describes much of the music of the itinerant pianists who traversed the South and Midwest and eventually congregated in Missouri to produce an oeuvre of core ragtime compositions. These roving composers include Scott Joplin, Charles Hunter, Thomas Turpin, Louis Chauvin, Charles L. Johnson, and many others.

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Read more at the Library of Congress.

Ragtime for Piano Solo
Click here to download the songs:
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The Entertainer - Scott Joplin - Level 4 arg.Vibhas

Maple Leaf Rag - Scott Joplin - Level 3 arg.Vibhas

Maple Lef Rag - Scott Joplin - Level 7 

Fly, You Blackbirds - Brainards - Level 2 arg.Vibhas

Mississippi Rag - Krel - Level 3 arg.Vibhas

Smoky Mokes - Holzmanl - Level 3 arg.Vibhas

Cakewalk Parade - Level 3-4 arg.Vibhas

1. Fly, You Blackbird
2. Mississippi Rag
3. Smoky Mokes

Fig Leaf - Scott Joplin - Level 7 arg. Vibhas

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Library of Congress Link to free Ragtime sheet music.

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