is ragtime music always played on a piano

Ragtime is characterized by its syncopated rhythms and often jaunty melodies. Ragtime music wasusually played on a piano, but it could also be played on other instruments such as the banjo, guitar, and drums. Ragtime music originated in the African-American communities in the southern United States.

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Is Ragtime the same as jazz?

Trying to pin down the key differences between ragtime and jazz music can be a confusing process. The two genres are very similar, and many scholars trace the roots of jazz back to ragtime music. A few key differences do exist between these two genres, however, and these were outlined by Ortiz Walton in 1972 as part of his text, “Music: Black, White and Blue.”

What does ragtime music sound like?

What does ragtime music sound like? The defining characteristic of ragtime music is a specific type of syncopation in which melodic accents fall between metrical beats. This results in a melody that seems to be avoiding some metrical beats of the accompaniment by emphasizing notes that either anticipate or follow the beat.

What is ragtime, stride and novelty piano?

Stride piano – a style of piano that emerged after World War I, developed by and dominated by black East-coast pianists (James P. Johnson, Fats Waller, and Willie ‘The Lion’ Smith). Together with novelty piano, it may be considered a successor to ragtime, but is not considered by all to be genuine ragtime.

How did Ragtime music begin?

ragtime, propulsively syncopated musical style, one forerunner of jazz and the predominant style of American popular music from about 1899 to 1917. Ragtime evolved in the playing of honky-tonk pianists along the Mississippi and Missouri rivers in the last decades of the 19th century.

What is the difference between Ragtime and other genres?

What does differentiate ragtime music from other genres is the syncopated rhythms which are played off the beat of the music. When you listen to ragtime you’ll find it almost impossible not to move because of the bouncy quality of the syncopation. It makes you want to dance!

When was ragtime music popular?

Ragtime was developed in the late 1800s through the early 20th century and really hit it’s stride around 1898 with the release of Maple Leaf Rag. It was a very popular form of music in it’s day and contemporary composers from that time would sometimes write rags or rag-style music into their pieces – such as Debussy’s Golliwog’s Cakewalk and some music of Gershwin.

What is so interesting about Ragtime?

Another thing that’s so fascinating about ragtime music is that almost every piece contains a melancholy section. No matter how happy the piece is, there always seems to be a section that changes the mood. It’s a great compositional technique that adds depth of emotion to the music.

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Is Ragtime fast or slow?

Ragtime is typically associated with a fast and upbeat style of music. However, Scott Joplin himself was quoted as saying, “Ragtime should never be played fast”. Is there a right or wrong speed or tempo of this music? Like most things from different eras, it’s open to interpretation. Some people prefer ragtime slower, while some prefer a faster tempo. The bottom line is enjoying the music and making it your own.

Who is Jonny May?

Jonny is an expert at Ragtime music who will share his music and knowledge with us.

What is the name of the composer who wrote Ragtime music?

An error occurred while retrieving sharing information. Please try again later. Born in South Dakota George Botsford was a key performer and composer of Ragtime music. This Rag was published in 1908 and highlights Botsford able grasp of the Rag style.

What is the best known rag Joplin wrote?

Even though the Entertainer has become the winner of best-known Rag, it was The Maple Leaf Rag that assured Joplin his reputation. This was probably the first Rag Joplin published and one that has enjoyed many years in the spotlight. There is no introduction to the piece like The Entertainer, but an upbeat from the bass and we are plunged into the melody. It’s a wonderful display of how Joplin played, I would suggest, and makes full use of the colours and range of the piano. It has been referred to an archetypal Rag meaning that it set the tone and structure for most Rags that followed.

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What key is the Maple Leaf Rag in?

Harmonically it uses some of the subtle chromatic tricks of the Maple Leaf Rag that add a gentle spice to the otherwise traditional chordal patterns. Structurally, the Rag falls into the familiar AA-BB-A-CC-DD with the exception of the final section that presents new material. It is also in the slightly more approachable key of F major as opposed to the Maple Leaf Rag in Ab major.

What technique does Joplin use to play the rags?

This is not a simple piece to play as like most Rags, uses a stride, a left-hand piano technique the effectively adds both bass line and chords to the melody. The light-hearted nature of the music and compelling tune has made this rag amongst the favourite of all Joplin’s oeuvre.

What is ragtime music?

Before embarking on a closer look at the music it is perhaps useful to be aware that Ragtime as a musical form is a perfect blending of black jazz music with white marching band music.

When was the Rag composed?

This is one of the most fascinating of the Rags in this selection and accompanied by a performance from the actual composer. The Rag was composed in 1899 and seems to have a huge variety of styles within it. The familiar Rag rhythms litter the piece but there are also aspects of the later boogie-woogie style alongside traits of Jelly Roll Morton. More colourful and complex harmonies blend with crunched melody lines. There is more than a sprinkling of humour in the performance and the Rag itself. Altogether a more experimental and diverse piece of music from the time of Rag.

What are the characteristics of ragtime music?

Ragtime music’s main characteristics are a duple bass and a syncopated melody; there are some rag tunes that do not fit this exact mold. The hardest part of playing this type of music on the piano is that you are playing three parts; the harmony, the melody, and the bass line. This essentially means that your left hand must pull double duty and play the bass part on the first and third beats of each measure and the harmony on the second and fourth. You can achieve this using only your smallest fingers for the bass part and to use the remaining fingers to play the harmony.

Why does Ragtime piano sound choppy?

If you don’t, the piece will sound choppy because your left hand is literally bouncing between two parts. The sustain pedal is most useful when pressed during the odd numbered beats and released during the even numbered ones. This will effectively sustain the bass note for two hole beats which will produce the ragtime sound that you are looking for. Read on for additional tips on how to play the piano with that ragtime feel.

What is ragtime piano music?

Ragtime piano music was a popular musical genre during the late part of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th, especially in the dance halls and saloons in the USA. It has a cheerful, bouncy, and amazingly versatile sound capable of emotional lyricism and a fun type of sophistication. In the 1970’s, it experienced a revival due to the award winning movie The Sting because of an unknown Scott Joplin ragtime song called The Entertainer that became an instant hit.This “ragged time” music also covers other musical styles like jazz, pop, and the blues.

Is Ragtime easy to learn?

Learning to play ragtime isn’t necessarily an easy task but it can be done. If you would like to give your music a slight edge and a different feel, then delving into this genre of music is well worth it.

How does Joplin structure the rag?

In this rag, Joplin structures the piece in this way: Introduction – A A B B A C C D D. This is not a regular, predictable form Joplin is using but an extended one that allows him to show his own powers of creation and to demonstrate that the Rag is not a limited musical form. Harmonically he begins in F major, modulates (changes key), to Bb major for the ‘C’ section, and remains there without returning to the tonic key. Joplin’s choices could have been very different and a perfectly functional rag could have been composed in a more straight forward manner, but this is not Joplin’s motivation. Joplin, perhaps more than other Ragtime composers, was eager to show his understanding of Western Art music in his use of harmony, chromaticism, and more complex structures.

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What is the difference between a stride and a chord?

Stride playing involves the bass note of the chord sounding in the lowest part of the piano, on the main beats of the bar, whilst the chords are on the weaker beats towards the middle register of the instrument. It is not an easy technique to master but this is one of the key elements of Ragtime piano music.

What is ragtime music?

Ragtime music is essentially an early form of jazz music that dominated the American Jazz scene from the late 19 th to the early 20 th century. What can perhaps be considered to be part of the enduring appeal of Ragtime is the fact that it is a combination of music from both African and Western cultures. A characteristic of African American music …

Why is Scott Joplin called Ragtime?

This is because he is perhaps the most celebrated composer, and performer, of the style of music that came to be known as Ragtime. One of his most played and adored pieces, ‘The Entertainer’, composed in 1902 for piano solo, demonstrates so many …

What is the characteristic of African American music?

A characteristic of African American music was a rhythmic feature called ‘syncopation’. This means music that does not play on the beat of any given bar, but instead ‘off the beat’ creating a sense of lilt, swing, and forward motion.

Is Ragtime piano easy to master?

It is not an easy technique to master but this is one of the key elements of Ragtime piano music. The melodies, especially those of Scott Joplin, were extremely appealing and catchy. This was in part due to the syncopated rhythm, but also the careful construction of the tune combining a compelling mix of movement by leap and step.

What is a ragtime piano?

Ragtime piano is defined first and foremost by the left hand stride pattern. In it’s most basic form, the player alternates bass notes on beats 1 & 3, with chords on 2 & 4. This is often called an “Oom Pah Bass,” as it emulates the rhythmic sounds of tubas and drums of contemporary marches of the time.

How to play a piano?

Step by step, here’s how to make this as easy as possible: 1 Before you even sit down to play, take a look at the music. Make notes where the right hand and left hand play together rhythmically. I like to draw vertical lines to connect them. 2 Take only a few measures and play them one note at a time. Don’t worry about being in rhythm yet, just make sure you play the hands together at the right time. 3 Introduce a metronome at a slow tempo. SLOW! Like 40 bpm, or even less. Do those few bars on repeat until you feel super comfortable. Do not tolerate mistakes in playing the hands together at the right times. Bad habits are really hard to undo, so get it right the first time. Trust me on this, I learned it the hard way. 4 Start bumping up the metronome, 10 bpm at a time. Keep going until you reach your desired tempo. Most ragtime is around 120 bpm but some faster rags can go as high as 160! 5 Repeat these steps for the rest of the song.

How to play Ragtime stride?

The easiest way to play a Ragtime stride left hand is by alternating single notes in the bass with chords. By keeping the bass notes and the chords close together, it eliminates the technical challenge of jumping the left hand too far.

What is the name of the piano style similar to Ragtime?

This ultimately created a new style similar to Ragtime, called Stride . Stride piano is one of the most difficult styles to master, due to its sheer technical nature.

What hand is Ragtime?

There are a bunch of standardized ragtime patterns for your right hand . I highly encourage you to listen carefully for them, and take note of them in your sheet music.

How to anticipate a change in bass?

When you are moving from one chord to another, you can anticipate the change by playing a chromatic leading tone in the bass . In this case, moving from the I chord to the IV we insert a leading tone beneath the new chord.

How to make bass sound monotonous?

Playing only root notes in the bass can sound pretty monotonous after a few bars. To alleviate that, alternate between the root on beat 1 and the 5th on beat 3.

What is ragtime music?

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.

What was the impact of Ragtime on the music industry?

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.

What was the threat of Ragtime?

Ragtime was both exciting and threatening to America’s youth and staid polite society , respectively. The excitement came from syncopation–the displacing of the beat from its regular and assumed course of meter. Syncopation caused an individual to feel a propulsion, swing, and if played correctly, a musical looseness generally unknown to the public at large. The threat came from the very same displaced beat that evoked a strong connotation to the "low-class" Negro music found in brothels and saloons. The Midwest, particularly postbellum Missouri, was rife with saloons, brothels, and cabarets–all places where a pianist with a decent repertoire could earn a decent living.

Where did Ragtime music come from?

( Music in the United States, 120) Much of what became the key ingredients of ragtime came from self-taught and largely uneducated musicians: slaves; hill folk of Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, and the Carolinas; and minstrel-troupe musicians.

What was the name of the song that Ernest Hogan wrote in 1896?

In 1896 "rag" and "rag time" were used to describe some newly published "coon songs," complete with outrageous parodies of black culture and speech. Among them was "All Coons Look Alike to Me," composed by black entertainer, Ernest Hogan.

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When did Ragtime come out?

It emerged in its published form during the mid-1890s and quickly spread across the continent via published compositions.

What beats are the octaves in rag roll?

In the case of the forward rag roll rhythm, the octaves played as quarter notes on beat one, followed by a series of 8th notes from beats 2 through the measure. Notice that the octaves punches are on beat 1, beat 2, and the “and of beat 3”.

How to play ragtime piano?

So when you learn to play ragtime piano, you have lot’s of options. That’s the beauty of piano improv. Once you get the C Major triplet roll in your fingers, try it on other chords like Bb Major and Eb Major, and try it in different inversions.

What is a forward rag roll?

The forward rag roll is arguably the most common rag roll in ragtime piano, and it was a favorite for Scott Joplin. Here is how to play a forward rag roll on a C Major chord:

What is a rag roll?

A rag roll is a repeated pattern in the right hand where the melody is played in octaves with the pinkie and thumb, and 2 chord tones are added in between. So, now that you know what a rag roll is, it’s time to learn your first and most important rag roll, the Forward rag roll.

How many rules are there for rag rolls?

There are 3 important Rag Roll Rules that you should generally follow when using rag rolls:

What hand is the C major in?

Notice that we are playing a big, 4-note C Major in our right hand , with the notes from the bottom C E G and C. Now, in order to transform this chord into a rag roll, we break up, or arpeggiate the chord.

How many beats does each beat get divided into?

Notice that now we are taking the chord and arpeggiating it in triplets. In other words, each beat gets divided into 3.