Characteristics Of Ragtime Music
Oct 16, 2015
Ragtime and Blues
Jazz is widely considered as the greatest form of African American music in the twentieth century, and it is distinguished by the originality of its improvisation, the virtuosity and erudition of its performers and composers and its professionalism and artistry. (Burnim 163) Although Jazz is one distinctive music genre, some of the other genre influenced the emergence of the jazz, such as African American traditional music, European Classical music, American popular songs, and musical theater. As the example of the genre of music related to jazz, there are ragtime and blues music. Both music genre originated in African American community in the southern part of the United States. In this essay, I would like to talk about origin and some of the characteristics in ragtime and blue, and how they are similar and different from each other as well as discussing how they have influenced the emergence of jazz music.
First, one of the African American music forms that I would like to talk is ragtime. Ragtime was music played in “ragged time,” which is another way of saying syncopation. From a European musical perspective, syncopation is a shifting of the normal …show more content…
As I explained above, syncopation is a very distinctive characteristic of ragtime music. Improvisation in blues is spontaneous composition that provides much of the excitement. Moreover, David Evan, the author of Blues in African American Music, says the majority of the blues utilizes the twelve-bar AAB form or some variant or approximation of it. At its most basic, the stanza consists of a line of verse A, the same line repeated, and a third line B that rhymes with the first two. (Burnim 127) Although these two characteristics are found in blues, we cannot find them in