Ragtime And Blues Analysis

Decent Essays
Ragtime and blues are the foundations of jazz. Both were initially very popular among African Americans as jazz came from an African background. The blues contain the musical structure of jazz with the 12 bar pattern, while ragtime supplies the unique syncopations and improvisations. The early musicians of blues and ragtime would eventually provide the transition necessary to move into jazz. …show more content…
It was considered to be a great contribution by African Americans. “the only real contributions of the Negro-American genius in the domain” (pg. 236, Jazz its Evolution and Essence). They are similar yet different as ragtime is not related to blues. The theme of blues is often expressed in jazz. Jazz takes from blues its violin theme in which the major chords are played in the third degree. “Melodically it contains no borrowing from the Blues except for a timid and no doubt involuntary during the exposition of the violin theme, where is some major – minor playing around with the third degree” (pg.256, Jazz its Evolution and Essence). Some blues notes can be seen in ragtime, but these notes are not expressive and played with other sounds that drags the music away from the essence of blues. “Some vague blue notes are scattered around in the principal melodic design of Piano Rag Music, but they are surrounded by a polytonal accompaniment that robs them of all resemblance to the Negro music.” (pg. 256, Jazz its Evolution and Essence). A big contributor to jazz was Louis Armstrong. One of his styles was shown in “Potato Head Blues” and “Skip the Gutter” shows in his stop choruses. The rhythm of these blues …show more content…
19, Jazz: A History). Ragtime was mostly based on the piano, which was the “principal instrument of ragtime” (pg.19, Jazz: A History). Ragtime came from the South. The instruments used to play ragtime, banjo, fiddle, fife, were instruments that were considered to be “prototypes brought to this country from Africa” (pg. 20, Jazz: A History). Ragtime music had a duple meter. It had a “functional diatonic harmony stressing tonic, dominant, subdominant, and applied dominants in a major tonality” (pg. 22, Jazz: A History). Its syncopations occurred on the second and fourth eighth notes with accented melody notes. Syncopation, an “interruption of the regular flow of rhythm”, was the “ chief characteristic” of ragtime melodies. Ragtime, when played on the piano, had a “stride style”, in which the “pianist’s left hand” was “called to ‘stride’ up and down” (pg. 23, Jazz: A History). Jelly Role Morton and James P. Johnson were well known for stride playing and are “viewed as transitional figures” from ragtime to jazz (pg.24, Jazz: A History). Tom Turpin, a musician who composed excellent music, composed rags that were in the ABA form, unlike the blues, which were usually in the AABA form. Scott Joplin, another ragtime musician, made a bigger contribution. His most famous work, “The Maple Leaf Rag”,

Related Documents

  • Decent Essays

    Free Jazz Analysis

    • 1628 Words
    • 7 Pages

    It developed shortly after hard bop using blues, gospel and rhythm and blues as its main influences. As an oppose to hard bop, soul jazz generally emphasized repetition of catching phrases and melodic lines, and the improvisation was a lot simpler then the other jazz styles in this time period. Horace Silver had a large influence on the soul jazz style playing songs with funky, often gospel based piano vamps. A great example of this is his piece “Song for my Father” released in 1964. The other form of jazz that occurred during this decade was Post Bob.…

    • 1628 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Another noteworthy ragtime musician was Jelly Roll Morton. He is special, because he performed both ragtime and jazz style music. His famous songs, King Porter Stomp or Jelly Roll Blues are evidences of the contribution of ragtime to jazz. As the name of the genre says, ragtime passed on the “ragging” feature to jazz. Ragging is meant to embellish and decorate melodies.…

    • 1577 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    In order to understand the influence of jazz on rock and roll it is first important to understand the differences between jazz and rock and roll. Jazz is the several types of slave music combined together. Slaves sang jazz music to pass time on the plantations ("Jazz vs Rock"). Rock and roll has a standard three chord sequence. Rock and roll is a spin off of jazz, blues, and country music.…

    • 1353 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Ragtime is a combination of European classical elements and American jazz elements. While jazz has improvised elements, ragtime is played with the musical score like classical music. However, ragtime is an indispensable musical style in the formation of jazz. King of ragtime Scott Joplin was a black composer whose name and ragtime had been forgotten for some time. In the movie The Sting, Scott Joplin’s ragtime The Entertainer was picked as the theme song, and Joplin’s ragtime came to light again.…

    • 1779 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    What exactly is jazz? According to Virgil Thomson, the American critic and composer, “Jazz, in brief, is a compound of (a) the fox-trot rhythm, and (b) a syncopated melody over this rhythm” [1]. An understanding of the elements of jazz allows the listeners to further appreciate the very art that has defined American culture for generations. Critical to the development of jazz are African and European music, brought by the foreigners who sought a better life in the New World and who were sold to into slavery, respectively. Originally from New Orleans around the 1890s, Jazz remains today as a remarkable type of art form that is crucial to American culture and history.…

    • 1721 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Although jazz was not notated and therefore was hard to dated exactly when the first renditions of the music were created, it was still thought to come around earliest; this jazz style was invented at the turn of the century and grew in popularity until the fifties. This style originated in New Orleans Louisiana and was created by African Americans who wanted to express their culture in the musical form. This style, otherwise known as the Traditional style or the Dixieland style, was created by Africans in the south of the United States who wanted to express their happiness. Although there were many styles of jazz, this style was the first, the broadest, the happiest, and the most upbeat. The New Orleans style of jazz was the epitome of the jazz culture; it was what defined the whole music genre itself, even to this…

    • 1027 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    A very large part of Blues was a call and response feature. It was when there is a question asked in one section of the song and another band member or vocalist follows with a line that sounds like a response (Gridley). This carried over from the Blues to Jazz. Ragtime helped contribute the piano to Jazz. Each Ragtime piece was usually up beat and composed therefore no improvisation and room for the musician’s emotions to take an effect on the tempo.…

    • 762 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    The music and lyrics fit together very nicely. Ray Charles is a genius by combine jazz, gospel and blues elements to create this recording. Ray Charles used a call and response structure for this recording which allows after lyrical phrase the instruments response by place a certain upbeat notes. Ray Charles used this methods after every two measure and during the measures the band will play chord, which follow a certain scheme that fit the jazz/blues. Ray Charles stops this for some time and then he uses another scheme which he sings one part and the band has resets and then play two different chords that are complementary, this is a key feature in blues/soul music.…

    • 1200 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    The Elements Of Jazz

    • 1069 Words
    • 5 Pages

    As one of the most quintessentially American musical genres, jazz reflects the vast diversity of the United States’s active cultural and ethnic traditions. Though jazz did not distinguish itself as a distinct form until the late 19th century, it draws from other tributary sources, namely ragtime and blues. Indeed, an essential characteristic of jazz is its ability to constantly evolve and incorporate elements of antecedent and contemporary music that lend it vitality and richness. Defined by intense displays of personal expression and interpretation, jazz was a “creative force” with “widespread appeal to non-black musicians and audiences” and ultimately became a means of testing sociocultural hierarchies. Coming from a similar Southern background,…

    • 1069 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    The 1920’s were an exciting time for the people of the United States of America. With technological advancements, the development and occurrence of flappers, and the number of people trying to achieve the American Dream, it is no wonder why this decade is so often referred to as “The Roaring Twenties” (History Learning Site). One of the most relevant characteristics of the twenties was the newly popular jazz music, which took everyone by storm. Through the popularity and influence of jazz, Americans of all different ethnicities and cultures were brought together. The roots of jazz music are typically accredited to African Americans of the 1700’s, who sang work songs while in slavery.…

    • 1221 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays