Similarities And Differences Between Ragtime And Blues

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Jazz is one of the most popular American music genres that arose in the past decade. Jazz has developed around the late 19th century to early 20th century, the time frame when music was an essential part of America. It was an entertainment for everyone who was worn out by the tragedy and misery that arose from ongoing wars. The many music genres that were formed during that time contributed their best traits and formed the well known Jazz. The representative music genres were Ragtime and Blues. They were exceptionally prominent in their distinctive music styles, rhythm, and beat. Without these two original music forms, there would have been no starting point for Jazz music to build up its specialties. However, the two similar yet different …show more content…
They were both recognized within the same time frame, which was around the late 19th century. They originated in the similar background of African American communities. Blues originated from communities in the deep south of United States and ragtime originated from communities in the southern parts of the Midwest. Although they both originated from the African American community, the two also integrated European touch into the musical styles. They were both an amalgam of African American and European musical features. Ragtime was a synthesis of African syncopation and European classical music, while blues was a synthesis of African American work songs and European American folk songs and harmonic structure. Since many Europeans passed by sea ports for trades, they were frequently exposed by African Americans’ music cultures. Europeans combined rhythms and created new ones from the originating African music. Since both ragtime and blues arose from the African background, they similarly dealt with the problems of slavery and work environment. Although the two genres seem to have much in common, they are in fact vastly …show more content…
It helped bring about jazz, and had a great impact on novelty piano music too. Soon enough, ragtime’s popularity spread throughout Canada, Europe, Australia, and many more countries (Hasse 36). When thinking about ragtime musicians, it is no exaggeration to say that one man made a mark on musical history of ragtime: Scott Joplin. He was one of the first players to encounter ragtime composition. His Maple Leaf Rag was the best seller in the field, and remains the best-known rag today (Hasse 50). It demonstrated great sophistication and depth of ragtime with his unique harmonic progressions and melody. Joplin tried to control the bouncy spirit of ragtime and direct it into a longer phrase (Hasse 51). This was innovative compared to other ragtime players, since others usually stuck with shorter phrases. 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. It exaggerates the rhythmic effects and helps sophisticate the style of music (Burnim and Maultsby 129). This syncopated instrumental feature became very popular

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