That American Rag: The Story of Ragtime from Coast to Coast

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9780028647432: That American Rag: The Story of Ragtime from Coast to Coast
From Library Journal:

The joyous syncopation of ragtime is the perfect cultural symbol of our sassy nation jubilantly entering the new century 100 years ago. Although some may regard it as simply one more step on the road that led to jazz, the music has endured. At its best, ragtime is an example of America's strengthsAthe inherent optimism, the mingling of diverse cultures, and the democracy of its very appeal. Jansen and Jones cover the period from the first published rag in 1897 to 1980, when ragtime's emphasis shifted from printed music to recordings, but the greatest coverage is given to the first 20 yearsAleading up to the birth of jazz. The publishers, composers, and rags from six regions of the country are featured, and four appendixes list the composers' place of birth, their pseudonyms and stage names, ragtime publication by state, and a checklist of over 2000 rags. While this is not an essential purchase for most public libraries, it would be a welcome addition to any music collection.ADan Bogey, Clearfield Cty. P.L. Federation, Curwensville, PA
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist:

The rag grew out of the cakewalk in the early 1900s. The two forms differ in their syncopated rhythms and their structure of three or four different melodic segments that are variously repeated. Conceived as lively piano entertainment for a bawdy house, many rags were simplified for playing in the home. Some were written only for player pianos and included parts for three or four hands. Missouri was ragtime's homeland, but rags were also published in Chicago, Cincinnati, and New York. Jasen and Jones sketch the careers of many rag composers, including, of course, the famous Joplin, Lamb, and Morton, and the histories of ragtime publishers, including J. W. Jenkins' Sons in Kansas City, Stark Music in St. Louis, Forster Music in Chicago, and M. Witmark & Sons in New York City. Historical sketches of ragtime locales before the music was born complete the story. An exhaustive catalog of 2,015 published rags makes this concise music-business history an excellent reference for ragtime aficionados. Alan Hirsch

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