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Classical Music/Ragtime and it's influence on Modern Music


Hey, I have a project in my World Music and Culture class, in which part of the research requirement is to conduct some original research, and so I was wondering if you could take a moment to give me your opinion on how Ragtime has influenced modern music?

This really could be almost anything, from style, phrasing, basically anything that you believe Ragtime contributed to modern music as it is today.

Thank you so much, I really appreciate your time!


Hi Sam,

I know a great deal about Music Theory and Music History, but Ragtime is something that I don't have a great deal of foundation in. As a pianist, I can give you some thoughts that might help.

Ragtime is primarily recognized through the use of highly syncopated rhythms. Typically, in piano music, those syncopations are set in the right hand of the piano while the left hand alternates bass pitches and chords. This alternation of bass and chords in the left hand was known as "stride piano" and was popular with pianists such as Art Tatum. Ragtime music was written in 2/4 meter (known as "rags" in some pieces) and 3/4 meter (known as waltzes). As is common in most musical forms, the main theme tends to reappear, with other sections moving to other melodic ideas.

That's about all that I can offer without straying too far off from what I actually know. Good luck to you in your studies!


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I am a choral conductor/keyboard player/singer who is completing a DMA in music education. I can answer questions regarding music education, music history, music theory, general education, and conducting.


Finishing a Doctorate (all but dissertation) in music. Passed comps in 2003. Over 20 years successful teaching and performing experience in all styles.

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