Articles and Essays

Articles, essays, and examples of sheet music which all provide insight into the times and performance of ragtime.

  • Film, Video
    Bob Milne at the Library of Congress an oral history with Larry Appelbaum videorecording | 1 digital video file (1 hr., 27 min.) : sd., col. | Interviewer: Larry Appelbaum; piano: Bob Milne. (Cast). Courtesy of Bob Milne. (Permission). Bob Milne, ragtime pianist, discusses and demonstrates ragtime piano music in an interview with Larry Appelbaum, Library of Congress. (Summary). Recorded in the Coolidge Auditorium, October 13, 2004. (Venue). Courtesy of Bob Milne. (Copyright Notice). Videorecording (Form).
    • Contributor: Library of Congress - Milne, Bob, Pianist - Appelbaum, Larry - Coolidge Auditorium (Library of Congress)
    • Date: 2004
  • Film, Video
    Bob Milne at the Library of Congress an oral history with David Sager videorecording | 1 digital video file (1 hr., 9 min., 15 sec.) : sd., col. | Interviewer: David Sager; piano: Bob Milne. (Cast). Courtesy of Bob Milne. (Permission). Bob Milne, ragtime pianist, discusses and demonstrates ragtime music performance practice in an interview with David Sager, Library of Congress. (Summary). Recorded in the Coolidge Auditorium, October 15, 2004. (Venue). Courtesy of Bob Milne. (Copyright Notice)....
    • Contributor: Library of Congress - Milne, Bob, Pianist - Sager, David - Coolidge Auditorium (Library of Congress)
    • Date: 2004
  • Film, Video
    [ Joshua Rifkin in an interview with David Sager] In an interview with David Sager and Loras Schissel, Library of Congress, pianist/conductor Joshua Rifkin discusses and demonstrates ragtime piano music performance practice. Interview. videorecording | 1 digital video file (1 hr., 24 min., 35 sec.) : sd., col. | Title supplied by cataloger. Interviewers: David Sager, Loras Schissel; pianist: Joshua Rifkin. Recorded in the Recording Laboratory, Motion Picture Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division,...
    • Contributor: Library of Congress - Rifkin, Joshua - Sager, David - Schissel, Loras J.
    • Date: 2006
  • Film, Video
    [Patricia Lamb Conn in an interview with David Sager] videorecording | 1 digital video file (1 hr., 11 min., 51 sec.) : sd., col. | videorecording | Title supplied by cataloger. Interviewers: David Sager, Loras Schissel; interviewee: Patricia Lamb Conn. Recorded in the Recording Laboratory, Motion Picture Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division, Library of Congress, 2006 (Venue). Courtesy of Pat Lamb Conn. (Copyright Notice). In an interview with David Sager and Loras Schissel,...
    • Contributor: Library of Congress - Conn, Patricia Lamb - Sager, David - Schissel, Loras J. - Library of Congress. Recording Laboratory
    • Date: 2006
  • Film, Video
    [Bob Milne in concert at the Library of Congress] videorecording | 1 digital file (58 min., 52 sec.) : sd., col. | Title supplied by cataloger. Recorded in the Coolidge Auditorium, Library of Congress, October 10, 2004. (Venue). Courtesy of Bob Milne. (Copyright Notice). Plantation echos -- The Dixie queen rag -- I love to tell the story -- When you and I were young, Maggie -- Saloon medley (Contents). Courtesy of Bob...
    • Contributor: Library of Congress - Milne, Bob, Pianist - Coolidge Auditorium (Library of Congress)
    • Date: 2004
  • Article
    History of Ragtime Ragtime, a uniquely American, syncopated musical phenomenon, has been a strong presence in musical composition, entertainment, and scholarship for over a century. It emerged in its published form during the mid-1890s and quickly spread across the continent via published compositions. By the early 1900s ragtime flooded the music publishing industry. The popularity and demand for ragtime also boosted sale of pianos and greatly swelled...
  • Article
    Treemonisha Scott Joplin composed three works for the stage. The first, The Ragtime Dance, depicted a typical African-American dance gathering; it was performed in 1899 at the Black 400 Club in Sedalia, Missouri. The second work, A Guest of Honor, about Booker T. Washington's dinner with Teddy Roosevelt at the White House, premiered in East St. Louis, Illinois, in 1903. Joplin took the production on...
  • Article
    Classic Rag Ragtime music adapted to the unique style and invention of each composer and musician. Certain rags, however, particularly those by Scott Joplin and the composers who published with John Stark & Son, can be categorized as "classic." These instrumental rags fit a certain musical structure.
  • Article
    Sit Down, Shut Up, and Listen to Ragtime: Bob Milne and the Occupational Folklore of the Traveling Piano Player Every group, from the smallest family to the largest ethnicity, has a repertoire of informally learned stories, sayings, customs, techniques, and expressive traditions. This material is called folklore. Folklore allows group members to recognize one another as members of a specialized community, to express group solidarity, and to interact in ways that they find especially useful, satisfying, or meaningful. Occupational groups are no exception,...
  • Biography
    Scott Joplin, 1868-1917 Biography. Biography. Scott Joplin's is the name perhaps most associated with ragtime. Born sometime between the summer of 1867 and mid-January 1868, Joplin's career took him from a modest homestead on the Texas-Arkansas border to New York's Tin Pan Alley New York City, where he would eventually try his luck with composers like a young Irving Berlin. Although he continued composing until just before...
  • Biography
    Ben Harney, 1872-1938 Biography. Biography. Ben R. Harney has been credited as the musician who did the most to introduce ragtime to audiences throughout the world. Born in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1871, Harney's racial origins have long been debated. Some people, among them Eubie Blake, claimed that he was a black man passing as white. Others maintained that Harney was a white man so thoroughly inspired by...
  • Biography
    John Stark, 1841-1927 Biography. Biography. John Stillwell Stark was born in Kentucky in 1841. His family moved to Indiana, where he grew up on a farm.
  • Biography
    Joseph Lamb, 1887-1960 Biography. Biography. Joseph Lamb was born in Montclair, New Jersey, in December 1877. A family man who was an anomaly in the contemporary music world, Lamb shunned the ups and downs of show business for a steady job in business. Nevertheless, Lamb is remembered alongside Scott Joplin and James Scott as one of the three great ragtime proponents.
  • Biography
    James Scott, 1885-1938 Biography. Biography. Born in Neosho, Missouri, in February 1885, James Scott was the son of former slaves. After taking music lessons as a boy, he was given his first piano at the age of 16. Scott spent the next several years playing in bands and saloons and working as a song-plugger for the Dumars Music Company in Carthage, Missouri. This relationship led to Dumars'...
  • Biography
    May Aufderheide, 1888-1972 Biography. Biography. The participation of women in the world of ragtime should not come as a great surprise. May Aufderheide was perhaps the most famous woman to pen rags. A finishing school graduate, she was born in Indianapolis in May 1890. She learned to play the classics on the piano from her aunt May Kolmer, a noted musician, and was treated to the best...