Ragtime – spelled rag-time or rag time – is a musical style that enjoyed its peak popularity between 1895 and 1919. Its cardinal trait is "ragged" rhythm; the style has its origins in African-American communities in cities such as St. Louis. Ben Harney, a Kentucky native, has been credited with introducing the music to the mainstream public, his first ragtime composition, "You've Been a Good Old Wagon But You Done Broke Down", helped popularize the style. The composition was published in 1896, a few months after Hogan's "La Pas Ma La". Ragtime was a modification of the march style popularized by John Philip Sousa, with additional polyrhythms coming from African music. Ragtime composer Scott Joplin became famous through the publication of the "Maple Leaf Rag" and a string of ragtime hits such as "The Entertainer", although he was forgotten by all but a small, dedicated community of ragtime aficionados until the major ragtime revival in the early 1970s. For at least 12 years after its publication, "Maple Leaf Rag" influenced subsequent ragtime composers with its melody lines, harmonic progressions or metric patterns.
Ragtime fell out of favor as jazz claimed the public's imagination after 1917, but there have been numerous revivals since the music has been re-discovered. First in the early 1940s, many jazz bands began to include ragtime in their repertoire and put out ragtime recordings on 78 rpm records. A more significant revival occurred in the 1950s as a wider variety of ragtime genres of the past were made available on records, new rags were composed and recorded. In 1971 Joshua Rifkin brought out a compilation of Joplin's work, nominated for a Grammy Award. In 1973 The New England Ragtime Ensemble recorded The Red Back Book, a compilation of some of Joplin's rags in period orchestrations edited by conservatory president Gunther Schuller; this won a Grammy for Best Chamber Music Performance of the year and was named Top Classical Album of 1974 by Billboard magazine. The movie The Sting brought ragtime to a wide audience with its soundtrack of Joplin tunes; the film's rendering of "The Entertainer", adapted and orchestrated by Marvin Hamlisch, was a Top 5 hit in 1975.
Ragtime – with Joplin's work at the forefront – has been cited as an American equivalent of the minuets of Mozart, the mazurkas of Chopin, or the waltzes of Brahms. Ragtime influenced classical composers including Erik Satie, Claude Debussy, Igor Stravinsky. Ragtime originated in African American music in the late 19th century and descended from the jigs and march music played by African American bands, referred to as "jig piano" or "piano thumping". By the start of the 20th century, it became popular throughout North America and was listened and danced to, written by people of many different subcultures. A distinctly American musical style, ragtime may be considered a synthesis of African syncopation and European classical music the marches made popular by John Philip Sousa; some early piano rags are entitled marches, "jig" and "rag" were used interchangeably in the mid-1890s. Ragtime was preceded by its close relative the cakewalk. In 1895, black entertainer Ernest Hogan composed two of the earliest sheet music rags, one of which sold a million copies.
The other composition was called "La Pas Ma La," and it was a hit. As black musician Tom Fletcher said, Hogan was the "first to put on paper the kind of rhythm, being played by non-reading musicians." While the song's success helped introduce the country to ragtime rhythms, its use of racial slurs created a number of derogatory imitation tunes, known as "coon songs" because of their use of racist and stereotypical images of blacks. In Hogan's years, he admitted shame and a sense of "race betrayal" from the song, while expressing pride in helping bring ragtime to a larger audience; the emergence of mature ragtime is dated to 1897, the year in which several important early rags were published. In 1899, Scott Joplin's "Maple Leaf Rag" was published and became a great hit and demonstrated more depth and sophistication than earlier ragtime. Ragtime was one of the main influences on the early development of jazz; some artists, such as Jelly Roll Morton, were present and performed both ragtime and jazz styles during the period the two styles overlapped.
He incorporated the Spanish Tinge in his performances, which gave a habanera or tango rhythm to his music. Jazz surpassed ragtime in mainstream popularity in the early 1920s, although ragtime compositions continue to be written up to the present, periodic revivals of popular interest in ragtime occurred in the 1950s and the 1970s; the heyday of ragtime occurred before sound recording was available. Like classical music, unlike jazz, classical ragtime had and has a written tradition, being distributed in sheet music rather than through recordings or by imitation of live performances. Ragtime music was distributed via piano rolls for player pianos. A folk ragtime tradition existed before and during the period of classical ragtime, manifesting itself through string bands and mandolin clubs and the like. A form known as novelty piano emerged. Where traditional ragtime depended on amateur pianists and sheet music sales, the novelty rag took advantage of new advances in piano-roll technology and the phonograph record to permit a m
A piano roll is a music storage medium used to operate a player piano, piano player or reproducing piano. A piano roll is a continuous roll of paper with perforations punched into it; the perforations represent note control data. The roll moves over a reading system known as a'tracker bar' and the playing cycle for each musical note is triggered when a perforation crosses the bar and is read; the majority of piano rolls play on three distinct musical scales. The 65-note format was introduced in 1896 in the USA for piano music. In 1900 an American format playing all 88 notes of the standard piano scale was introduced. In 1902 a German 72-note scale was introduced. All of these scales were subject to being operated by piano rolls of varying dimensions; the 1908 Buffalo Convention of US manufacturers standardized the US industry to the 88-note scale and fixed the physical dimensions for that scale. Piano rolls were in continuous mass production from around 1896 to 2008, are still available today, with QRS Music advertizing they have 45,000 titles available with "new titles being added on a regular basis".
Replacing piano rolls, which are no longer mass-produced today, MIDI files represent a modern way in which musical performance data can be stored. MIDI files accomplish digitally and electronically. Software for editing a performance stored as MIDI data has a feature to show the music in a piano roll representation; the first paper rolls were used commercially by Welte & Sons in their Orchestrions beginning in 1883. A rollography is a listing of piano rolls made by a single performer, analogous to a discography; the Buffalo Convention of December 10, 1908 established two future roll formats for the US-producers of piano rolls for self-playing pianos. The two formats had different punchings of 88 notes, but the same width; this made it possible to play the piano rolls on any self-playing instrument built according to the convention, albeit sometimes with a loss of special functionality. This format became a loose world standard. Metronomic or arranged rolls are rolls produced by positioning the music slots without real-time input.
The music, when played back, is purely metronomical. Metronomically arranged music rolls are deliberately left metronomic so as to enable a player-pianist to create their own musical performance via the hand controls that are a feature of all player pianos. Hand played rolls are created by capturing in real time the hand-played performance of one or more pianists upon a piano connected to a recording machine; the production roll reproduced the real-time performance of the original recording when played back at a constant speed. It is industry convention for recordings of music intended to be used for dancing to be regularized into strict tempo despite the original performance having the slight tempo fluctuations of all human performances, as due to the recording and production process, any fluctuations would be magnified/exaggerated in the finished production copy and result in an uneven rhythm. Reproducing rolls are the same as hand-played rolls but have additional control codes to operate the dynamic modifying systems specific to whichever brand of reproducing piano it is designed to be played back on.
Reproducing pianos were beyond the reach of the average home in the original era of popularity of these instruments and were marketed as reproducing the'soul' of the performer – slogans such as "The Master's Fingers On Your Piano" or "Paderewski will play for you in your own house!" were common. The player piano gives the opportunity to create music, impossible for humans to play, or, more music, not conceived in terms of performance by hand. Over one hundred composers wrote music specially for the player piano during the course of the 20th century. Many mainstream composers experimented with its possibilities, including Igor Stravinsky, Alfredo Casella, Paul Hindemith; the Duo-Art and Welte-Mignon brands were known as "reproducing" piano rolls, as they could reproduce the touch and dynamics of the artist as well as the notes struck, when played back on capable pianos. Rolls for the reproducing piano were made from the recorded performances of famous musicians. A pianist would sit at a specially designed recording piano, the pitch and duration of any notes played would be either marked or perforated on a blank roll, together with the duration of the sustaining and soft pedal.
Reproducing pianos can re-create the dynamics of a pianist's performance by means of specially encoded control perforations placed towards the edges of a music roll. Different companies had different ways of notating dynamics, some technically advanced, some secret, some dependent on a recording producer's handwritten notes, but in all cases these dynamic hieroglyphics had to be skillfully converted into the specialized perforated codes needed by the different types of instrument. Recorded rolls play at a specific, marked speed, where for example, 70 signifies 7 feet of paper travel in one minute, at the start of the roll. On all pneumatic player pianos, the paper is pulled on to a take-up spool, as more paper winds on, so the effective diameter of the spool increases, with it the paper speed. Player piano engineers were well aware of this, as can be seen from many patents of the time, but since reproducing piano recordings were made with a similar t
Edward Elzear "Zez" Confrey was an American composer and performer of novelty piano and jazz music. His most noted works were "Kitten on the Keys" and "Dizzy Fingers." Studying at the Chicago Musical College and becoming enthralled by French impressionists played a critical role in how he composed and performed music. Confrey was born in Peru, United States, the youngest child of Thomas and Margaret Confrey. Aspiring to be a concert pianist, he attended Chicago Musical College and studied with private teachers, he abandoned that idea for composing, encouraged by his oldest brother, James J. Confrey, an organist. By 1916 he was a staff pianist for Witmarks in Chicago, he enlisted in the US Navy in 1917. After World War I, Confrey became a arranger for the QRS piano roll company, he recorded for AMPICO's reproducing piano system, installed in upper-line pianos such as Mason & Hamlin and Chickering. In 1921 Confrey wrote his novelty piano solo "Kitten on the Keys", inspired by hearing his grandmother's cat walk on the keyboard of her piano.
It became a hit, he went on to compose many other pieces in the genre. "Dizzy Fingers" was Confrey's other biggest seller. Following the 1920s, Confrey focused on composing for jazz bands, he retired after World War II but continued to compose until 1959. He died at age 76 in New Jersey after suffering for many years from Parkinson's disease, he left behind more than a hundred piano works and miniature operas, numerous piano rolls, music publications and sound recordings. Zez Confrey: Creator of the Novelty Rag, Zez Confrey The Dancing Twenties, Various Artists The Piano Roll Artistry of Zez Confrey, Zez Confrey Kitten on the Keys: The Piano Music of Zez Confrey, List of ragtime composers Rags and Ragtime by Jasen and Tichenor, Dover, 1978
Roy Fredrick Bargy was an American composer and pianist. Born in Newaygo, Michigan, he grew up in Ohio. In 1919 he began working with Charley Straight at the Imperial Piano Roll Company in Chicago, performing and composing, he was the leader and arranger of the Benson Orchestra of Chicago from 1920 to 1922, worked with the orchestras of Isham Jones and of Paul Whiteman and recorded piano solos for Victor Records. In 1928 he was the first pianist to record George Gershwin's Piano Concerto in F. From 1943 until his retirement he was music director for Jimmy Durante. Roy Bargy died in Vista, California at the age of 79. Ditto Omeomy Slipova A Blue Streak Knice and Knifty Rufenreddy Behave Yourself Jim Jams, No. 7 from Piano Syncopations Justin-Tyme Pianoflage Sunshine Capers Sweet And Tender Feeding The Kitty Get Lucky Trouble In Thirds List of ragtime composers Roy Bargy at AllMusic Roy Bargy discography at Discogs Roy Bargy on IMDb
Genre is any form or type of communication in any mode with socially-agreed-upon conventions developed over time. Genre is most popularly known as a category of literature, music, or other forms of art or entertainment, whether written or spoken, audio or visual, based on some set of stylistic criteria, yet genres can be aesthetic, communicative, or functional. Genres form by conventions that change over time as cultures invent new genres and discontinue the use of old ones. Works fit into multiple genres by way of borrowing and recombining these conventions. Stand-alone texts, works, or pieces of communication may have individual styles, but genres are amalgams of these texts based on agreed-upon or inferred conventions; some genres may have rigid adhered-to guidelines, while others may show great flexibility. Genre began as an absolute classification system for ancient Greek literature. Poetry and performance each had a specific and calculated style that related to the theme of the story. Speech patterns for comedy would not be appropriate for tragedy, actors were restricted to their genre under the assumption that a type of person could tell one type of story best.
In periods genres proliferated and developed in response to changes in audiences and creators. Genre became a dynamic tool to help the public make sense out of unpredictable art; because art is a response to a social state, in that people write/paint/sing/dance about what they know about, the use of genre as a tool must be able to adapt to changing meanings. Genre suffers from the ills of any classification system, it has been suggested that genres resonate with people because of the familiarity, the shorthand communication, as well as because of the tendency of genres to shift with public mores and to reflect the zeitgeist. While the genre of storytelling has been relegated as lesser form of art because of the borrowed nature of the conventions, admiration has grown. Proponents argue that the genius of an effective genre piece is in the variation and evolution of the codes; the term genre is much used in the history and criticism of visual art, but in art history has meanings that overlap rather confusingly.
Genre painting is a term for paintings where the main subject features human figures to whom no specific identity attaches – in other words, figures are not portraits, characters from a story, or allegorical personifications. These are distinguished from staffage: incidental figures in what is a landscape or architectural painting. Genre painting may be used as a wider term covering genre painting proper, other specialized types of paintings such as still-life, marine paintings and animal paintings; the concept of the "hierarchy of genres" was a powerful one in artistic theory between the 17th and 19th centuries. It was strongest in France, where it was associated with the Académie française which held a central role in academic art; the genres in hierarchical order are: History painting, including narrative religious mythological and allegorical subjects Portrait painting Genre painting or scenes of everyday life Landscape and cityscape Animal painting Still life A literary genre is a category of literary composition.
Genres may be determined by literary technique, content, or length. Genre should not be confused with age category, by which literature may be classified as either adult, young adult, or children's, they must not be confused with format, such as graphic novel or picture book. The distinctions between genres and categories are flexible and loosely defined with subgroups; the most general genres in literature are epic, comedy and short story. They can all be in the genres poetry, which shows best how loosely genres are defined. Additionally, a genre such as satire might appear in any of the above, not only as a subgenre but as a mixture of genres, they are defined by the general cultural movement of the historical period in which they were composed. In popular fiction, divided by genres, genre fiction is the more usual term. In literature, genre has been known as an intangible taxonomy; this taxonomy implies a concept of containment. The earliest recorded systems of genre in Western history can be traced back to Aristotle.
Gérard Genette, a French literary theorist and author of The Architext, describes Plato as creating three Imitational genres: dramatic dialogue, pure narrative, epic. Lyric poetry, the fourth and final type of Greek literature, was excluded by Plato as a non-mimetic mode. Aristotle revised Plato's system by eliminating the pure narrative as a viable mode and distinguishing by two additional criteria: the object to be imitated, as objects could be either superior or inferior, the medium of presentation such as words, gestures or verse; the three categories of mode and medium can be visualized along an XYZ axis. Excluding the criteria of medium, Aristotle's system distinguished four types of classical genres: tragedy, epic and parody. Genette continues by explaining the integration of lyric poetry into the classical system during the romantic period, replacing the now removed pure narrative mode. Lyric poetry, once considered non-mimetic, was deemed to imi
Felix Arndt was an American pianist and composer of popular music. His mother was the Countess Fevrier, related to Napoleon III. Educated in New York, Arndt composed songs for the famous vaudeville team of Jack Norworth and Nora Bayes, recorded over 3000 piano rolls for Duo-Art and QRS Records, he died in New York city aged 29 during the Spanish flu pandemic. Arndt is best remembered for his 1915 composition "Nola," written as an engagement gift to his fiancee, Nola Locke, it is sometimes considered to be the first example of the novelty piano or "novelty ragtime" genre, published by Sam Fox Publishing Company. It was the signature theme of the Vincent Lopez orchestra, a top ten hit for Les Paul in 1950. 71st Regiment – Waltz A Symphonic Nightmare – Desecration Rag No. 1 From Soup to Nuts – One Step Turkey Trot Kakuda – One Step Turkey Trot Marionette Nola Toots – Rag One Step An Operatic Nightmare – Desecration Rag No. 2 Clover Club – Fox Trot As Long As the Band Will Play – 1911 Snow Time – 1911 If That is Not Love Wot?
- 1911 When Sunday Rolls Around – 1911 Night Time – 1911 When You Know Why – 1913 Evr'y Rose Reminds Me of You – 1913 In the Shade of the Mango Tree – 1918 My Gal's Another Gal Like Galli-Curci – 1918 Nola – 1922 His piano rolls reveal Arndt to be a fine pianist, he is known to have been an influence on the young George Gershwin, who would visit him at his studio in the Aeolian Building on 42nd Street in Manhattan. A short biography Free scores by Felix Arndt at the International Music Score Library Project Video – Felix Arndt – Nola on YouTube
Jazz is a music genre that originated in the African-American communities of New Orleans, United States, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, developed from roots in blues and ragtime. Jazz is seen by many as "America's classical music". Since the 1920s Jazz Age, jazz has become recognized as a major form of musical expression, it emerged in the form of independent traditional and popular musical styles, all linked by the common bonds of African-American and European-American musical parentage with a performance orientation. Jazz is characterized by swing and blue notes and response vocals and improvisation. Jazz has roots in West African cultural and musical expression, in African-American music traditions including blues and ragtime, as well as European military band music. Intellectuals around the world have hailed jazz as "one of America's original art forms"; as jazz spread around the world, it drew on national and local musical cultures, which gave rise to different styles. New Orleans jazz began in the early 1910s, combining earlier brass-band marches, French quadrilles, biguine and blues with collective polyphonic improvisation.
In the 1930s arranged dance-oriented swing big bands, Kansas City jazz, a hard-swinging, improvisational style and Gypsy jazz were the prominent styles. Bebop emerged in the 1940s, shifting jazz from danceable popular music toward a more challenging "musician's music", played at faster tempos and used more chord-based improvisation. Cool jazz developed near the end of the 1940s, introducing calmer, smoother sounds and long, linear melodic lines; the 1950s saw the emergence of free jazz, which explored playing without regular meter and formal structures, in the mid-1950s, hard bop emerged, which introduced influences from rhythm and blues and blues in the saxophone and piano playing. Modal jazz developed in the late 1950s, using the mode, or musical scale, as the basis of musical structure and improvisation. Jazz-rock fusion appeared in the late 1960s and early 1970s, combining jazz improvisation with rock music's rhythms, electric instruments, amplified stage sound. In the early 1980s, a commercial form of jazz fusion called smooth jazz became successful, garnering significant radio airplay.
Other styles and genres abound in the 2000s, such as Afro-Cuban jazz. The origin of the word "jazz" has resulted in considerable research, its history is well documented, it is believed to be related to "jasm", a slang term dating back to 1860 meaning "pep, energy". The earliest written record of the word is in a 1912 article in the Los Angeles Times in which a minor league baseball pitcher described a pitch which he called a "jazz ball" "because it wobbles and you can't do anything with it"; the use of the word in a musical context was documented as early as 1915 in the Chicago Daily Tribune. Its first documented use in a musical context in New Orleans was in a November 14, 1916 Times-Picayune article about "jas bands". In an interview with NPR, musician Eubie Blake offered his recollections of the slang connotations of the term, saying, "When Broadway picked it up, they called it'J-A-Z-Z', it wasn't called that. It was spelled'J-A-S-S'; that was dirty, if you knew what it was, you wouldn't say it in front of ladies."
The American Dialect Society named it the Word of the Twentieth Century. Jazz is difficult to define because it encompasses a wide range of music spanning a period of over 100 years, from ragtime to the rock-infused fusion. Attempts have been made to define jazz from the perspective of other musical traditions, such as European music history or African music, but critic Joachim-Ernst Berendt argues that its terms of reference and its definition should be broader, defining jazz as a "form of art music which originated in the United States through the confrontation of the Negro with European music" and arguing that it differs from European music in that jazz has a "special relationship to time defined as'swing'". Jazz involves "a spontaneity and vitality of musical production in which improvisation plays a role" and contains a "sonority and manner of phrasing which mirror the individuality of the performing jazz musician". In the opinion of Robert Christgau, "most of us would say that inventing meaning while letting loose is the essence and promise of jazz".
A broader definition that encompasses different eras of jazz has been proposed by Travis Jackson: "it is music that includes qualities such as swing, group interaction, developing an'individual voice', being open to different musical possibilities". Krin Gibbard argued that "jazz is a construct" which designates "a number of musics with enough in common to be understood as part of a coherent tradition". In contrast to commentators who have argued for excluding types of jazz, musicians are sometimes reluctant to define the music they play. Duke Ellington, one of jazz's most famous figures, said, "It's all music." Although jazz is considered difficult to define, in part because it contains many subgenres, improvisation is one of its defining elements. The centrality of improvisation is attributed to the influence of earlier forms of music such as blues, a form of folk music which arose in part from the work songs and field hollers of African-American slaves on plantations; these work songs were structured around a repetitive call-and-response pattern, but early blues was improvisational.
Classical music performance is evaluated more by its fidelity to the musical score, with less attention given to interpretation and accompaniment. The classical performer's goal is to play the composition. In contrast, jazz is characterized by the product of i