noun \ˈrag-ˌtīm\

: a type of lively music that is often played on the piano and that was very popular in the U.S. in the early part of the 20th century

Full Definition of RAGTIME

:  rhythm characterized by strong syncopation in the melody with a regularly accented accompaniment in stride-piano style
:  music having ragtime rhythm

Origin of RAGTIME

probably from ragged + time
First Known Use: 1897


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

U.S. popular music of the late 19th and early 20th centuries distinguished by its heavily syncopated rhythm. Ragtime found its characteristic expression in formally structured piano compositions, the accented left-hand beat opposed in the right hand by a fast, bouncing melody that gave the music its powerful forward impetus. (The term probably derives from “ragged time,” a description of syncopation.) Ragtime compositions typically featured three or four discrete 16-bar strains performed at a moderate tempo. The most celebrated ragtime composer was Scott Joplin. The rhythm and structure of ragtime were important influences on the development of jazz.


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