Originally Posted by SuchFriendsAreDangerous
That is true, there is a proto-blues which predates elements of rag time music. I just used rag time because Eurocentric music buffs always try to say how rag time is some kind of synthesis of European and black American musics, ITS FUCKING NOT!
Rag time significantly predates Jazz in its origins in the 1880s.. Its the sheet music form of rag time that comes about in the early 20th century when it was more popularized into the mainstream by a whiter audience
Yeah, you're avsolutely right.
I think there's a relatively widespread misconception about what Ragtime actually was, in terms of sound and style. The truth is that when one digs into the history of jazz, it becomes evident that Ragtime had multiple incarnations... It was probably the first musical movement created by black artists to be co-opted and appropriated by whites. So people hear the word, and think of the classical European composers who were influenced by Scott Joplin's work, or the countless "revivals" that resulted from Hollywood "tributes" to Joplin.
Ragtime is wiki-fied as being March music + syncopation. But before jazz theory even existed, it was a significant part of black culture. But it was happy, and that meant it didn't make whitey feel guilty (not that Whitey was prone to such feelings at the time). But it was pretty legitimately stolen by cosmopolitan cultures, right out of the heart of New Orleans.
The nitty gritty elements of ragtime and its origins (which had more to do with black piano and guitar players of the early 1900's than with American March music) are pretty obviously snubbed by the music historians who are responsible for writing academic texts on jazz and folk music. The public legacy of the genre tends to treat it as a 3 parts white to 1 part black style of music. Which is bullshit of course.
I took some jazz theory classes in my day. Guess how many music majors, of the hundreds I encountered, knew the name Fats Waller? Anyone? Ok, I'll tell you my count: zero. And I'm referring to fucking seniors here, not the average liberal arts fool trying to pussyfoot his was through human diversity requirements. I mean, the kids who studies jazz specifically. And yes, I'm definitely generalizing here: my experience isn't necessarily everyone's experience, but damned if I wasn't the ony student who ever raised a hand when a teacher asked that question. One of the biggest pop stars of his time; really one of the first pop stars ever.