Ragtime是一种采用黑人旋律，依切分音法(Syncopation)循环主题与变形乐句等法则，结合而成的早期爵士乐，盛行於第一次世界大战前後。其发源与圣路易斯与纽奥尔良，而後美国的南方和中西部开始流行，它影响了纽奥尔良传统爵士乐的独奏与即兴演奏风格。繁音拍子後来发展成结合流行音乐、进行曲、华尔兹与其他流行舞蹈的型式，因此繁音拍子的歌曲、乐器管弦乐队编制的曲目陆续出现，它不但在黑人乐手与乐迷间流行，也被美国白人中产阶级所接受。Ragtime – also spelled rag-time or rag time – is a musical style that enjoyed its peak popularity between 1895 and 1918. Its cardinal trait is its syncopated, or "ragged", rhythm.
Technically Ragtime isn't really jazz because it does not involve improvisation, but ragtime ran a parallel career to the early New Orleans jazz and featured similar melodies and rhythms. A simple way to look at ragtime is to consider it as a form of composed jazz, or possibly America's first classical music. Likewise, in a style similar to classical music, ragtime's rhythmic syncopations don't swing quite to the degree that they do in New Orleans jazz performance. Although ragtime first appeared in 1892, Scott Joplin would begin to dominate and define the genre in 1895.
The Smithsonian Collection of Classic Jazz opens with back to back renditions of Maple Leaf Rag by ragtime pianist Scott Joplin and early jazz pianist Jelly Roll Morton. In these two performances of this same piece you can clearly hear the difference between ragtime and jazz as Morton's version swings with free abandon, while Joplin's stricter version is more similar to the European late romantic period style of Chopin.
Although lacking the improvisation or the blues feeling inherent in jazz, Ragtime was a strong influence on the earlier forms of jazz. At its prime from 1899-1915, ragtime is best known as totally written out piano music, though it was also performed by orchestras. Its syncopations and structure (blending together aspects of classical music and marches) hinted strongly at jazz, and many of its melodies (most notably "Maple Leaf Rag") would be played in later years by jazz musicians in a Dixieland context. -- Scott Yanow
|02||The Crave||Ferd 'Jelly Roll' Morton||04:33|
|03||Maple Leaf Rag||Scott Joplin||03:08|
|05||The Entertainer||Scott Joplin||03:38|