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New Strands, New Sounds

Ragtime became central to the development of jazz in America and Britain around the turn of the century. It was named after its syncopated or ‘ragged’ rhythm. The availability of printed sheet-music meant that Ragtime became available for performance by dance and theatre orchestras. Early rags like Charles Johnson’s ‘Dill Pickles’ and George Botsford’s ‘Black and White Rag’ were also widely performed by parlour-pianists at home. Scott Joplin became known as ‘The King of Ragtime’ and wrote many of the genre’s most famous compositions, including ‘Maple Leaf Rag’ in 1899.