The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #65553   Message #1080726
Posted By: Q (Frank Staplin)
27-Dec-03 - 09:16 PM
Thread Name: What makes a tune a Rag?
Subject: RE: What makes a tune a Rag?
As always, the Oxford dictionary has interesting quotations. The earliest mention if the word in print is on sheet music.

1897- W. H. Krell, "Mississippi Rag." The first ragtime two-step ever written.
1898- In Étude, the music magazine. "Rag time is a term applied to the peculiar, broken rhythmic features of the popular 'coon song' ...Unfortunately the words to which it is allied are usually decidedly vulgar, so that its present great favor is somewhat to be deplored."
1899- Musical Record (Boston). " I feel safe in predicting that rag-time has come to stay."
1900- Musical Courier. "'Rag-time' is a rhythm which is the most characteristic feature of what may be called American negro music."
By 1906, O Henry wrote that they were singing 'Home Sweet Home' in ragtime.
The definition in the OED essentially is that of Bernard, above, but with more words.