The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #65553   Message #1081109
Posted By: Q (Frank Staplin)
28-Dec-03 - 05:23 PM
Thread Name: What makes a tune a Rag?
Subject: RE: What makes a tune a Rag?
Origin of reggae unknown, possibly from Jamaican English rege-rege, a quarrel or row. The word is fairly new, about 1960s. OED and Webster's. The accent often is on the offbeat. Someone familiar with early reggae content may offer a more valid sugestion as to the origin of the name. The similarity of the word to rege-rege may be coincidence.

Ragtime very dubiously from ragged because the music is rigidly formed. The derivation from rag, to tease, is more likely. Another possibility is that of a rag or ribbon- the contained form of the music again at the root. The series of syncopated variations in some of the compositions are reminiscent of the variations on a theme, popular from Bach's time onward, but these are works of formally trained musicians such as Scott Joplin.

In addition to Krell, Tom Turpin published his "Harlem Rag" in 1898. There were precursors, possibly stemming from vaudeville cakewalks and routines. Some try to see the beginning in plantation dances: possible, but speculative since this form is not in the remnants of slave dances that have survived.
Some have pointed to the entertainments offered outside the gates of the Chicago World's Fair of 1893 as the place where ragtime began, but little is known of the content except for that of the mainline vaudeville and variety shows.