The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #65553 Message #1082675
Posted By: M.Ted
30-Dec-03 - 04:33 PM
Thread Name: What makes a tune a Rag?
Subject: RE: What makes a tune a Rag?
I have looked around and haven't found the original source reference for you on "rag"--I have found a book that quotes Ben Harney(who was once billed as "The Father of Ragtime"), to the effect that ragtime piano was adapted from the old banjo playing technique of playing one melody against another--The context of the first quote was a discussion of banjo playing--thought I knew where it was, but it isn't there--
Incidentally, Ernest Hogan, author of "All Coons Look Alike to Me" was black. His original title had been "All Pimps Look Alike to Me"--but apparently changed it to make it less offensive--
Anyway, my thought is that, whether it was actually called "ragging" or not, the musical technique seems to have come from rural black music, and probably was a central element in banjo playing when the instrument was brought over from African-