Homepage logo Project Homepage [spacer] Search Collection Browse Collection Project Overview Cylinder History Donate Collections Help Contact Us Links Links [spacer] Special Collections UCSB Libraries Banner

Cakewalks and Rags

Podcast

M3U

The cakewalk is a syncopated march-like piece that originated in the 19th century as a dance performed by black American slaves to parody the behavior of their white owners. Ragtime, a similar musical form, juxtaposed a syncopated melodic line against a straight, march-like bass line. Cakewalks and rags became hugely popular in the 1890s and remained popular through World War I. Ragtime originated as an instrumental form, often played on banjo or piano. Rag songs, commonly performed by Edward Meeker, Billy Murray, and other popular vocalists, share some of the features of ragtime such as syncopation, but this radio program features the more characteristic instrumental rags and cakewalks.

Before the influence of African-American music became widespread, Anglo-American popular music was mostly not syncopated and was “square,” like a church hymn. Today, much of American popular music is syncopated, a feature that descends from these early rags and cakewalks. - David Seubert, UC Santa Barbara.


An initiative of the UC Santa Barbara Library • (805) 893-5444 • Santa Barbara, CA 93106-9010. [Envelope] Direct questions or comments about the project or this page to the project staff or visit the help pages.

Featured Cylinder

The widow Dooley - Ada Jones and Len Spencer. (Edison Standard Record: 10017), [1908].


Cylinder Radio

Listen to a podcast or live stream of Cakewalks and Rags on Cylinder Radio

Podcast icon


Facebook icon Like us on Facebook


Keyword Search



Did You Know?
U-S Everlasting Records in Cleveland, Ohio produced 1,000 cylinder titles between 1910 and 1913.

Creative Commons License
Copyright and licensing information