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Ragtime, Cakewalks, Coon Songs and Vaudeville, Barbershop Quartets & etc.
January 21, 2005 11:41 AM   Subscribe

While culling my clippings file for the big move, I came across Ragtime: No Longer a Novelty in Sepia, which led me to the The Rag-Time Ephemeralist, a labor of love by one Chris Ware , whose 'The Acme Novelty Library' and Jimmy Corrigan, Smartest Boy In The World I had long admired. The Ragtime Ephemeralist's mention of Out of Sight - The Rise of African American Popular Music, 1889-1895---here's a review from Musical Traditions--and, its very own links page, as a consequence, led to this post about Ragtime, Cakewalks, Coon Songs and Vaudeville, with a slight nod to Barbershop Quartets. There's more, of course...
posted by y2karl (27 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite

 
As for Ragtime, there are online histories: What is a Rag? The Musical Origins of The Piano Rag is one and another is The Ragtime Story, that a gift from WNUR-FM's JazzWeb while Early Recordings of African Americans - Early Ragtime comes from the wonderful Tim Gracyk's Home Page. Tim is the bomb when it comes to encyclopedically informed discourse on the topic of early American popular music at the dawn of the age of sound recording--consider Barbershop Quartets on Early 78s, for example.

Then there is Ragtime Music; more Ragtime Music; a review of Allen Lowe's American Pop from Minstrel to Mojo: On Record 1893 to 1957 and Ragtime: The Music That Gave Birth To Jazz for more background.

And Edward A. Berlin's Website of Ragtime and Scholarship wonders Did Johannes Brahms Contemplate A Ragtime Project?

Lullaby and good night, I guess not.
posted by y2karl at 11:43 AM on January 21, 2005


Now for Coon Songs, here is Michael Moor's A Trip to Coon Town: the black American cultural influence on the American Musical Theatre and The Minstrel Tradition and its Influence on Musical Theatre 1820’s to 1870’s for starters. Tim Gracyk provides Music That Americans Loved 100 Years Ago--Tin Pan Alley, Broadway Show Tunes, Ragtime (and Related "Coon Songs"), and Sousa Marches and A History of the Musical - Minstrel Shows is instructive, as is In Search of Coon Songs, Racial Stereotypes in American Popular Song.

Here are The Oriental Coon, The coffee colored coon : a mocha-java importation, Coon Hollow capers and De coon dat had de razor, some images of song folio covers from African-American Sheet Music from Brown University, a wonderful, wonderful site, whose ancillary The Development of an African-American Musical Theatre 1865-1910 is also a delight.

Well, there is even a CD available of coon songs: Crazy as a Loon - "Coon Songs" and "Darky Specialties," 1897-1910.

On a related tip, we have A History of the Musical - Minstrel Shows,
Collection of Early American Music from the 19th Century to the Early 20th Century, UCB Libraries Digital Sheet Music Collection - Alphabetical Title List of Ragtime Collection and these images--minstrels, a minstrel troupe, another minstrel troupe and a black band on a riverboat somewhere--from Musical Traditions's Pictures.
posted by y2karl at 11:44 AM on January 21, 2005


No doubt related to something in regards to the underlying mathematics of ragtime--as noted in Self-similar syncopations: Fibonacci, L-systems, limericks and ragtime, first linked here a generation in dog years ago by one katchomko--the form lends itself to MIDI formatting. As Irwin Schwartz, author of The Joy of Ragtime by Irwin Schwartz and What Is Ragtime Piano? by Irwin Schwartz--notes, there is a plethora of ragtime MIDI sites on the web:

Here is Primeline Chemical Systems Midi Library - Ragtime Main Page.

John Roache's Ragtime MIDI Library has outlived its author.

Ragtime Piano MIDI files by Warren Trachtman even provides free Steinway Grand Piano soundfonts and samples for the proper flava.

This Google cache of a geocities site provided to spare the latter's bandwidth, Ragtime Women on the 'Net, links to both sound files and articles.

'Perfessor' Bill Edwards Ragtime MIDI and Sheet Music Covers is another.

BluesTone Music Rolls provides commercial sound files in a 19th Century format.

The Ragtime Ephemeralist sound files are recommeded as well.

Not to mention Ragtime · Blues · Hot Piano Monrovia Sound Studio and Colin D. MacDonald's Ragtime - March - Waltz Web Site and Colin D. MacDonald's Ragtime - March - Waltz Web Site Related Links.
posted by y2karl at 11:44 AM on January 21, 2005


For the related vaudeville tip, we have:

"They cert'ly sound good to me": sheet music, Southern vaudeville, and the commercial ascendancy of the blues - New Perspectives on the Blues

Vaudeville Links

Vaudeville Memories - A Tribute to the Golden Age of Vaudeville

The Vintage Vaudeville & Ragtime Show

Variety/Vaudeville

Variety Stage: Vaudeville and Popular Entertainment, 1870-1920

The American Variety Stage, 1870 - 1920 Audio Sampler
posted by y2karl at 11:46 AM on January 21, 2005


And to tie things up, here's one Cakewalk link and another cakewalk link and Four "Cake Walk" Postcards.

A brief nod to the black roots of barbershop quartets comes next, a bit about crooning and this contemporary account of sports as The New Minstrel Show: Black Vaudeville With Statistics.

There's that elephant in the American living room again...
posted by y2karl at 11:46 AM on January 21, 2005


priceless
posted by matteo at 11:48 AM on January 21, 2005


Amazing.
posted by kenko at 11:54 AM on January 21, 2005


Holy F! When you're good, you're effing amazing. This is going to take hours to go through. I can't wait! Thanks y2karl.
posted by shoepal at 11:57 AM on January 21, 2005


Oh, wait, y2karl. You missed... never mind, I think you got everything.
posted by goatdog at 11:58 AM on January 21, 2005


beautiful post
posted by elykcooks at 12:00 PM on January 21, 2005


Wow. Cheers.
posted by ZippityBuddha at 12:08 PM on January 21, 2005


Holy crap!
posted by me3dia at 12:20 PM on January 21, 2005


This is just wonderful. Thank you, thank you!
posted by Daddio at 12:43 PM on January 21, 2005


Unbelievable. Thank you, y2karl.
posted by greasy_skillet at 1:04 PM on January 21, 2005


I'm impressed y2karl. I couldn't find a single link in my folder of ragtime bookmarks that you didn't have here!
posted by kamylyon at 1:06 PM on January 21, 2005


Jeez. Astounding.
posted by 327.ca at 1:08 PM on January 21, 2005


Magnificent. A classic MeFi post.
posted by languagehat at 2:06 PM on January 21, 2005


Outstanding! Thank you y2karl.
posted by Tarrama at 4:05 PM on January 21, 2005


After perusing these links, I find I missed Racism & Prejudice In Music and its additional cover gallery with each cover linked to a MIDI of the song's melody. That comes from the most excellent Parlor Songs.

Here, also, is Mark Katz's Making America More Musical through the Phonograph, 1900-1930.

And here's Meloware's Antique Phonograph Record Archive's free mp3s.
posted by y2karl at 5:55 PM on January 21, 2005


[applause]
posted by fatllama at 9:12 PM on January 21, 2005


Great stuff, karl, keep it up!
posted by arto at 9:30 PM on January 21, 2005


Four related, more or less, previous posts:

Blackface Minstrelsy

Demythologizing The Blues

Race/Music: Corrine Corrina, Bo Chatmon, and the Excluded Middle

Maroons, Ramapaughs, Jackson Whites, the Moors of Delaware, Melungeons, the Ben Ishmaels, Red Bones, Brass Ankles, Turks, Lumbees, Croatans and other lost tribes and rebel slave communities
posted by y2karl at 9:32 PM on January 21, 2005


Damn you, y2karl! The Rag-Time Ephemeralist has forced me to finally install RealPlayer!
posted by mr_roboto at 10:09 PM on January 21, 2005


No, no--all you need is Media Player Classic aka Real Alternative.

Real Alternative will allow you to play RealMedia files without having to install RealPlayer/RealOne Player.

It doesn't try to hijack your PC like RealPlayer does, which makes it way cooler.
posted by y2karl at 10:18 PM on January 21, 2005


Doc Wilson was the source for Ragtime Women on The 'Net--here are Doc Wilson's Ultimate Master Ragtime MIDI Index Page and his Ragtime Links, all Google caches so as not to crash his Geocities site limited bandwidth from over-attention. These crazy kids, you know...
posted by y2karl at 7:54 AM on January 22, 2005


Nice set, y2karl. Thanks.
posted by safetyfork at 8:08 AM on January 26, 2005


For posterity, let's try that first link once again--

Ragtime: No Longer a Novelty in Sepia.

My mistake there was to choose the print page, which made a registration required link out of one that was free. It's a mistake which I only discovered after checking my links from the public library, from where I do all my surfing these days, alas, alas.
posted by y2karl at 8:52 PM on February 7, 2005


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