by Ted Tjaden
Set out below is
information on sources of ragtime music,
organized into the following categories:
1) Books on Ragtime
Sources of Ragtime Sheet Music
Sources of Ragtime Sheet Music
Recordings of Ragtime Music
Books on Ragtime [top]
The following books on
ragtime music and the ragtime era
represent some of the more important
titles in the ragtime literature:
- Badger, Reid. A
Life in Ragtime: A Biography of
James Reese Europe. New
York: Oxford University Press, 1995
- Barile, Mary et al. Merit not
Sympathy Wins: The Life and Times of
Blind Boone. Kirksville, MO:
Truman State University Press, 2012.
Jack. Blind Boone: Missouri’s
Ragtime Pioneer. Columbia,
MO: University of Missouri Press, 1998.
Edward. King of Ragtime: Scott
Joplin and his Era. New
York: Oxford University Press, 1995.
Edward. Ragtime: A Musical and
Cultural History. Berkeley,
CA: University of California Press,
Edward. Reflections and Research
on Ragtime. Brooklyn, NY:
Institute for Studies in American Music,
Conservatory of Music, Brooklyn College
of the City University of New York,
- Binkowski, Carol. Joseph F
Lamb: A Passion for Ragtime.
Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2012.
- Blesh, Rudi &
Harriet Grossman Janis. They All
Played Ragtime. 4th ed. New
York: Oak Publications, 1966. Citations
on this website to this book are to the
4th edition. The book was first
published in 1950 by Alfred A Knopf.
- DeVeaux, Scott
& William Howland Kenney, eds. The
Music of James Scott.
Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution
- Frew, Timothy. Scott
Joplin and the Age of Ragtime.
New York: Friedman Fairfax, 1996.
- Gammond, Peter.
Scott Joplin and the Ragtime Era.
London: Angus & Robertson, 1975.
- Gilmore, John. Swinging
Paradise: The Story of Jazz in
Montreal. Montreal, QC:
Vehicule Press, 1988.
- Hasse, JE, ed. Ragtime:
History, Composers, and Music.
New York: Schirmer Books, 1985.
- Jasen, David. Ragtime: An
Encyclopedia, Discography, and
Sheetography. New York:
- Jasen, David
& Trebor Jay Tichenor. Rags
and Ragtime: A Musical History.
New York: Dover Publications, 1978.
- Jasen, David &
Gene Jones. Black Bottom Stomp:
Eight Masters of Ragtime and Early
Jazz. New York: Routledge,
- Jasen, David
& Gene Jones. That American
Rag: The Story of Ragtime from Coast
to Coast. New York: Schirmer
- Laird, Ross. Tantalizing
A Discography of Early
Ragtime, Jazz, and Novelty
Syncopated Piano Recordings,
1889–1934. Westport, CT:
Greenwood Press, 1995.
- Milan, Jon. Detroit: Ragtime
and the Jazz Age.
Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing,
- Morath, Max et
al. The Road to Ragtime.
Virginia Beach, VA: Donning Company
Nancy. Scott Joplin: A Guide to
Research. New York: Garland
- Rose, Al. Eubie Blake.
New York: Schirmer Books, 1979.
- Schafer, William
& Johannes Riedel. The Art of
Ragtime: Form and Meaning of an
Original Black American Art.
Baton Rouge, LA: Louisiana State
University Press, 1973.
- Stewart, Philip. The Music of
Charles Leslie Johnson: A
Addison, TX: Aquila Media Productions,
- Sutton, A. Cakewalks,
and Novelties: The International
Ragtime Discography (1894-1930).
Denver, CO: Mainspring Press, 2003.
- Waldo, Terry. This
is Ragtime. New York: De
Capo Press, 1991.
- Whitcomb, Ian.
Irving Berlin and Ragtime America.
New York: Limelight Editions, 1988.
Print Sources of Ragtime Sheet Music [top]
compilation of published sheet music is
available online in a downloadable Excel
spreadsheet through the efforts of Michael
Mathew and a number of volunteer
The foregoing Ragtime
Compendium is an excellent resource
to verify the existence of a ragtime
composition or find out is publisher and
whether the piece has been published.
In addition, a number
of libraries, primarily American, have
large collections of ragtime-era sheet
music that have not been digitized (for
online, digitized sheet music, see below). The following
libraries have large sheet music
- The University of Tennessee,
Online Sources of Ragtime Sheet Music [top]
are a number of excellent online sources
of digitized sheet music collections
that include large selections of rags
and ragtime era music.
most comprehensive starting point would
be the Sheet Music Consortium at UCLA:
foregoing site is a clearing house for
the following individual sites:
addition to the foregoing sites, there
are a number of other digital
collections that contain sheet music
from the ragtime era that have not yet
been harvested by the Sheet Music
Consortium or are otherwise useful as
collections also contain (free) digitized
sheet music, including some ragtime, but
to a much lesser extent (set out below in
Finally, you can
usually find extensive sheet music for
sale on eBay, which can be another way of
obtaining hard to find ragtime sheet
In addition to the
foregoing sources of online ragtime sheet
music, readers may be interested in (free)
online sheet music to the Brazilian tango
music for the piano by Ernesto
Nazareth and Chiquinha
Gonzaga (my goal is to write a
separate essay on this website on Brazlian
piano tango music and its interplay with
American ragtime music):
Essential Recordings of Ragtime Music
On each of the
separate essays I have written on ragtime
music (see the table
of contents to these essays) I have
included recommended commercial recordings
of ragtime related to each essay. In
addition, there are a number of free MIDI
recordings of ragtime music on the
Internet, including the following sites:
MIDI links can be found here.
Ragtime Organizations [top]
There are a number of
ragtime organizations listed in the next section. In this
section, I mention the online chat group
hosted by Yahoo! called "Elite
Major Ragtime Websites [top]
Set out below is a
select list of ragtime websites:
Arpin [Note: John Arpin passed
away in 2007 so I am surprised this site
has not been archived]