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German Influence on Ragtime

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It was once called “the people’s music”, and “the delight of children (Koenig).” America’s development of ragtime is no doubt a representation of the blending of different cultures and influences. Germanic instrument’s influence on ragtime was a result of the development of new instruments overtime, the availability of new musical instruments to African Americans, and America’s significant blending of diverse cultural sounds.

Germanic instrumentation’s influence on ragtime was a result of the development of new instruments overtime. As Europe began to develop much wider varieties of musical instruments, the influence of the musical styles began to spread throughout the world. Germany was the home to some of the most notable instruments of ragtime, including the fiddle, banjo, snare drum, tambourine, and the accordion (Sengupta). The most common instrument brought to America from Europe was the fiddle (Moye). This instrument would become the center of American musical entertainment in the near future. In fact, European instruments became so popular in the southern states that brass and woodwind musicians were being sought out for employment (Moye). Germany was also responsible for the development of the trumpet, trombone, brass saxophone, and tuba, which would later shape ragtime into what is now known as jazz. The dulcimer was a Germanic instrument that was introduced to the south around the 1800’s, and its widespread usage and popularity caused a major shift in 19th Century popular culture (Moye).

It should also be noted that the Native American reed flutes, rattles, and drums significantly influenced the blending of different beats and rhythms into a single piece of music. Native American drums greatly influenced the variety o...

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