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Ragtime Quotes


"Ragtime was my lullaby." - Hoagy Carmichael

"It is never right to play ragtime fast." - Scott Joplin

"Ragtime was a fanfare for the 20th century." - Russell Lynes

"Don t play this piece fast. It is never right to play ragtime fast." - Scott Joplin

"One day the 'Maple Leaf' will make me King of Ragtime Composers." - Scott Joplin

"Come on and hear, come on and hear, Alexander's Ragtime Band." - Irving Berlin

"Syncopations are no indication of light or trashy music, and to shy bricks at 'hateful ragtime' no longer passes for musical culture." - Scott Joplin

"Syncopations are no indication of light or trashy music, and to shy bricks at hateful ragtime no longer passes for musical culture." - Scott Joplin

"Behind innocence there gathers a clotted mass of superstition, of twisted and misdirected impulse; clandestine flirtation, fads, and ragtime fill the unventilated mind." - Walter Lippmann

"What is scurrilously called ragtime is an invention that is here to stay. That is now conceded by all classes of musicians... All publication s masquerading under the name of ragtime are not the genuine article... That real ragtime of the higher class is rather difficult to play is a painful truth which most pianists have discovered. Syncopations are no indication of light or trashy music... Joplin ragtime is destroyed by careless or imperfect rendering, and very often players lost the effect entirely by playing too fast." - Scott Joplin

"Ragtime has about the same amount of respect as comics. And in a way they're similar art forms. Ragtime is highly compositional, and the emotion in the music is built in, whereas in jazz a lot of that emotion comes from the way it's performed." - Chris Ware

"Black musicians rhythmicized the contredanse, creating musical styles which evolved into the habanera (also known as the tango) and, later, ragtime, as well as the danza, danzon, and ultimately the danzon mambo and its offspring the cha-cha-cha." - Ned Sublette

"The ones that were relevant while I wrote my book were books like "Beloved" by Toni Morrison, which is based on a historical fact, "Ragtime" by E.L. Doctorow, and "True History of the Kelly Gang" by Peter Carey." - Laila Lalami

"By that time the era of Ragtime had run out, with the heavy breath of the machine, as if history were no more than a tune on a player piano." - E L Doctorow

"My appearance was always good and my ability to play on the piano, especially ragtime, which was then at the height of its vogue, made me a welcome guest." - James Weldon Johnson

"New Orleans had a great tradition of celebration. Opera, military marching bands, folk music, the blues, different types of church music, ragtime, echoes of traditional African drumming, and all of the dance styles that went with this music could be heard and seen throughout the city. When all of these kinds of music blended into one, jazz was born." - Wynton Marsalis

"Roger (Kellaway) amazed us all. Blessed with great technique, he could play any style, from ragtime to space music. Whatever style he chose to play at the moment would be filled with wonderful surprises that kept the rest of us continually delighted." - Bill Crow

"[Jazz] went from the classics to ragtime to Dixieland to swing to bebop to cool jazz,... But it's always jazz. You can put a new dress on her, a new hat, but no matter what kind of clothes you put on her, she's the same old broad." - Lionel Hampton

"Improvisation was the blood and bone of jazz, and in the classic, New Orleans jazz it was collective improvisation in which each performer, seemingly going his own melodic way, played in harmony, dissonance, or counterpoint with the improvisations of his colleagues. Quite unlike ragtime, which was written down in many cases by its composers and could be repeated note for note (if not expression for expression) by others, jazz was a performer's not a composer's art." - Russell Lynes

"Marching onward, marching onward Marching to that lovely tune Marching onward, marching onward Happy as a bird in June Sliding onward, sliding onward Listen to that rag Hop and skip now do that slow, oh Do that slow drag Dance slowly, prance slowly Now you hear that pretty rag Dance slowly, prance slowly Now you do the real slow drag Waltz slowly, waltz slowly Listen to the ragtime Hop and skip Now do the slow, oh, do the slow drag" - Scott Joplin

"You always want to be the person who doesn't need to be included, but it feels damn good to be among you people. My first Broadway show was Master Class, and I saw Audra McDonald. The one that sealed the deal was Ragtime, with Marin Mazzie. My first big role was with John Lithgow, and he taught me the ropes. Norm Lewis sang the night I met my husband. It makes me feel like I have a family." - Kelli O'Hara

"Once there was Louis Armstrong blowing his beautiful top in the muds of New Orleans; before him the mad musicians who had paraded on official days and broke up their Sousa marches into ragtime. Then there was swing, and Roy Eldridge, vigorous and virile, blasting the horn for everything it had in waves of power and logic and subtlety - leaning into it with glittering eyes and a lovely smile and sending it out broadcast to rock the jazz world." - Jack Kerouac