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A Cast of Strong, Clear Voices

'Ragtime'
J. Anthony Crane and Elizabeth Stanley in “Ragtime.” Photo by Daniel Rader

The early 20th century saw significant changes in societal and cultural America. The same holds true for the nation’s popular music, when ragtime brought a new beat to the hearts, not to mention feet, of the country.

Ragtime’s central structure emphasizes the weak beats instead of the strong beats, creating a syncopated, or “ragged,” rhythm. This musical style enjoyed its peak popularity between 1895 and 1918, but it still has a strong following today.

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