Rag Time (1896)

Fred Shapiro fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU
Mon Mar 3 22:00:58 UTC 2003

On Mon, 3 Mar 2003 Bapopik at AOL.COM wrote:

>    6 September 1896, BROOKLYN DAILY EAGLE, pg. 4:
>    The novelty of the performance is Ben R. Harvey, who ought to
> interest students of American music and should have been seen and heard
> by Dr. Dvorak.  He invents and plays what he calls rag time airs and
> dances, the effect of syncopations being to make the melody ragged.
> This is real American music; not of the highest order, but genuine.
> (INVENTS?...OED has 1897...This is the first of about 150 "rag time" hits between 1896-1902--ed.)

I believe this is a tremendously important discovery, the earliest use of
the word "ragtime" anyone has found, as far as I know.  Harney did claim
to have invented ragtime music.

Fred Shapiro

Fred R. Shapiro                             Editor
Associate Librarian for Collections and     YALE DICTIONARY OF QUOTATIONS
  Access and Lecturer in Legal Research     Yale University Press,
Yale Law School                             forthcoming
e-mail: fred.shapiro at yale.edu               http://quotationdictionary.com

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