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Established:June 1997
Author:All content written, coded, illustrated, maintained and posted by Bill Edwards
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Notable Composers Male Composers Female Composers Later Composers Performers Publishing Publishers - Guide to Female Ragtime Composers
Why a separate page for women composers? In part because they deserve equal recognition with the more prominent male composers, and they often get buried in that list. It was the women who more often had taken piano lessons, played ragtime in the home, demonstrated it in the stores, and who often understood better than many men composers the emotional aspects of the music. Most composed anywhere from their late teens through their late twenties or early thirties when many music-oriented careers were ended by marriage. Even while they were composing they often faced obstacles in the male-dominated publishing world. It is also telling that while both black and white males of all classes contributed to the pool of piano rags with some balance, the vast majority of female composers were white and from middle-class areas. There is an unfortunate dearth of biographical information for most of the women listed here, as the head of a household was usually the one polled for census or survey demographics, leaving little opportunity for details of the female family members to surface. For further information I may suggest certain reference sources, and for an overall view of good references currently available or tucked away in your local library, please check out my Bibliography and Sources page.
Many thanks go to hard-working Dr. Nora Hulse and her colleague, my late friend, Nan Bostick, who have both uncovered some of this nearly impossible-to-find information, and I was able to retreive several interesting finds as well while compiling my encyclopedia on women composers. You can visit Nora, the most prominent authority on women ragtime composers, at her web site,
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Ragtime Webring-Dedicated To Scott Joplin

The Ragtime Webring-Dedicated to Scott Joplin and the music of the Ragtime Era, this ring is an invaluable resource for jazz music lovers, musicians and historians. Sheet music, midi files, afro-american history, record collectors...

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There are lots of great ragtime recordings by top artists available from
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Including some of my recommended favorites:
Max Morath Dick Hyman Dick Zimmerman
Paul Lingle Wally Rose Lu Watters
James P. Johnson Tony Caramia Squirrel Nut Zippers
Marcus Roberts Butch Thompson Jelly Roll Morton
Glenn Jenks Sue Keller Fats Waller
The Good Time Jazz Catalog and Bill's personal favorites, The Firehouse Five+2!

And don't miss these movies which include some ragtime music:
The Jazz Singer The Sting
Alexander's Ragtime Band Scott Joplin
The Legend of 1900 Ragtime
For Me and My Gal Meet Me In St. Louis
In the Good Old Summertime Take Me Out to the Ball Game
The Jolson Story Jolson Sings Again
Cheaper by the Dozen San Francisco
Somewhere in Time Titanic (1953)
The Other Pretty Baby
42nd Street Reds
The Son of Kong Story of Vernon and Irene Castle
Cheyenne Social Club The Shootist
How To Dance Through Time - Dances of the Ragtime Era

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