Ragtime appeared in sheet music in the 1890’s. It originated from African American music including dances like the Cakewalk.Over the next twenty years it evolves and developed into Rags, dances, marches, novelties and even intermezzos.
The selection of famous rags on this page were all published as sheet music in the early part of the twentieth century . For example Alexander's Ragtime Band was Irving Berlin's first hit in 1911 - it has few of the features found in most rags but enjoys some mild syncopation and has become an anthem of that era. By contrast A Bag of Rags was supposedly the unofficial theme tune for the Keystone Cops. Also included are three of Rudy Wiedoeft's saxophone novelties and Odeon which is actually a contemporaneous Brazilian tango.