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Difference Between Ragtime and Stride

Ragtime vs Stride

Ragtime and Stride are two different genres of music. It is believed that Stride was derived from Ragtime.

Ragtime dates back to 1897-1918. It was a popular music composed for the piano. It started as an original music genre which was usually used as dance music in the American cities like New Orleans and the St. Louis red light area. The primary characteristic of Ragtime was the rhythm which sounded ragged. Ragtime was heavily influence by African music; John Philip Sousa made it very popular by modifying the march music and adding polyrhythms to it to change it into Ragtime.

One of the most prominently loved and popular composers of Ragtime, also called “Rag Time,” was Scott Joplin. He published the “Maple Leaf Rag” in 1899 and many other Ragtime hits followed it. This music was forgotten after some time, but after many years in the 1940s it was again revived.”Maple Leaf Rag” was a big influence on the revived music. It is believed that Ragtime was responsible for influencing jazz. Many jazz players used to play Ragtime during their repertoire in the 1940s. In the 1950s, new rags were composed, recorded, and published. New styles of rags were originating too. The biggest revival came in the 1970s when Joshua Rifkin published the compilation of Scott Joplin’s rags. The record won a Grammy award. A movie was released in 1973 called The Sting which had Joplin’s soundtrack.
Ragtime is considered American Classic and has influenced many classical works like that of Igor Stravinsky, Claude Debussy, etc.

Stride is a way or style of playing the jazz piano. The name is derived from the striding of the left hand up and down the keyboard. It is also called the Stride Piano or Harlem Stride. It developed in East Coast cities like New York in the 1920s-1930s. Stride developed in New York and was different from piano playing styles developed in New Orleans where pianists were referred to as professors.

Stride was often played with more speed, and players improvised while playing. It was also played for slow-tempo music.


1.Ragtime dates back to 1897-1918. It was a popular music composed for the piano; Stride is a style of playing jazz piano developed in the 1920s-1930s.
2.Ragtime started in cities like New Orleans and St. Louis; Stride was a style developed in the East Coast cities like New York.
3.Ragtime was different than Stride. While playing in the Stride style, the left hand strides up and down the keyboard.
4.Ragtime is considered to be the major influence which developed jazz.

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