Ragtime is a piano affair. Ragtime is tuneful, but it is
primarily rhythmic. The "oomph" is what makes it ragtime. Scott Joplin's "Maple
Leaf Rag," "The Entertainer," (these songs are featured on my first album, "This
Is Entertainment") "Solace" - many people love this bouncy music, but few walk
around singing or humming these tunes.
A blues song can be sung freely by one person, or a chorus, much like live
speech, without a strict rhythm. Ragtime is more march like; you listen to
ragtime to put on a happy face, not as much to feel your pain.
Ragtime music was born around 1890 as an alternative to the blues. Yet these
musical genres didn't evolve or grow in a vacuum. The more rhythmic and faster
the blues got, the more ragtime-like the blues