Between 1890 and 1930, the rise and spread of ragtime and jazz held out the promise of realizing Will Marion Cook's prediction that African American music would become a universal musical language. Early ragtime composers were inspired by the presence in Sedalia of Scott Joplin, the undisputed leader of ragtime composers. Together, Joplin, James Scott, and Joseph Lamb, comprise what is generally regarded as the "big three" of piano ragtime composition. Like ragtime, jazz had long roots in African American oral tradition before reaching the broader American public. New Orleans is a city that holds a special place in jazz history and legend. The city's music was as diverse as its population, from the blues brought in from outlying rural areas. By 1930, Fletcher Henderson and Duke Ellington stood out as the leaders of the emerging swing style: hot music played by big bands.
|Name||The Cambridge History of Music|