Music that is uniquely American evolved as the nation expanded westward and prospered during the Industrial Revolution. Many old world musical styles in the hands of talented musicians began to morph into distinct new forms by the 1890’s. The most important early synthesis was the melodic syncopated rhythms that became ragtime. The music was instantly popular due in large part to the genius of Scott Joplin.
The classic rag form in which Joplin composed became our first classical music in the tradition of the European masters. Today, ragtime is recognized as both popular and classical music in the internationally respected Schwam catalog of American Recorded Music.