Ragtime (alternately spelled ragged-time) is an originally American musical genre which enjoyed its peak popularity between 1897 and 1918. Ragtime was the first truly American musical genre, predating jazz. It began as dance music in the red-light districts of American cities such as St. Louis and New Orleans years before being published as popular sheet music for piano. It was a modification of the march made popular by John Philip Sousa, with additional polyrhythms coming from African music. Read more on Last.fm.