April 23: Jazz & Ragtime

There are many different styles of music, from pop music on the radio to Classical music composed hundreds of years ago.  Enjoy the following styles of jazz and ragtime - you may heard these pieces before!

1) D. Brubeck, Take Five

An aunique aspect of the piano is that it can stand alone - almost every other instrument must play with other instruments for harmonic support.  This is because they can play only a single line - one note at a time.  Often, you will see these instruments must be accompanied by a piano!  For example, the cello and violin in last week's listening activity.

Take five and listen to the top selling jazz piece ever - I've included the original with saxophone and drums as well as a piano arrangement.


2) L.V. Beethoven, Fur Elise, arranged by Ethan Uslan

We recently heard this piece in a listening activity, Looking Into The Future.  Listen to the same piece played in a ragtime style - it starts out as the original, then shifts into a totally different character!  I've included The Entertainer as a bonus piece.

There are many other popular ragtime pieces you will likely recognize, such as The Entertainer and Maple Leaf Rag, which I encourage you to look up.  You can even find ragtime versions of popular songs from Star Wars songs to the theme of classic game, Tetris, to jazz + ragtime arrangements! If you enjoy this style, you can look into the composer, Scott Joplin, also known as "The King of Ragtime", for more.

Music begins at 32 seconds


  • Have you heard any of these pieces before?  If so, can you recall where?
  • List some elements or style features you feel distinguishes and defines these different styles of music.  It may help to listen to several examples, especially in ragtime.