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the most significant form of musical expression of African-American culture and arguably the most outstanding contribution the United States has made to the art of music. Origins of Jazz
Jazz developed in the latter part of the 19th cent.
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(1) A form of everyday dance music of urban American Negroes, which developed in the second half of the 19th century. A unique, sharply syncopated form of music, ragtime was a forerunner of jazz. Early examples of an artistic treatment of ragtime are encountered in A. Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9 (subtitled “From the New World”) and in his string quartet.
(2) An American salon and ballroom dance for couples, based on a rhythmic form of ragtime in 2/4 time. Ragtime came into fashion circa 1910. The two-step, the one-step, and the foxtrot are among the dances that developed from ragtime. I. F. Stravinsky used elements of this type of music in several works, including Ragtime (for 11 instruments) and the ballet pantomime The Soldier’s Tale.