Songs The Very Best Ragtime Songs  

Ranker Music
1.4k votes 472 voters 29.8k views 43 items

The best ragtime songs are those which capture the magic of the era. Ragtime’s golden era was from roughly 1899 to 1915, when it gave way to early jazz. Unlike jazz, ragtime wasn’t improvisational music at all. It was primarily composed for solo piano, though there are some guitar ragtime songs floating around.

This ragtime songs list includes some of the top ragtime songs of all time. You might recognize the names on here as well, like Scott Joplin, who is known as the “King of Ragtime.” You’ll find many of Joplin’s most popular works on this list, including “Maple Leaf Rag,” “The Entertainer” and “Pineapple Rag.” Other well-known musicians with famous ragtime songs include James Scott (“Frog Legs Rag”), Joseph Lamb (“Bohemia Rag”), Eubie Blake (“Charleston Rag”), and Jelly Roll Morton (“King Porter Stomp”).

If you’re just starting out with the history of ragtime, begin with Scott Joplin. His work is arguably unmatched by any other ragtime artist. Enjoy listening to Jelly Roll Morton’s tunes, and see if you can pick out the ways ragtime influenced his early jazz work. Fall in love with Fats Waller, Max Morath, and Leon Redbone. Above all, have fun with the genre's syncopated, “ragged” melodies.

Vote for your favorite good ragtime songs, and enjoy!

list ordered by
1
175 37
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Scott Joplin
2
171 38
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Scott Joplin
3
83 31
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Scott Joplin
4
49 26
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Eubie Blake
5
38 24
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Sidney Bechet, Sidney Bechet and His New Orleans Feetwarmers
6
19 7
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Eubie Blake
7
31 22
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Jelly Roll Morton
8
25 18
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Claude Bolling
9
14 10
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James Scott
10
14 10
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Frank French
11
20 17
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Joseph Lamb
12
12 10
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Joseph Lamb
13
10 8
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HarrisonSiegel added
14
16 15
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Jelly Roll Morton
15
12 12
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Joseph Lamb
17
11 12
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Joseph Lamb
18
9 10
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James Scott
19
7 8
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The Manhattan Transfer
20
9 11
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Scott Joplin
21
9 11
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Preservation Hall Jazz Band
22
7 9
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James P. Johnson
23
4 6
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HarrisonSiegel added New England Ragtime Ensemble
24
9 13
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Max Morath
25
4 7
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