Songs The Very Best Ragtime Songs  

Ranker Music
1.3k votes 451 voters 28.4k 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
165 37
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Scott Joplin

2
159 37
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Scott Joplin

3
78 31
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Scott Joplin

4
48 24
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Eubie Blake

5
36 23
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Sidney Bechet, Sidney Bechet and His New Orleans Feetwarmers

6
18 7
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Eubie Blake

7
30 22
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Jelly Roll Morton

8
24 18
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Claude Bolling

9
14 10
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Frank French

10
20 17
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Joseph Lamb

11
13 10
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James Scott

12
10 8
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HarrisonSiegel added

13
16 15
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Jelly Roll Morton

14
11 10
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Joseph Lamb

16
11 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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Preservation Hall Jazz Band

21
7 9
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James P. Johnson

22
4 6
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HarrisonSiegel added New England Ragtime Ensemble

23
8 11
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Scott Joplin

24
9 13
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Max Morath

25
4 7
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