Welcome to the Paragon Ragtime Orchestra’s

Listening Room

Curated by Rick Benjamin

The Paragon Ragtime Orchestra conducted by Rick Benjamin, performs in 2016.













The years spanning 1880s to the 1920s were a time of incredible creativity and growth for American music. Inspired by the boundless energy and optimism of the American people and fueled by the new technologies of the Industrial Revolution, many exciting, distinctive musical styles appeared across the United States. This period gave birth to “pop music” as we know it, and sparked the invention of the “Entertainment Industry” – musical theater, music recording, motion pictures, and more.

The Paragon Ragtime Orchestra vividly recreates all of the many musical styles that rose and flourished during this extraordinary era. And since PRO has recorded more of this music than any other modern day ensemble, it is uniquely able to provide today’s listeners this complete audio guide to the music of the Ragtime Era. Start your explorations by clicking the links below. Enjoy!


Theater Music

Dance Music

Popular Song

Silent Film Music

The Blues & Early Jazz

Concert Music

Classical Music & Opera

The Root: African-American Music


Meet the Composers



Texts and images © The Paragon Ragtime Orchestra. All rights reserved.

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Where America's Music Begins
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