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For me, the key element in jazz that is not in ragtime is improvisation. Ragtime was a strictly notated musical style. Everything was meticulously written out with no improvisation. Many ragtime era tunes (such as "High Society," a march, actually) were adapted into jazz, with either the notes being swung or improvised lines being added. Most new musical styles appropriate songs from an earlier style before developing their own songs. Jazz was no different. In my opinion, the difference was all in the performance and has nothing to do with the song itself.
 
Cary Ginell
> 
> Additionally, there are the criteria of what comprises jazz. I don't know
> a way of searching Rust's
> listings for ALL listed recordings made prior to February 26, 1917. The
> posting citing Sweatman's work easily at least, leads to a few. But what
> others are there (in this edition or other compilations)?
> Which 'experts' regard which as JASS aka JAZZ?
> By Rust's criteria, Ossman previously recorded Jazz. (pages 1197 -
> 1201....commencing with Berliner 7" #467 Ragtime Medley recorded in NYC on
> October 9, 1897). If a composition containing "Rag" or "Ragtime" ARE jazz
> recordings, then might that mean that the terms were at any time synonyms
> for Jas or Jazz? Or, do the two terms in a title preclude the performance
> from being Jazz?
> 
> Art Shifrin