Right from the beginning, commercial song-writers have been quick to use different kinds of music if they think they can make money out of them. These kinds of music have frequently been Afro-American, and the first of them was ragtime. The word ‘ragtime’ was not in general use before 1897, when it was made famous by a Chicago newspaperman. Yet the music known as ‘ragtime’ existed long before 1897, and was often referred to as ‘jig bands’ or ‘jig piano’, depending on how it was played. It grew out of the jig music of black plantation slaves.