Skip to main content

Scott, James (Sylvester)

Scott, James (Sylvester)

Scott, James (Sylvester), significant black American ragtime pianist and composer; b. Neosoho, Mo., Feb. 12, 1885; d. Kansas City, Kans., Aug. 30, 1938. He received music lessons from John Coleman in Neosoho. After the family went to Carthage, Mo., he became active as a pianist in various local haunts. In 1902 he began working for the Dumars Music Co., which publ. his first rags; he gained his first success with his Frog Legs Rag (1906); his finest rag, Grace and Beauty, was publ. in 1909. About 1920, after travels as a ragtime pianist, he settled in Kansas City, where he was active as a teacher, theater musician, and bandleader. Although relatively unknown in his day, Scott is now recognized as one of the leading ragtime composers of his era.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Scott, James (Sylvester)." Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of Musicians. . 20 Aug. 2019 <>.

"Scott, James (Sylvester)." Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of Musicians. . (August 20, 2019).

"Scott, James (Sylvester)." Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of Musicians. . Retrieved August 20, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.