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May Aufderheide (1888-1972)

Born 21 May 1888
Indianapolis, Indiana
Died 1 September 1972
Pasadena, California
Nationality American
Era 20th-Century

May Aufderheide was an American composer of ragtime music. She was probably the best known among female ragtime composers.  She received training in art music and visited Europe on a grand tour, yet decided to compose in ragtime.

May Aufderheide was a member of the Indianapolis ragtime community that included Paul Pratt, Cecil Duane Crabb, J. Russel Robinson, Will B. Morrison, Julia Lee Niebergall, and Gladys Yelvington. The popularity of her first published rag, “Dusty”, convinced her father, Indianapolis loan broker John H. Aufderheide, to enter the music publishing business forming the firm J. H. Aufderheide Music Publisher.