A "cakewalk" is an African-American dance that began in the 1800s and became popular in minstrel shows at the turn of the 20th century. It features syncopated, ragtime-like music to which a couple struts arm and arm using high steps. Debussy wrote Le petit NíÂgre in 1909 for another composer's elementary piano method. He closely modeled it after his successful "Golliwog's Cakewalk," the conclusion of his six-movement suite, Children's Corner, composed the previous year.
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