ABSTRACT

Writings on Percy Grainger and his music occasionally refer to his interactions with African-American related popular musics, such as his early 1930s academic encounter with Duke Ellington, his blackface minstrel song-inspired Tribute to Foster or his African-American minstrelsy-inspired piano solo, In Dahomey: ‘Cakewalk Smasher’ (henceforth referred to as Cakewalk Smasher to differentiate it from the ‘Negro musical’ In Dahomey that inspired it). The latter work is gaining increasing attention as a rediscovered ragtime artefact, a technical challenge for pianists, an early experiment in open scoring and also as an addition to a body of works by a cohort of early twentieth-century modernist composers, such as Debussy and Stravinsky, who employed abstract representations of AfricanAmerican-inflected musical elements in their works.