Children's Corner - IV. The Snow is Dancing - Claude Debussy

Children's Corner - IV. The Snow is Dancing - Claude Debussy

Claude Debussy's Children's Corner 4th piece – The Snow is Dancing – is one of the most famous pieces for the piano. It is part of the suite for solo piano that was composed by Claude Debussy in 1908. Children's Corner, in its entirety, was inspired by and dedicated to Claude Debussy's daughter, Claude-Emma, otherwise known as "Chou-Chou".

History and Release

Claude Debussy published all six pieces of Children's Corner, including The Snow is Dancing, in the year of 1908. Originally the project was intended to be a suite of five pieces. The success of the collection, however, led him to compose an additional piece, “Golliwogg's Cake-walk,” to match the works already created.

In the years since its release, The Snow is Dancing has become a popular work for solo piano, being released on many recordings and performed at many events. The piece, along with the rest of Children's Corner, has significantly impacted the music repertoire.


The Snow is Dancing is a gentle, lyrical piece, written in a simple ternary form. It employs the key of C major, with chromatic effects and modulations to, G major and B minor. There are other features such as Trills, pedal notes, and dotted rhythms.

The main theme in The Snow is Dancing surrounds the melodic pattern of a traditional children's song, magnified by the resonating notes of the piano. The piece is evocative of the experience of playing in the snow, with its dance-like pattern that makes it a simple but effective piece.


The Snow is Dancing is a highly emotive piece with moments of serenity in its tonality and dynamics. Along with the suite’s other pieces, it holds a place in many people’s hearts, due to its function as a reflection of Debussy’s childhood and his daughter, Chou-Chou.

The work has been seen in many adaptations, including the 1989 score to the Studio Ghibli film Kiki's Delivery Service by Joe Hisaishi, in which The Snow is Dancing dominates the soundtrack. It has been used in a variety of media, and its popularity endures after more than a century since its release.

The Snow is Dancing is an iconic work for solo piano, composed in a timeless manner that continues to touch the hearts of people from myriad backgrounds. Its popularity is wholly understandable and it is a testament to its power that it has been featured in a variety of projects.

Publication date: 20. 02. 2023