Composed for orchestra, Sandpaper Ballet was written during 5 days before recording on June 25, 1954, in analog mono sound, which was the first performance. It is 3 minutes and 10 seconds long. It was re-recorded in analog stereo sound by the composer on May 28, 1959.
Composer quote: "Many years ago while the soft shoe dance was still popular in vaudeville, sometimes dancers would sprinkle sand on the stage to create a crackling sound while performing. The drummers imitated this sound by attaching sandpaper on wooden blocks which they rubbed rhythmically against each other. This was the background for my piece "Sandpaper Ballet." The sandpaper covered blocks are in this case imitated by two drummers. They use sand-paper in three different strengths, coarse, medium and fine, to create different effects."