Step by Step -Diatonic Chorale- Step by Step was composed in the spring of 2011 for an annual joint concert held by high school bands in Nagaoka, Niigata. A request was that it be easy to memorize and of about four minutes' duration. I additionally set the rule for the piece to be entirely diatonic (in scale form). As matter of fact, except for the bass line, every note for every instrument is diatonic, and any intervals are separated by rests. I set this rule for two reasons: First, scales are basic in instrumental playing; therefore, I wanted young musicians to re-realize the importance of basics. Second, the title implies that there are no shortcuts to making fundamental growth. Playing notes by changing fingers is not so challenging but I wanted players to value every detail in performance. That's also where the title, Step by Step comes from. The East Japan Great Earthquake happened when I started writing this piece. I could not help but think of people from Nakagoe with large earthquakes in 2004 and 2007 still suffering and devastated. Even though I started to compose the piece with a set of rules before 3.11 without knowing of the natural disaster, I deeply feel that the piece with my motivation to go step by step slowly musically was dedicated to and played by people who greatly suffered from those catastrophes in the past.
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