Steps

Joan Tower
Advanced
6 min

Steps is a short piano piece written as an homage to Debussy, a composer that I believe Milton [Babbitt] never particularly liked or understood. As a pianist, I played a good deal of Debussy’s piano music which I learned to love and which had an effect on my own music. But inside the Debussy-like textures of Steps, there are 12-tone rows that get tossed around in the more active and loud passages — a kind of salute to the memory of that feisty, brilliant and articulate man — Milton Babbitt.