Wind band

Folk Song settings

March on Eight Folk Tunes

Composed: Jan 21, 2024
Duration: 3:40

Premiere Mar 3, 2024
Fantasia di Hakka 客家幻想曲

Composed: Aug 7, 2018
Duration: 10:30

Note Commissioned by and dedicated to the HsinChu Wind Onsemble, Taiwan, for the celebration of the 300th anniversary of Zhu$0301qia$0300n (current Hsinchu City).


Premiere Sep 1, 2018
Fantasia on Greensleeves

Composed: Nov 21, 2017
Instrument: Picc. 3Fl. 3Ob . EH. 3B♭Cl. Bass-Cl. 3Bsn. Double Bsn. 2A-Sax. T-Sax. Bar-Sax. 4Hrn. 3Cb
Duration: 6:00

Publisher: ItoMusic / Brain
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Note Premiered on 12th December 2017, by Senzoku Gakuen College of Music Green-Tie Wind Ensemble under the baton of Douglas Bostock.

Hardly any melody is so associated with England as "Greensleeves", a folk song about love, which has its origins in the late 16th Century. Interestingly, the tune was used as a slow march by British military bands in the 16th and 17th Centuries and as a quick march during World War I, reminding the soldiers of home. Yasuhide Ito has employed the melody as the basis for a new composition to complement this evening's special programme. (Douglas Bostock)
Premiere Dec 12, 2017
Festal Ballade for Band

Composed: Sep 1, 2016
Duration: 9:00

Publisher: ItoMusic / Brain
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Note Beyond the long and bitter-cold winters, the people in Aomori drown in the joy and delight of summer festivities, where summers are short-lived. Brightly lit and colorfully decorated floats called Nebuta are a common feature in Aomori’s festive summer parades.
“Festal Ballade” is a continuation from “Festal Scenes” (1986), which is a piece still very well received by many, something I am proud to say with my utmost gratitude. It is a creative blend of Japanese musical elements and Western composition technique, and about six minutes long. “Festal Scenes” was commissioned by the Wind Band of the Maritime Self-Defense Force of Ominato in Aomori, and features four popular folk songs from the Aomori prefecture of Japan.
30 years on, this new composition, also employing the same folk songs, was born from a request, once again, by the mentioned wind band.
Following the astounding progress of Japanese wind bands’ performance profile on an international level since 1986, back when information and resources were scarcely available, “Festal Ballade” can be said to have evolved greatly (from “Festal Scenes”) into something more authentic, and perhaps, “truly Japanese”. The melodies from “Tsugaru Jongara-bushi Kyokubiki Rokudan”,“Tsugaru Aiya-bushi”,“Hoh-hai-bushi”, and “Aomori Nebuta” are presented in sequence, while hidden expressions of melodies from the “Ominato Nebuta”, “Hachinohe Sansha Taisai” can also be relished.
In a matter of 30 years, the power of the Internet has vastly improved, while the Japanese bullet train service has also expanded, bringing Aomori closer than ever. Things have changed, apparently, even for things that did not seem to have. The gradual change in tempo and rhythm of the Taiko drums at Nebuta festivals is just one example.
I can only imagine what my composition would be like in another 30 years, if the band of the Maritime Self-Defense Force would, hopefully, once again request for my services in creating a new variation. Without doubt, the world would have changed significantly. In the least, it is my personal wish that world peace is prevalent, and that Nebuta festivals can still be enjoyed as it is now.

Performance notes
Bar 176 onwards:
To be performed as close to the “Aiya-bushi’s” triple time. The beats’ lengths are not even, with something similar to 1st >2nd >3rd beats. A search on the Internet about the “Tsugaru Aiya-bushi” is strongly recommended.
Bars 261 to 274, and/or bars 311 to 317 can be omitted, to shorten the piece to a little over 8 minutes long. The full piece is a little over 9 minutes.

Commissioned Japan Maritime Self Defense Force, OMINATO BAND
Premiere Sep 21, 2016
Yaysama-Rimse, Dance Impromptu for Band

Composed: Feb 14, 2016
Duration: 7:30

Publisher: ItoMusic / Brain
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Note This melodic piece is a burst of energetic expression of song and dance, by a people who holds a great desire for peace and harmony.
An Ainu folk song was integrated in “Fantasy Variations”, a piece I have composed for the euphonium and wind band 26 years ago, and is still widely popular among euphonium players. The Ainu tribe is native to northern Japan, the area under the jurisdiction of the Northern Air Self-Defense Force. This piece is commissioned by its band. I composed this new piece, employing the same Ainu folk song then. Meanwhile, I also aimed to discover how my composition style then contrasts with my current methodology.
The sub-title “Dance-Impromptu” is derived from Yay-sama Rimse. “Yay-sama” translates into “Impromptu”, or “Song of Love” in the Ainu language, while “Rimse” means “round dance”.
Yay-sama Rimse was first performed on 13 March 2016 by the band of the Northern Air Self-Defense Force, with Mr. Tomohide Watanabe as conductor.
Premiere Mar 13, 2016
Nippon hey! a Morris Dance for Band

Composed: Jul 13, 2010
Instrument: Fl.1,2 Picc. Ob.1,2 English Horn Bn.1,2 EbCl. Cl.1,2,3 A-Cl. B-Cl. S-Sax. A-Sax. T-Sax. B-Sax. Hrn.1,2,3,4 Trp.1,2 Trb.1,2,3 Bariton Euph.1,2 Tub. SB Harp Timp. Perc.1,2 Mallets (optional Double Bn. Contrabass Cl. Bass Sax. Celesta)
Duration: 3:00

Publisher: ItoMusic / Brain
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Note Five note scale music is seen not only in Scottish music but also in
traditional music from Japan. This is a kind of ‘Morris dance’ but the
famous Japanese folk tune ‘Soran-bushi’ appears at bar 154 (rehearsal
number K) for trombones. All Japanese people know this melody. That’s why
the title is ‘Nippon hey!’, with Nippon meaning Japan.

‘Nippon Hey!’ was premiered as an encore piece for the concert of GWE
(Senzoku Gakuen College of Music Green-Tie Wind Ensemble,directed by
Yasuhide Ito), held in Kanagawa, Japan, conducted by Douglas Bostock. In
this concert, the final piece was the famous ‘Lincolnshire posy’ by A. P.
Grainger, whom I admire very much. I wanted to write an encore piece
showing Grainger’s influence on me that would fit well with the final
piece. You’ll find a taste of Grainger in ‘Nippon Hey!’

‘Nippon Hey!’ is in G major, because of ‘G’WE.
And also at letter G and J, appears GWE motives, which is, GG(double G)E,
or, GEE(double E).

Some special trumpets such as the piccolo trumpet, Aida trumpet, slide
trumpet and bass trumpet are found in the trumpet section. Some trumpet
students were joking about bringing such special trumpets when we had a
photo session for the flyer which is why I used them. But, of course you can
play the piece with normal trumpets.

“Nippon hey!” premiered on July 21st 2010 and its European premier was on
September 2010 during the Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra European concert tour,
conducted by Douglas Bostock.

Premiere Jul 21, 2010
Senzoku Gakuen College of Music Green-Tie Wind Ensemble
Taiwanese Posy

Composed: 2007
Duration: 13:00

Commissioned Hsinchu Symphonic Band, Taiwan
Premiere Jul 20, 2007
Hsinchu Symphonic Band, Taiwan
Rapsodia di Toyama, for Band

Composed: Jul 9, 2003
Duration: 6:00

Ryukuan Fantasy, for Piano and Band

Composed: Mar 03, 1999
Duration: 5:00

Publisher: ItoMusic / Brain
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Commissioned NTT East Tokyo Wind Ensemble
Premiere May 14, 1999
Ito Yasuhide, Piano solo with NTT East Tokyo Wind Ensemble conducted by Yamada Masahiro
CD: As Time is passing on -Band works by ITO Yasuhide(Cafua/CACG-0015)
CD: NTT East Tokyo Winds Ensemble (Cafua/CACG-0106)
Kokiriko alla Marcia

Composed: Feb 06, 1999
Duration: 4:30

Publisher: Rundel
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Note Composed for the National Athletic Meet in Toyama prefecture in 2000. It includs a taste of folk tune of Toyama.

Kokiriko is the Japanese traditional percussion instrument, which is a pair of bamboo sticks length about 25cm and 2 to 3 cm in diameter, and played like Claves (rarely available in music store even in Japan. Could make it by yourself, but actually Kokirio has its own special process to make.) So Claves could be the replacement.

In this piece, there are two more traditional percussions like Bohzasara and Zasara.
Bohzasara also called as Surizasara has two different types of sticks. One is about 30cm length of wooden stick indented called Sasarako, and the other is almost same size and called Sasaradake. The top part of Sasaradake is split into thinner tips. Holding Sasaradake with right hand and rub Sasarako by left hand. No western instruments can be founded such kind of percussion, so I recommend using Guiro.

Sasara also called Binzasara has 108 wooden cards (108 is very important number in the Buddhism.) joined and tied up at the top of those wooden cards. With handles both ends of the wooden cards, sound is caused when those woods strike together. Large Guiro could be substitute.

Doubling these percussions to the band, you will taste the real flavor of Japanese.
Commissioned Toyama Pref.
Premiere 2000
Ryukuan Fantasy, for Band

Composed: Jan 31, 1998
Duration: 4:30

Publisher: ItoMusic / Brain
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Commissioned Toshima-ku Wind Orchestra
Premiere Apr 29, 1998
Toshima-ku Wind Orchestra conducted by Ito, Yasuhide
Information Originally for 2Pf and Pf(4Hands). Other versions are following. For 2Pf. 1Pf(4Hands).Vn&Pf.1Pf.SopSax&Pf. PfSeptet(5Strings,Perc,Pf).PfSextet(5Strings,Pf).Pf&Band.Vn&SaxQurtet&Pf(Pf is option).SaxQurtet.
CD: Philharmonic Winds OSAKAN Vol.4
Three Scenes from Soma (suite)

1. Fanfare 2. Shin-Soma-Bushi 3. Soma Festival March

Composed: Sep 28, 1994
Duration: 12:00

Publisher: ItoMusic / Brain
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Commissioned Soma City, Fukushima
Premiere Apr 21, 1996
California Polytechnic State University Band Festival, Cal Poly Wind Orchestra Conducted by Ito, Yasuhide
Funa-Uta(Boat Song), for Band

Composed: Dec 29, 1993
Duration: 8:00

Publisher: Brain Music
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Commissioned Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force, Kure Band
Premiere Feb 19, 1994
Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force, Kure Band
CD: Gloriosa -works of Ito, Yasuhide (brain/BOCD-7402)

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Soma Festival March

Composed: Jan 1, 1993
Duration: 6:30

Publisher: ItoMusic / Brain
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Commissioned Soma City, Fukushima
Premiere Jan 29, 1993
Soma High School and Soma Girls High School Bnad conducted by Ito, Yasuhdie
Rapsodia Formosa, for Band

Composed: Jan 06, 1992
Duration: 8:30

Commissioned Taiwan Band Association
Premiere Aug 16, 1992
7th Asia Pacific Band Directors Association
Variations from the Northern Sea, for Band

Composed: May 06, 1991
Instrument: Fl. Picc. EbCl. 3BbCl. BassCl. 2ASax.. TSax. BarSax. 4Hrn. 3Trp. 3Trb. Euph. Tub.. St.Bass. Timp. Perc.
Duration: 6:00

Publisher: TRN Music Publisher
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Commissioned Simizu, Akiko & Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force, Oominato Band
Premiere Jun 10, 1991
Simizu, Akiko & Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force, Oominato Band
CD: Band Classics Library 9 (Brain/BOCD-7430)

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Fantasy Variations, for Euphonium and Band

Composed: Jul 03, 1990
Instrument: Euph. Band
Duration: 8:30

Commissioned Miura Toru
Premiere Aug 11, 1990
Miura Toru, Euphonium solo with Sapporo Wind Band Conducted by Sugawara katsuhiro at International Tuba Euphonium Conference, Sapporo '90
CD: Toke Civic Wind Orchestra (Cafua CACG0085)
Regimental Band Coldstream Guards
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CD: ChicagoLive (KOSEI Publishing)
Festal Scenes, for Band

Composed: Sep 01, 1986
Duration: 6:20

Publisher: TRN Music Publisher
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Commissioned Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force Bnad Ominato
Premiere Oct 28, 1986
Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force Bnad Ominato
Information Composed on the motif from the folk song. of Aomori Prefecture. Available for Pf Solo,Pf(4Hands)and for orchestra.
CD: Band Classics Library 7 (Brain/BOCD-7468)

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CD: Ritual Fire -Favorite Past Album (KOSEI Publishing)