- 1. a traditional unit of distance, equal to 1/2 pace.The step is traditionally equal to 30 inches or 76.2 centimeters. However, U.S. marching bands often use a shorter step of 22.5 inches (57.15 centimeters), so that 8 steps are made every 5 yards; this works well on American football fields, which have a chalkline every 5 yards. Using this shorter step is called marching "8 by 5."2. a unit used in music to describe the ratio in frequency between notes. Two notes differ by a step if the higher note has frequency exactly 21/6 = 1.12246 times the frequency of the lower one. This unit is often called the full step to distinguish it from the half step.
Dictionary of units of measurement. 2015.