Directing the performance of a piece of music or a musical ensemble by way of visible gestures.

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45
votes
6answers
8k views

What does a conductor actually do?

Looking for the roles of the conductor during a musical performance, I mainly came across answers as the following, taken from Wikipedia: "The primary duties of the conductor are to unify ...
18
votes
8answers
4k views

Why are conductors required at orchestra performances?

I am not a music expert and I have always wondered why orchestra performances require a conductor to play. The musicians are presumably professionals who have had much practice at this point, so why ...
18
votes
7answers
445 views

Keeping track of problems during rehearsals

As a mostly untrained conductor, one problem I've always had is keeping track of problems with a piece as we work through it. Something will stick out and I'll want to go back, but all I could ...
15
votes
2answers
4k views

Why use a baton?

What are the guidelines and benefits for using a baton? I would like to know, specifically, whether I would benefit from buying one for the purpose of conducting a choir. Are there rules that ...
14
votes
6answers
370 views

What greater possibilities allows playing late from the conductor

There's a lot of differences in the way conductors direct the tempi in orchestral representation, but one of them is the timing between when we're expected to play and the actual down movement of the ...
12
votes
4answers
167 views

Getting a youth band to look up

Tomorrow I'm standing in for the conductor to lead a rehearsal of my "training" band. This is effectively a school group: most of the players are fairly new and still have trouble reading music, ...
11
votes
2answers
484 views

What is a typical career path to become a conductor?

Is the conductor trained as a conductor from beginning or is it so that a really good player of some musical instrument may eventually become a conductor? Can actually a typical conductor play ...
10
votes
3answers
584 views

Should the soloist watch the conductor?

I have been watching many videos of concert band performances which has a soloist standing just beside the conductor. Let's now assume that we are talking about a trombone concerto with a solo ...
8
votes
3answers
134 views

Performance of classic music [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What does a conductor actually do? I've heard different versions of Johann Strauss II: "Tales from the Vienna Woods", - they were guided by the different conductors? So ...
7
votes
4answers
177 views

When and why should the conductor be separate or not from the musicians?

Sometimes the conductor and the pianist or first violinist are the same person; sometimes they're different people. What are the advantages of each system? (I'm talking about inherent advantages, not ...
7
votes
2answers
456 views

How to get experience as a young conductor?

Firstly, sorry if this question is off topic. I thought this would be the best place to post it. I'm a teenage composer. I've written a few orchestral pieces before, and I also am fluent at playing a ...
6
votes
3answers
307 views

What makes a great conductor?

What qualities do great conductors share? Are there unique qualities that make a particular conductor great that do not exist in other conductors?
5
votes
3answers
198 views

Has there ever been an orchestra without a conductor?

I don't think I have ever seen an orchestra where there wasn't someone conducting. Has there ever been such an example of an orchestra? Edit: By conductor, I mean the guy swinging the baton:
3
votes
2answers
118 views

Mathematics of Ritardando

Beyond feel & experience, is there a rule conductors use for ritardando in terms of (a) its rate, (b) its change in rate, and/or (c) the relationship between the final tempo and the tempo of the ...
3
votes
2answers
434 views

Conducting pattern - one spot, or multiples?

I've seen two ways of beating time, and I'm not sure if there's a clear better choice. One way is for the ictus to always be in the same spot in front of you, with a followthrough to prepare for the ...
2
votes
2answers
58 views

Hearing a click track above an orchestra

The amateur orchestra I am in, the Cambridge Concert Orchestra, are involved in the Somme100 FILM project which means we'll be performing Laura Rossi's score alongside the silent film footage. To keep ...
2
votes
3answers
77 views

circles and other gestures not really keeping time

I notice Leonard Bernstein often conducts very expressively while leaving the time signature out of his gestures. I notice this especially when he conducts pieces that were written by Mozart. If he ...
1
vote
1answer
44 views

Does the conductor sometimes play with the soloist (Or on his own)?

I watched the following two videos and it gave me the distinct idea that the conductor played something of his own choosing. Does this happen or am I getting my wires crossed? Malaguena: ...
0
votes
1answer
412 views

Which set of books could I read to become an advanced conductor?

I would like a list of three to ten books to learn all there is to know about conducting. Please be concise, try to cover all the stages from a beginner conductor (but already an experienced adult ...
-1
votes
1answer
76 views

Why would a conductor use a pen to conduct? [duplicate]

During Round 2, Phase 2 in the 2011 Tchaikovsky Piano Competition, the conductor Alexey Utkin used a pen to conduct for at least 2 Piano Concertos, such as for Mr Seong-jin Cho's performance of ...