Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Conducting

This is quite an interesting article on some (definitely not all) of the basic challenges of conducting. People often wonder what it is conductors actually do, and I think having a go is a great way of finding out. The author puts it quite well, as a conductor really acts as an overall guiding force for an ensemble. This is especially so in amateur ensembles, which may still play to a very high standard but need more guidance in order to pull together the different strands of a performance. Of course there are plenty of thing that aren't mentioned, mainly rehearsal technique and issues to do with organisation and management. Issues such as trying to keep people happy during rehearsals, organising rehearsals, choosing the right repertoire for the group (in terms of variety and difficulty), and keeping everyone motivated and working as as a team can be as difficult as the conducting itself, which normally involves a lot more music than is featured in this article anyway! It is very easy to have a go at conducting as most players have an idea of the basic gestures involved, but very hard to do it well. It's a very wide ranging discipline - people skills and organisation are just as important as musicality - and this article highlights some of those issues. g

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