conductor must stand in front of an orchestra or other large
body of musicians to coordinate and direct a musical performance.
He or she must provide a steady and musical pulse (with the
right hand) as well as choose and hold an appropriate tempo..
Also they must visually illustrate dynamics, expression markings
and cue musicians when their entrance is required (with the
left hand), provide the imagination and inspiration for the
players, secure an artistic interpretation, one that attempts
to re-create the music as it existed in the composer’s
mind and at the same time in the mind of the conductor. Finally
they must balance the parts and be responsible for each instruments
accurate delivery, intonation., articulation, clarity and
in the end lead an organization of musicians to a unified
execution of music.
leading of an orchestra or other large body of musician is
done by using visible gestures which include the use and maintenance
of certain beat patterns, employing body motion and physical
signals that tell the musicians what to do. They usually have
a thin tapered stick or baton, they see and listen very carefully
to all that is going around them and then visibly react to
conductor must prepare the orchestra or other large body of
musicians during rehearsals. They must read all the parts
of the musical score simultaneously and have a knowledge of
harmony, counterpoint, orchestration and a familiarity with
all styles and practices from the past. The conductor must
have some acquaintance with the playing techniques of all
the instruments of the orchestra. Conducting is one of the
most difficult and most rewarding of all musical activities.
conductor is someone who directs and coordinates any
large ensemble such as an orchestra, chorus, opera or
are many responsibilities of a conductor some are
Keep all the musicians together by establishing and
a steady musical
beat and an appropriate tempo.
Form an interpretation by conveying to the musicians
what the composer
Cue the musicians by glancing or pointing in their direction
turn to play.
Catch any mistakes in pitch, rhythm, or dynamics and
correct them respectfully.
Balance the parts so important melodies are heard easily.
Provide inspiration, enthusiasm and musical imagination
to the players.
above responsibilities are achieved by the following
Beat time with a baton. (Choral conductors use their
Communicate where the phrasing, dynamics and articulations
go by visually
them with the left hand.
Study and learn many measures and pages of a musical
Rehearse many musicians so the parts are balanced and
Isolate and work on any tricky spots that may be causing
Know something about all the instruments so he or she
can intelligently make
about how the musical parts should be rendered.
Use eye contact, leadership and body gestures that will
communicate a musical
à Mitraille, illustration by J.-J. Grandvilles.
the performance, the conductor:
Plans the upcoming season: chooses music, soloists
Develops and then portrays to the ensemble an artistic
vision of each work
to be performed
for the season.
Portrays his or her vision to the ensemble.
the performance (and in rehearsal), the conductor
must synchronize and implement the following:
Rubato or variations within tempo (eg. fermatas: pauses,
flexible beat, etc.)
Articulation: (staccato, legato, etc.)
Ornamentation (stylistic embellishment when appropriate)
Queuing of the entrances in different parts for soloists
Cut-offs and endings to phrases and when to end a phrase.