The University of Southampton
Courses

MUSI2020 Conducting

Module Overview

This module covers basic gestures used in duple, triple, compound, mixed and asymmetric metres; cueing of players and singers, and introducing expressive gestures for dynamics, phrasing etc.; basic approaches to rehearsal and score-marking technique.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

teach you the elements of conducting technique ? train you to rehearse effectively ? build confidence in working with other musicians

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • the basic conducting patterns in two, three and four beats, and some asymmetrical patterns
  • the gestures associated with entrances, cut-offs, and expression
  • ways in which to prepare for a rehearsal
  • what to listen for in rehearsal
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • manage a group of musicians of varying ability, so that you will be able to work with musicians ranging from professional players to schoolchildren.
  • make effective use of limited time to achieve a desired result
  • cope with the stress of putting together an assessed performance
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • use a baton to indicates 2, 3, 4 and 6 beats per bar, and more complex patterns
  • use manual and facial gestures to help performers enter and exit, to play or sing louder or softer and with specific expression
  • mark up a score for rehearsal and performance
  • make efficient use of limited rehearsal time
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • apply analytical technique to the score of an ensemble or vocal work
  • anticipate problems that are likely to arise in the performance of a work
  • find imaginative ways of solving problems in ensemble performance

Syllabus

The module, which meets for three hours per week throughout the semester, consists of lectures, practical sessions, and assessments. You will be taught the basic conducting posture, and patterns for conducting in 2, 3 and 4 beats per bar. You will then learn how to show attacks and releases, cues and pauses. Practical sessions will lead to a first assessment at the half-way point. In the second half of the module, you will be taught how to mark up a score for a rehearsal, and to beat in complex or asymmetrical patterns (5/8, 7/8 etc); the remainder of the semester is devoted to practical sessions on music of some rhythmic complexity. The final assessment takes place at the end of the semester.

Special Features

By carefully learning the music you are asked to perform, by dedicated practice of the basic techniques and gestures of choral and orchestral conducting, and by adopting positive critical and self-critical approaches to rehearsing music, you will develop the necessary musical and personal skills to make the best use of time for the controlled and expressive performance of ensemble music.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include ? lecturing and demonstrations ? classroom (concert hall) practice sessions ? videotaping conducting sessions Learning activities include ? practical work in class ? marking up of scores, and other activities preparatory to rehearsals ? studying videotapes of yourself (and others) conducting

TypeHours
Teaching36
Independent Study114
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Georg Solti (1997). Solti on Solti. 

Jean Vermeil (1996). Conversations with Boulez: Thoughts on Conducting. 

Nicholas Kenyon (2001). Simon Rattle: From Birmingham to Berlin. 

Myer Fredman (1999). The Conductor’s Domain. 

Christopher Adey (1998). Orchestral Performance. 

Nikolaus Harnoncourt (1989). The Musical Dialogue. 

Max Ruldolph (1993). The Grammar of Conducting. 

Assessment

Assessment Strategy

Assessments designed to provide informal, on-module feedback ? in-class discussion of conducting technique ? videotaping of conducting sessions ? interaction with fellow students

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Assessment 60%
Assessment 20%
Assignment 20%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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