Studying the orchestral score is the very first stage of the conductor’s training before rehearsal. Merely reading the score without analyzing the parts does not cover the entire range of artistic meanings embedded in the composition. In the process of preparing, the conductor should pay serious attention to the content and interpretation of the melody, be able to identify the principal elements and forms of the score of the work. This essay will consider the process of research and assimilation of the score by the conductor.
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For any conductor, it is essential to create the right atmosphere during the rehearsal so that the team members can use the rehearsal time rationally. To achieve this, the conductor, as a group leader, may choose the repertoire for future performance. Studies show that conductors often use the advice of their colleagues to select a composition1. The correct primary analysis of musical composition should include a retrospective note. The conductor needs to understand the era in which the composer lived, the important moments of his work, and the history of his composition.
A more severe study involves working directly with the score. It can be studied in a variety of ways, from listening to a recording to performing on a piano. Because of their instrumental specialty, conductors tend to prefer this instrument because it can convey the fullest range of sounds, both polyphonic and homophonic. Personal sympathies and professional experience determine the difference in the methods used by a particular conductor.
Besides, at this stage, the conductor clarifies the orchestra’s composition and determines the means of expressiveness of the piece. He defines such details as form, tempo, rhythm, and some peculiarities of the presentation of musical material. The optimal variant for the research is a studying block by block, even if it takes a lot of time2. Such an analysis makes it possible to understand the dramaturgy of the work better.
Having made a detailed melodic analysis of the work, the conductor completes the work by displaying strokes. The strokes in the score are a way of performing the sounds that define the character of the sound. Also, many conductors on the draft of their score tend to take notes that make it easier to understand3. The realization of all the conductor’s artistic ideas is possible only if all the stages of score research are correctly followed.
It is quite natural that in the process of in-depth work on the work, the conductor has new ideas that have the potential to change the original performance plan. Therefore, the research of the score is completed with the broadest possible reflection on the work done. In this process, various associations are inevitably born, analogies that develop creative imagination and artistic imagination, help to feel and understand the job better.
To sum up, it is essential to note that the process of preparing a conductor for the performance of a musical composition begins with the study of the score. It is imperative to go through all the stages mentioned above in the survey to fully understand how a melody is constructed. In this case, the conductor will be able to control the course of the future rehearsal, and his attention will be focused not on the issues of following the music plan, but on the orchestra management. All this together will allow him to draw up a correct work plan and conduct a rehearsal with the orchestra in a productive manner.
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Bell, Eamonn Patrick, and Laurent Pugin. “Approaches to Handwritten Conductor Annotation Extraction in Musical Scores.” In Proceedings of the 3rd International Workshop on Digital Libraries for Musicology, New York, 2016, 33-36. New York, NY: ACM, 2016.
Chandler, Martin. “The Information Searching Behaviour of Music Directors.” Evidence Based Library and Information Practice 14, no. 2 (2019): 85-99.
Sharp, Timothy W. Precision Conducting: Seven Disciplines for Excellence in Conducting. London: Roger Dean Publishing Company, 2003.
- Martin Chandler, “The Information Searching Behaviour of Music Directors,” Evidence-Based Library and Information Practice 14, no. 2 (2019): 95.
- Timothy W. Sharp, Precision Conducting: Seven Disciplines for Excellence in Conducting (London: Roger Dean Publishing Company, 2003), 19.
- Eamonn Patrick Bell and Pugin Laurent, “Approaches to handwritten conductor annotation extraction in musical scores,” in Proceedings of the 3rd International Workshop on Digital Libraries for Musicology, New York, 2016, (New York, NY: ACM, 2016), 33.