Essentials in Conducting

Karl Wilson Gehrkens

in Conducting, by Karl Wilson Gehrkens

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Title: Essentials in Conducting
Author: Karl Wilson Gehrkens
Release Date: August 25, 2007 [EBook #22392]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1
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[Transcriber's Note: In this e-book, a macron over a character is represented with an equal sign, thus: [=e].
The character is used to denote musical octaves, e.g., a denotes A above middle C.]

ESSENTIALS
IN
CONDUCTING
BY
KARL WILSON GEHRKENS, A.M.
PROFESSOR OF SCHOOL MUSIC OBERLIN CONSERVATORY OF MUSIC AUTHOR OF "MUSIC NOTATION AND TERMINOLOGY"
$1.75
[Illustration]
BOSTON OLIVER DITSON COMPANY
NEW YORK CHAS. H. DITSON & CO.
CHICAGO LYON & HEALY
LONDON WINTHROP ROGERS, Ltd.
MADE IN U.S.A.
Copyright MCMXIX By OLIVER DITSON COMPANY International Copyright Secured

To the Memory of
ROBERT C. BEDFORD
for many years
SECRETARY OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES
of
TUSKEGEE INSTITUTE

CONTENTS
Page
CHAPTER I--Introduction
1
CHAPTER II--Personal
Traits Necessary in Conducting 8
CHAPTER III--The
Technique of the Baton 20
CHAPTER IV--Interpretation
in Conducting--Introductory 36
CHAPTER V--Interpretation
in Conducting--Tempo 46
CHAPTER VI--Interpretation
in Conducting--Dynamics 57
CHAPTER VII--Interpretation
in Conducting--Timbre, Phrasing, etc. 64
CHAPTER VIII--The
Supervisor of Music as Conductor 76
CHAPTER IX--The
Community Chorus Conductor 85
CHAPTER X--The
Orchestral Conductor 93
CHAPTER XI--Directing
the Church Choir 108
CHAPTER XII--The
Boy Choir and its Problems 118
CHAPTER XIII--The
Conductor as Voice Trainer 131
CHAPTER XIV--The
Art of Program Making 140
CHAPTER XV--Conductor
and Accompanist 147
CHAPTER XVI--Efficiency
in the Rehearsal 152
APPENDIX A--Reference List 164
APPENDIX B--Score of second movement of Haydn's Symphony, No. 3 166
INDEX 181

PREFACE
In putting out this little book, the author is well aware of the fact that many musicians feel that conductors, like poets and teachers, are "born and not made"; but his experience in training supervisors of music has led him to feel that, although only the elementary phases of conducting can be taught, such instruction is nevertheless quite worth while, and is often surprisingly effective in its results. He has also come to believe that even the musical genius may profit by the experience of others and may thus be enabled to do effective work as a conductor more quickly than if he relied wholly upon his native ability.
The book is of course planned especially with the amateur in view, and the author, in writing it, has had in mind his own fruitless search for information upon the subject of conducting when he was just beginning his career as a teacher; and he has tried to say to the amateur of today those things that he himself so sorely needed to know at that time, and had to find out by blundering experience.
It should perhaps be stated that although the writer has himself had considerable experience in conducting, the material here presented is rather the result of observing and analyzing the work of others than an account of his own methods. In preparation for his task, the author has observed many of the better-known conductors in this country, both in rehearsal and in public performance, during a period of some twelve years, and the book represents an attempt to put into simple language and practical form the ideas gathered from this observation. It is hoped that as a result of reading these pages the amateur may not only have become more fully informed concerning those practical phases of conducting about which he has probably been seeking light, but may be inspired to further reading and additional music study in preparation for the larger aspects of the work.
The writer wishes to acknowledge the material assistance rendered him by Professor John Ross Frampton, of the Iowa State Teachers College, and Professor Osbourne McConathy, of Northwestern University, both of whom have read the book in manuscript and have given invaluable suggestions. He wishes also to acknowledge his very large debt to Professor George Dickinson, of Vassar College, who has read the material both in manuscript and in proof, and to whose pointed comments and criticisms many improvements both in material and in arrangement are due.
K.W.G.
OBERLIN, OHIO June, 1918

Essentials in Conducting
CHAPTER I
INTRODUCTION
[Sidenote: DEFINITION]
The word "conducting" as used in a musical sense now ordinarily refers to the activities of an orchestra or chorus leader who stands before a group of performers and gives his entire time and effort to directing their playing or singing, to the end that a musically effective ensemble performance may result.
This is accomplished by means of certain conventional movements of a slender stick called a baton (usually held in the right hand), as well as through such changes of facial expression, bodily posture, et cetera, as will convey to the singers or players the conductor's wishes concerning the rendition of the music.
Conducting in this sense involves the responsibility of having the music performed at the correct tempo, with
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