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Title:An analysis and classification of conductor vocal communication in the rehearsals of selected jazz ensembles
Author(s):Birkner, Thomas Floyd
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Leonhard, Charles
Department / Program:Music Education
Discipline:Music Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Education, Music
Abstract:The problem of the study was to determine the extent and nature of the vocal communication used in the rehearsals by conductors of selected jazz ensembles at the secondary school and collegiate levels.
Eight conductors participated in the study; four high school conductors and four collegiate conductors. One regularly scheduled rehearsal of each ensemble was observed by the investigator in the usual rehearsal setting. Each rehearsal was audiotaped and all conductor communication was transcribed by the investigator. Subsequently, conductor communication was analyzed and classified to secure frequency and duration data regarding: (1) monitored rehearsal trials, and (2) the direction, nature, and focus of conductor communication. Duration percentages of total rehearsal time and conductor communication were used as the basis for analysis and comparison.
Although the eight conductors vary greatly in age and years of experience, there was remarkable similarity in their vocal communications with their ensembles: (1) They devoted slightly more than 50 percent of rehearsal time to rehearsal trials; almost 50 percent of the vocal communication was directed to the ensemble as a group. (2) In their communication they used explanation/comment most frequently followed by vocal demonstration and verbal description. (3) Musical elements in order of the amount of time devoted to them were articulation, rhythm/tempo/meter, and phrasing/interpretation. Collegiate conductors directed about twice as much rehearsal time to pitch/intonation and dynamic level as high school conductors. Improvisation was the focus of rehearsal communication for a very small portion of the rehearsal time of all eight conductors. (4) All conductors gave negative feedback to their ensembles more frequently than positive, but the vast majority of their comments were classified as neutral. (5) The role of the leaders observed in this study is more analogous to that of band and orchestra conductors than to the role played by the leaders of West African ensembles and by leaders such as Ellington, Basie, Morton and Oliver in the jazz tradition. Emphasis on the aural tradition in the high school and collegiate rehearsals is likewise lacking.
Issue Date:1992
Rights Information:Copyright 1992 Birkner, Thomas Floyd
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9305470
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9305470

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