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Title:Conducting Gestures Used by High School Choral Directors
Author(s):Patterson, Russell Saunders
Department / Program:Music
Discipline:Music Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Music
Abstract:The purpose of the study was to describe conducting gestures used by high school choral conductors to communicate selected technical qualities, performance styles, and expressive events.
An observation instrument (Observation Notation Chart) was constructed using descriptions of conducting gestures mentioned in conducting texts and research studies on conducting as well as suggestions by choral conducting experts. The identified gestures were categorized by the four most common means of expression: body, arm, hand/finger, and head/face. The frequency of gesture usage was calculated for each of the selected technical qualities: balance among parts, desired tone quality, precise intonation, proper diction, and adequate breath support. Commonality of use among conductors was tabulated for the performance styles of legato, staccato, and marcato, as well as the expressive events of crescendo, diminuendo, accelerando, and rallentando.
Videotapes and audio recordings were made of the performance and rehearsal by the eight conductors of SATB chiors at the 1981 Illinois State A-AA Choral Contest. The twenty-two selections performed by those ensembles provided a broad and representative sampling of high school choral literature. The identical rehearsal and performance settings provided the needed control for collection of data.
Choral conducting experts were used to select incidents of technical qualities and performance styles and to verify observations and descriptions as well as expressive events. Expressive events considered were those indicated in the score. Frequency Charts and Commonality of Usage Charts were developed to display the observation data.
The investigator concluded that some gestures, especially facial, were used by over 50 percent of the conductors. All conductors mouthed the words. A description of common gestures for each of the technical qualities, performance styles, and expressive events that were observed is provided.
Issue Date:1984
Description:230 p.
Thesis (Educat.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1984.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8502262
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-16
Date Deposited:1984

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