A familiar sight in most orchestra or ensemble is the presence of a silent and well dressed musician at the podium in front of musicians waving a baton to time while directing them. Ever wondered who they are, what these musicians do and what their roles are in an ensemble? The conductor plays an important role in the ensemble, orchestra or in a chorale.
In this article we shall look at who a conductor is and the roles they play in music.
WHO IS A CONDUCTOR?
A conductor in music is a person who conducts and coordinate an orchestra, chorus, opera, ballet, or other musical groups in a performances or interpretation of ensemble works. Conducting is simply the art of directing a musical performance, whether in an ensemble, orchestra or in a choral group.
In music a conductor serves as a messenger for the composer i.e it is their responsibility to understand the music and convey it through gestures so transparent that the musicians in the orchestra understand perfectly in turn they are able to transmit a unified vision of the music to the audience.
A music conductor for an orchestra/ensemble is often distinct from that of a choral group. The difference is usually that, an orchestra or ensemble conductor usually wave the baton more often than that of a choral music conductor.
A conductor also act as a guide to the orchestra or choir they conduct. They choose the works to be performed and study their scores to which they can make adjustments such as tempo, articulation, phrasing, repetition of sections etc.
In other words, the major purpose of a music conductor is to bring musical scores to life.
ROLES & RESPONSIBILITIES OF A CONDUCTOR IN AN ENSEMBLE
Have you ever wondered what the roles of music conductors are in an orchestra or ensemble? Let me mention a few of those roles and responsibilities of a conductor in an ensemble.
1. TO DIRECT
A conductor directs and shapes a musical performance of an ensemble from its infancy in rehearsal to the eventual exhibition of an audience.
2. TO COMMUNICATE
Conductors also stands as communicators between the composers and the the musicians. They communicate the beat, tempo and some times the emotion to be conveyed while playing a musical piece to unify the performing group.
3. TO GUIDE
The music conductor most often stands as a guide for artist through rehearsals. They give vocal feedback to help the over all outcome of the piece.
4. TO CONVEY AN INTERPRETATION
The conductor is there to bring musical piece to life, communicating their own highly refined sense of the work through gestures which might sculpt musical line and essentially re-imagined an old piece anew.
You should also know that conductors are good listeners.
“The best conductors are the best listeners”
This ability helps them convey and interpret the piece well to the musicians.
So the next time you see a conductor at work, take a closer look at their connection to their players and be rest assured they do more than just waving their hands.
Do we need conductors? Why do musicians, orchestra or ensemble need a conductor? We will talk more on this in the next article.