Music Conductor

A music conductor is a person who has full control of music interpretation that conducts an orchestra, chorus, opera or other musical groups. Conductors usually have to stress the musical pulse so most of the performers can follow the same tempo/speed.

Classical choral and instrumental conducting have established comprehensive systems of instruction and training, they have to go through lots of intensive training to become a successful conductor. 

As a conductor, sometimes referred to as music director as well, it’s their responsibility to organize a program that suits a particular event, and to make sure the standard of the repertoire fits everyone’s ability. They have to plan the flow of the program by selecting the order of the pieces.

How Conductor Conducts the Ensemble?

There are various types of conduct, some conductors use a baton of the right hand as a device for emphasizing the beating, while the left hand is to emphasizes the musical phrases and entries of different parts. But for a smaller group of people, conductors might choose not to use a baton. 

There are several types of conducting, orchestral conducting, choral conducting, and wind/band conducting. In general, choral conducting is most likely only using the hand gesture to conduct the choir. 

Each type of conducting has its unique way to express musical ideas, but the beating patterns are all the same. Remember LESS is MORE! The fewer gestures you have, the clearer information you will bring out to the players and they will pay more attention to what you’re doing!

The reason for using the baton is simply because in a larger ensemble for example like an orchestra, the players at the furthest place can clearly see the tip of the baton so that they won’t be missing any entrances or changes of speed.


It’s very rare to have a Bachelor in Conducting, simple because it requires more knowledge and understanding of music in order to lead the ensemble. Most often starting with Master or music or even Doctor (PhD) degrees in conducting. 

Master of Music in Conducting consists of private conducting lessons, ensemble experience, coaching, and graduate courses in music history and music theory, along with one or two conducted concerts. A Master’s degree in music (referred to as an M.Mus, or M.M) is often the required minimum credential for people who wish to become a professor of conducting. 

Doctor of Musical Arts (referred to as D.M.A, DMA) degrees in conducting provide an opportunity for advanced study at the highest artistic and pedagogical level, requiring usually an additional 54+ credit hours beyond a master’s degree (which is about 30+ credits beyond a bachelor’s degree). For this reason, admission is highly selective. Examinations in music history, music theory, ear training/dictation, and an entrance examination and conducting audition are required. A DMA in conducting is a terminal degree, and as such, it qualifies the holder to teach in colleges, universities and conservatories. 

As a conductor, he needs to understand the colors and choices of instruments that the composer used. He has to bring emotion to the audience and make the music alive. Each of the conductors has its own interpretation to interpret the piece.

I have included an example, in the same piece “Beethoven Symphony No.5, 1st movement” interpreted by different conductors produced a different result. 

Conductor – Arturo Toscanini

Conductor – Herbert von Karajan

Conductor – Claudio Abbado

Conductor – Leonard Bernstein

Conductor – Simon Rattle

Conductor – Gustavo Dudamel

Ilya Musin Conducting Techniques

Hope you like this topic, feel free to let me know if you are interested in other topic in the comment below. Thanks! 

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