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TERM: 2020-21 Fall
COURSE NUMBER: MUSI 333
COURSE TITLE: Instrumental Conducting
NAME OF INSTRUCTOR: Wendy Grasdahl
CREDIT WEIGHT AND WEEKLY TIME DISTRIBUTION: credits 3(hrs lect 3 - hrs sem 0 - hrs lab 0)
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course introduces students to the basics of expressive conducting techniques for instrumental ensembles, including score study and performance program planning.

Prerequisites: Prerequisites: MUSI 216, 217, 264; MUSI 259 or 260; and 3 credits of music history at the 300-level
REQUIRED TEXTS: There is no requirement to purchase a textbook. Musical excerpts will be selected from:
Labuta, Joseph A. Basic Conducting Techniques. 2nd edition. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice Hall,1989.

Articles (distributed via Moodle):
  • Westrup, Jack. “Conducting”. Groves Dictionary of Music and Musicians. 6th edition. pp.641-651.
  • Fennell, Frederick. “The Calisthenics of Conducting” . Northfield, Illinois: The Instrumentalist Pub. Co., November, 1978, pp. 16-20.
  • Knight, John. “Learning the Art of Conducting”. Northfield, Illinois: The Instrumentalist Pub. Co., January, 1998, pp. 18-22.
  • Winter, Denis W. “Frank L. Battisti: The Role of the Conductor/Educator”. Northfield, Illinois: The Instrumentalist Pub. Co., January, 1981, pp. 14-19.
  • Battisti, Frank. “Score Reading - The Silent Skill” . Northfield, Illinois: The Instrumentalist Pub. Co., September, 1988, pp. 32-42.
  • Garofalo, Robert. “ The Silent Art”. An interview with Frederick Fennell. Music Educators Journal, December, 1981, pp23-52.
  • Battisti, Frank L. “The Enlightened Conductor”. College Band Directors National Association, University of Georgia, February 26, 1997.
Other required materials:
  • Conductor’s Baton (approved by course instructor).
  • Metronome/tuner.
  • USB stick.
  • 3 ring binder for handouts and performance excepts.
  • Pencils & eraser; Erasable Highlighters: blue, pink, green, yellow; 12” ruler
  • Your instrument for playing in the ensemble.
MARK DISTRIBUTION IN PERCENT:
Competency Test 18%
Competency Test 28%
Competency Test 310%
Competency Test 410%
Journal (weekly reflective entry)12%
Midterm Written Exam7%
Score Study Assignment10%
Rehearsal/Concert Observation5%
Final Exam: written10%
Final Exam: practical20%
100%
COURSE OBJECTIVES: The art of conducting is a skill that epitomizes the powerful communication of musical concepts to others through the use of silent gestures. This course is designed to equip students with a foundation of basic conducting skills and to explore more advanced conducting techniques. Other facets of conducting, including score study and interpretation, rehearsal technique and programming will be included. Understanding that conducting technique is akin to playing a musicalinstrument, a daily routine of conducting practice will be established by each student.
COURSE OUTLINE:
  • Sept. 8 Introduction; On becoming a conductor.
  • Sept.10 The physicality of conducting; Building a practice routine.
  • Sept. 15 Defining the conducting window; The Baton; Preparation, Downbeat & Release.
  • Sept. 17 Defining conducting planes; Focal Point; Focal Plane.
  • Sept. 22 Basic beat patterns; Tempo; Dynamics.
  • Sept. 29 Preparations for all counts.
  • Oct. 1 Competency Test # 1
  • Oct. 6 Releases for all counts.
  • Oct. 8 Fractional beat preparations; Exploration of tempo.
  • (T. Oct. 13 Fall Break)
  • Oct. 15 Divided meters; Musical styles.
  • Oct. 20 Musical styles; Fermatas.
  • Oct. 22 Competency Test # 2
  • Oct. 27 Score study & analysis; transpositions; marking the score.
  • Oct. 29 Midterm written exam
  • Nov. 3 The cue; Programming.
  • Nov. 5 The left hand.
  • Nov. 10 The left hand; Subdivision of the beat patterns.
  • Nov. 12 Competency Test # 3
  • Nov. 17 Changing meters.
  • Nov. 19 Asymmetrical.
  • Nov. 24 Tempo; Saito conducting technique.
  • Nov. 26 Saito; Further exploration of musical style.
  • Dec. 1 General rehearsal procedures; clothing for conducting.
  • Dec. 3 Competency Test # 4
  • Dec. 8 Exam preparation.
  • Dec. 10 Written portion of exam.


Required texts, assignments, and grade distributions may vary from one offering of this course to the next. Please consult the course instructor for up to date details.

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