November 2020 update on live performances and events at the NAC.
Conducting 101

Preparing a Score

Video 6 / 6

Welcome back to these videos on conducting technique and preparing for working with orchestras.

I've moved away from conducting technique per se, and we're going to talk a little bit about preparing scores.

Now if you have to hand a score of Eine Kleine Nachtmusik by Mozart, one of his most famous pieces, please do get it out so you have it in front of you while I talk a little bit about preparing for a rehearsal. And how as a conductor you need to think about preparing a score.

Within just this first page you have a structural happening; the move from the home key of G major to the second subject key of D major. You have a whole lot of decisions to make about the articulation and the shaping of the phrasing. 

Do you want a little bit softer edged? Or more marcato? Is this a piano with vibrato is it a piano without vibrato? Or, is there nuance within there? Are the elements that you would like to have vibrated more or less? Are there particular fingerings that you would like to have included?

These are all elements that you can think of and prepare. And finally, once you have all those ideas clear in your mind, think about ways that you can indicate them without having to talk about them. Find gestures to indicate the kind of forté that you want, the kind of articulation you want, the kind sostenuto you want. Even the kind of sound you want. Whether you want vibrato or non-vibrato. You can indicate all of these things.

I hope this was a useful introduction to how to break down and analyze, even just one page, of a score and that you can put that into practice with the ensembles that you're working with.

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