Is a conductor still necessary? (Part 1)

Music throughout history, has created needs and satisfied them by proposing solutions. Some centuries ago, musicians played in ensembles,even in orchestras without needing someone to move his baton and guide them. The rhythm did that for them. The principal instrument guided and did all necessary gestures for them to play as one. Composers though, started writing in a more challenging way. New techniques, better musicians/players were needed. Everything started evolving. And then arouse one very specific necessity; the conductor!

Composers realized how important a conductor was in order to transfer their ideas to the orchestra. In order to unify them into one team-sound, to get the most out of them. This is why they even asked for specific conductors to do the concerts for them, when of course it was not them on the podium. The conductor taught the musicians of how to practice their parts. He taught them how to listen to their fellow players. Someone said: the conductor is important right until the orchestra plays the first note. After that, you need no one at the podium. Meaning, that an orchestra is mostly guided by the Maestro in all rehearsals, where all the musical ideas are built. In a concert you only need this one crucial gesture of the conductor for all the musicians to play the first note! After that, the conductor is actually there for "safety" reasons! To prevent something from going wrongly, or to "save" the orchestra from a difficult situation.

In our age, the musicians have grown incredible abilities, musically, technically, artistically. You only need to see the high standards in an orchestral audition! The musicians accepted are so talented, so well educated and ten times finer artists than the musicians at the time of Mozart , Beethoven, even them at the beginning of the 20th century. So, the question is, do these amazing musicians need a conductor to guide them? Can't they do it themselves? Aren't they trained accordingly? Let us think about it...

My opinion will be expressed in part 2!

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© 2012 by Juan J. Rezzuto. All the tracks, scores and articles you can find in here are copyright.