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Inside Conducting
Title Details

284 Pages

22.8 x 15.2 cm

11 b/w. 97 line. Illustrations

Imprint: University of Rochester Press

Inside Conducting

by Christopher Seaman

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  • Contents
  • Reviews
Exactly what does a conductor do in front of an orchestra? Internationally renowned conductor Christopher Seaman offers lively and informative answers in this wise yet humorous book.
What does a conductor actually do? How much effect does he or she have? Can the orchestra manage without one? Why don't the players look at the conductor more? Is it necessary for the conductor to play every instrument? What about interpretation? What happens at rehearsals? Why do some conductors "thrash around" more than others? Who's the boss in a concerto: the soloist or the conductor?
These are some of the questions that receive lively andinformative answers in this book by renowned conductor Christopher Seaman. Composed of short articles on individual topics, it is accessible and easy to consult. Each article begins with an anecdote or saying and ends with quotations from musicians, often expressing opposing views.
There are many books on the art of conducting, but none like this. Music lovers wondering what the figure on the podium actually does, and aspiring conductors eager to learn more about the art and craft of leading an orchestra, will all treasure this wise yet humorous book.

Christopher Seaman has been successful at both ends of the baton. After four years as principal timpanist of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, he was appointed principal conductor of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and has enjoyed a busy international conducting career for over forty years. He is now Conductor Laureate for Life of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, New York, and he continues to bring great music and wise words to audiences, students, and readers around the world.
Background
Harmony
Memory
Perfect Pitch
Training Conductors
Youth Orchestras
Balance
Choral Works
Concerto Accompaniment
Ear
Eye Contact
Opera
Rehearsing
Baton
Beat
Behind-the-Beat Playing
Directing from the Harpsichord
Economy of Gesture, Cueing, Use of the Left Hand
Auditions
Chamber Orchestras
Chief Conductor
Friend or Boss?
Orchestral Playing
Role of Concertmaster
Solos in an Orchestral Piece
Stage Settings
Strings
Winds
Timpani and Percussion
Composers
Learning Scores, Interpretation
Marking Parts
Performance Practice
Shape and Structure
Tempo and Metronome
Addressing the Audience
Applause, Platform Demeanor, Coughing
Program Planning
Career and Agents
Critics
Gender
Guest Conducting
Orchestra Managements
Recording
Travel and Packing
Concentration
Control and Power
Ego
Languages
Nervousness
Our Heritage: Some Ancestors and My Links with Them
Suggested Reading
Musical Example Credits
A Note on the Illustrations
Index of Conductors
"[Seaman's] experience is wonderfully crystallized in the pithy observations here. TLS [Michael Downes]" Michael Downes, TLS
"Engaging, uncomplicated overview of the conductor's role ... Very readable, with some good jokes, hoary anecdotes and nice analogies." CLASSICAL MUSIC's Books of the Year, December 2013
"Chosen by Financial Times as a Classical Music Book of the Year" .
"One of Classical Music's Best Books of the Year" .
"With humor, clarity, and wisdom, Christopher Seaman gives insight into the mind of a conductor. A feast of inside scoops for music lovers. --" Yo-Yo Ma, cellist and Artistic Director of the Silk Road Project, Yo-Yo Ma, cellist and Artistic Director of the Silk Road Project
"This book is simply typical Christopher, something I would consider one of the highest compliments. Typical of Christopher to combine so much wisdom with so much wit. Required reading, I think, and one of the friendliest books about music ever penned. --" Sir Simon Rattle, Chief Conductor and Artistic Director, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir Simon Rattle, Chief Conductor and Artistic Director, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
"To hear the human truths from an experienced music director, enriched by examples from his life, is marvelously illuminating. I learned many little things and some big ones. --" Norman Lebrecht, author and critic
"Christopher Seaman, who is renowned for his teaching work at the Guildhall School of Music, and has conducted at the highest level, provides a barrage of straight answers. Most are directed towards real would-be conductors, rather than bedroom-mirror amateurs, but there's plenty for the outsider looking in. . . . The conductor's work is not often discussed in such plain detail. Conducting is 'like riding a horse not driving a car'. A tighter grip on the baton produces a harder tone. Keeping the arms moving upward very slowly can restrain an audience's desire to rush to clap after a quiet ending. . . . Demystifies the art and the figure of the conductor." James McConnachie http://www.spectator.co.uk/books/8966601/inside-conducting-by-christopher-seaman-a-review/'>Full Review, THE SPECTATOR
"The art of conducting is hard to nail but Christopher Seaman does just that in exemplary fashion. . . . Interesting reading for all lovers of music, students of conducting as well as fellow professionals. . . . Serious practical application and in-depth musicological insight laced with the author's engaging humour. Highly recommended." Christopher Fifield, MUSICWEB-INTERNATIONAL

Hardcover

9781580464116

June 2013

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9781580468305

March 2017

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9781580468138

March 2017

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Title Details

284 Pages

2.28 x 1.52 cm

11 b/w. 97 line. Illustrations

Imprint: University of Rochester Press