On the Principles and Practice of Conducting

Markand Thakar
University of Rochester Press


On the Principles and Practice of Conducting, by Markand ThakarOn the Principles and Practice of Conducting
is a practical manual for building musical 
understanding and physical skills, intended 
for anyone who stands on a podium with the 
intention of helping an ensemble make 
music. The four main chapters address the 
major obligations of the conductor: 
1) bringing the musical tones to life in the 
most beautiful, most moving way possible; 
2) freeing the mind to fully absorb all the 
tones; 3) freeing the body of unnecessary 
tension; and 4) effectively using the freed 
mind and body to influence the sounds. 

Each chapter begins with a summary of the underlying principles, presents 
real-life applications, and offers exercises for developing skills. Video 
demonstrations of the exercises as well as downloadable scores and parts 
are available on this website. 

Read the Preface

cover photoMarkand Thakar is music director of the Baltimore 
Chamber Orchestra. A protégé of the legendary Sergiu 
Celibidache and former assistant conductor of the New 
York Philharmonic, Thakar works with students from 
around the world at his two annual conductor-training 
programs with BCO. He is author of Looking for the “Harp” 
Quartet: An Investigation into Musical Beauty (University 
of Rochester Press, 2011) and Counterpoint: Fundamentals of Music Making 
(Yale University Press, 1990).