On the Principles and Practice of Conducting
University of Rochester Press
On 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 Markand 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).