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2010/1 Module Catalogue
 Module Code: MUSM008 Module Title: CONDUCTING
Module Provider: Music and Sound Recording Short Name: MUM.CONDMAJ
Level: M Module Co-ordinator: WILLIAMSON C Mr (Music Record)
Number of credits: 60 Number of ECTS credits: 30
Module Availability

Assessment Pattern

Your practical work though the year, including seminar

participation; ensemble rehearsal, participation and attendance;

  • administration as required 20%
  • Your assessed concert appearance (25 to 30 minutes) 40%
  • Written project (to be agreed with the conducting tutor) 20%
  • Test and viva voce examination in May 10%
  • Reflective diary (2,000 words) 10%
Your final Test and viva voce examination will take place in the presence of the external examiner and the tutors. You will be provided with two scores:
  • a classical symphonic score, made available a week or two in advance.   You will be expected to memorise in some detail certain specified sections.
  • normally, a 20th-century instrumental score, made available a few days in advance. The Test will encourage you to demonstrate essential skills associated with a conductor’s preparation and grasp of the score prior to a first rehearsal.
In both scores, the viva voce examination will explore aspects, essential for conductors, such as establishing tempi, grasp of outline structure, basic harmonic analysis, understanding of transposing instruments, and balance.
Module Overview
Module Aims
To develop your conducting technique to a professional level, and to develop a clear understanding of the theoretical principles behind conducting. To participate in the department’s activities as both conductor and player/singer.
Learning Outcomes
The ability to communicate as a conductor through an effective, gestural technique;
  • to practise conducting skills independently and in a systematic manner;
  • a professional approach to score analysis and preparation;
  • to become equipped for public appearances as a conductor;
  • to develop appropriate skills in relevant aspects of planning, rehearsal management and concert presentation.
Module Content

Phenomenological analysis of phrasing, rhythm, tempo, structural tension, etc, in direct relationship to performance; score analysis, preparation and memorising;  techniques of rehearsing;  critical evaluation of recorded performances of a given work; observation of well-known conductors' techniques; special problems of voices, strings, etc;  particular problems relating more specifically to early choral music and 20th-century instrumental music; administrative skills, including the writing of programme notes.

Methods of Teaching/Learning
Contact hours       
Weekly seminars of three hours in both semester - totalling 60 hours. Individual tutorials (approximately 15 hours), observation of rehearsals, rehearsing and conducting, as agreed with the conducting tutor, participation in ensembles as appropriate.
Notional hours
480 hours of private study 
  • Seminars on technique, score study and preparation;
  • individual coaching on particular works;
  • observation of rehearsals of staff conductors and other student conductors, both as an observer and as an ensemble player;
  • observation by tutors of your rehearsing, and the recording of this on video;
  • the taking of sectional rehearsals, as agreed with staff conductors;
  • the conducting of various ensembles, instrumental and choral;

Selected Texts/Journals
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