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Expressive conducting gestures: Reflections on the function of the left hand
Royal College of Music in Stockholm, Department of Composition and Conducting.
2017 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis [Artistic work]
Abstract [en]

This thesis will explore the function of the conductor’s left hand, with emphasis on its expressive possibilities and the gestures. In the first chapter, the role of the conductor is discussed, and some problems around the field of expressive gestures are brought up.

In the second chapter, I present the history of conducting, or rather the history of musical leadership, as the practice of conducting we are familiar with today began in the late 19th Century. In this chapter, I also include some paragraphs about gesture and its role and function outside of musical leadership, such as public speaking.

In chapter three, I examine a selection of instruction books and how they treat the use of the left hand. During the work on this material I found several quotations and thoughts from conductors, in letters and interviews, presented in chapter four. This is interesting for this study, because it offers the personal opinions and experiences of well-established conductors and conducting teachers. It also shows how the opinions on the use of the left hand have changed over the past century.

Chapter five is a lengthy chapter of research on this topic. Not all is directly connected to the left hand, but all is in connection to gesture in some way.

These chapters form the basis of a discussion, where findings in previous chapters are pointed out and debated, and the authors personal opinion is presented. At the end follows suggestions on how this topic can be further researched and how one can create a repertoire of expressive gestures.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. , 48 p.
Keyword [en]
conductor, conducting, left-hand, expressive gestures
National Category
Music
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kmh:diva-2396OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kmh-2396DiVA: diva2:1099047
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2017-05-29 Created: 2017-05-29 Last updated: 2017-05-29Bibliographically approved

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Department of Composition and Conducting
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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
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  • de-DE
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  • Other locale
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