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PHILHARMONICA. International Music Journal
Reference:

The specifics of teaching the techniques of conducting gesture in the "Choral conducting" classroom

Movchan Larisa Anatol'evna

Professor, Department of Choral Conducting, Moscow State P.I. Tchaikovsky Conservatory

125009, Russia, Moscow, Bolshaya Nikitskaya str., 13

movchanlarser@mail.ru
Other publications by this author
 

 

DOI:

10.7256/2453-613X.2024.1.69898

EDN:

HZVNTH

Received:

18-02-2024


Published:

21-03-2024


Abstract: The profession of conductor is one of the most important musical specialties in the world. The conductor plays the role of the head of the orchestra or choir, is responsible for the accuracy and expressiveness of the sound of the work, and serves as an intermediary between the author and the performer. The nature of the music and the performance interpretation depend on the correct work of the conductor. There is an educational side to the conductor's work. The choirmaster, engaged in teaching, solves a number of educational tasks. The article examines the specifics of teaching conducting gesture techniques in the classroom in the specialty "Choral conducting", highlights the main aspects and problems of conducting a choral group, and compares the work of a choral and symphonic conductor.The technique of managing a vocal group an academic, folk or church choir - implies the ability to read scores in different keys, arrange them, and correctly distribute the parts depending on the characteristics of the voices. The choir director also works with the literary text of vocal compositions. It is impossible to do without general musical and theoretical knowledge in the field of solfeggio, harmony, and polyphony. The technique of staging the conducting apparatus and the schedule of the timing schemes practically do not differ among the heads of instrumental and vocal groups. This can be explained by the general nature, the psychology of collective music making. However, we must not forget about the specific features of choral conducting. This is the relative smoothness of gestures due to the different allocation of voices than in the orchestra, as well as the non-use of the conductor's baton. The second important difference between a choirmaster and a symphonic conductor is the need to analyze not only the musical, but also the verbal text of the score. The characteristic of the composer's work is added to the characteristic of the poet's work or the features of oral folk art, if the exact author of the text is unknown. In the work of a chorus conductor, vocal performance is of great importance, which is related to the possibilities of the voice. Choral conducting is more intimate than orchestral conducting. The most obvious synthesis of these arts, which almost completely eliminates all differences, can be noted in the management of both vocal and instrumental groups at once: in operas, cantatas, oratorios.


Keywords:

choir, choral conductor, choral singin, conducting, conducting technics, Specifics of teaching, speciality, Choral Conducting, performing interpretation, choral score

This article is automatically translated. You can find original text of the article here.

The profession of conductor is one of the most important among musical specialties. The conductor plays the role of the head of the orchestra or choir, is responsible for the accuracy and expressiveness of the sound of the work, and serves as an intermediary between the author and the performer. The nature of the music and the performance interpretation depend on its correct operation (which may differ both for one ensemble with different conductors and for one conductor with different ensembles). "Conducting can be defined as a creative psychophysical process during which the conductor, through his will, temperament, knowledge and professional technique, influences the performing team, bringing it to the realization of the set artistic tasks" [5, p. 8]. The specifics of the choirmaster's specialty as a teacher explain the relevance of our research.

The main provisions of the article:

- The functions of a choral conductor as the head of a singing group and an intermediary linking the author's and performing interpretations of works.

- Features of the methodology of teaching choirmaster students conducting practice. A comparative analysis of the work of choral and orchestral conductors, the main differences between the choirmaster and the head of the instrumental group.

- Identification of problems in the professional education of future choral conductors and ways to eliminate them.

The purpose of the study: to determine the features of teaching the techniques of conducting gesture in the choral class.

Research objectives:

- analysis of the level of professional development of students of the choral faculty;

- determination of the necessary methods for solving the problems that have arisen (including non-standard ones);

- using the methodology in the process of practical training;

- summarizing the results and choosing appropriate methods of professional development.

The object of the research is conducting activities in vocal groups. The subject of the study is the peculiarities of teaching the conducting gesture from choral conductors.

The main methods used by the conductor in working with performers include gesture, facial expressions, display and word. Of these, the conductor's gesture (or manual conducting technique) is a specific one special hand movements that convey the musical and figurative representations of the conductor. For the conductor, hands are his words, with which he conveys the meaning of the musical image, message and appeal.

The conducting gesture plays an important role in practical work with the team and is one of the special conducting abilities. Possession of it determines the level of professionalism of the conductor or choirmaster. Analyzing the experience of teaching future choral conductors in secondary and higher specialized educational institutions (from his own observations), the author faced a pedagogical problem: students studying at the conducting and choral faculty have difficulties in mastering the art of conducting gesture, which determines the depth, content, originality and brightness of the performance of the choral group. This difficulty lies in the sufficient development of theoretical and practical knowledge, which contribute to the formation of a full and high level of professional mastery of the conducting gesture. At the same time, if the theoretical part is accessible enough to master and is at a high level, then the practical part requires additional training of special skills. In this article, we will highlight, among other things, the problems that have arisen in the process of practical work by future choral conductors, as well as suggest some ways to solve them.

Conducting gestures when managing a vocal group are completely identical to those when conducting an instrumental ensemble, whereas the choirmaster's work has its own peculiarities, including those related to the texture and presence of a poetic text. Therefore, it is important to acquaint students with literature on both choral conducting and conducting in general.

There are many books, monographs and methodological developments on choral conducting written by Russian authors. Among them are the "Textbook on Conducting" and "Choral Studies and Choir Management" by G. Dmitrevsky [6], who made a significant contribution to the work of the St. Petersburg Singing Capella and the previously subordinate, and now independent men's Choral School named after M. I. Glinka. K. Ptitsa [12], L. Andreeva [2], L. Bezborodova [4] also wrote about choral conducting. The works of V. Popov, A. Yurlov, L. Kontorovich, L. Amirova [1], A. S. Ryzhinsky, A.V. Solovyov [13], V.D. Bulgakov are known. Modern teachers T. Vishnyakova, T. Sokolova, E. Pchelintseva and O. Yurgenstein also wrote jointly about the basics of choral conducting [5].

We also turned to the works of authors who studied the art of conducting in general (not only choral), since the basics the technique of conducting gesture, hand position, posture, as well as musical hearing and a sense of rhythm are common to both orchestra leaders and choirmasters. These are, for example, "The Conducting apparatus and its staging" by S. Kazachkov [8], a manual on conducting techniques by I. Musin [10].

The studied works contain a lot of information about the specifics and necessary professional qualities of a chorus conductor, including manual technique and conducting gesture. However, in this article we propose a more practice-oriented approach and some ways to solve specific problems that arise in the process of teaching choral students.

The choirmaster, engaged in teaching, solves a number of educational and educational tasks not only in the society of vocal students, but also in society as a whole. "Comprehending the composer's idea, he (the conductor) transmits his idea of the ideological and artistic content of the work to the performers and achieves from the performers an accurate message of what he intended to the audience" [4, p. 18]. It is not uncommon for composers to stand at the conductor's desk themselves when performing their compositions: here you can recall G. Berlioz, I. Brahms, P. Tchaikovsky.

However, these authors conducted primarily instrumental music, their symphonies. In our study, we are talking about the management of a vocal group an academic, folk or church choir. Students of the conducting and choral faculty study this discipline in music universities.

In the practice of working with a choral group, the author has identified the following. The practical skills of a conductor include the ability to read scores in different keys, arrange them, correctly distribute the parts depending on the characteristics of the voices (their range, tessitura, technical capabilities). Another important skill that the author paid special attention to as a teacher is the work of the choir leader with the literary text of vocal compositions.

One of the problems is the lack of association between singing and conducting, and a difficult sense of the difference between orchestral and choral conducting. To overcome this problem, students practiced for some time on works for choir with instrumental accompaniment (for example, excerpts from operas or choral parts of symphonies). The features of conducting a vocal group, as well as the analysis of a literary text, were gradually added to the already familiar techniques of orchestra management. Thus, the preparation for the leadership of the a cappella choir took place.

The development of general musical and theoretical knowledge in the field of solfeggio, harmony, polyphony, and musical literature plays an important role in the formation of professional skills of a choral conductor. "The beauty of harmonious combinations cannot but affect the sense of elegance inherent in nature in man. In this way, artists who feel and understand the highest of the arts, music, will gradually be developed from the singers of the choir" [11, p. 184].

Outstanding figures in the field of choral conducting possessed qualities such as will, discipline, enthusiasm, and energy. "Every conductor deals with a collective, he must constantly prove himself not only as a performing conductor, but also as a teacher and organizer. In order to have the right to lead people, to guide them, a conductor must be an example of accuracy and discipline, know a lot and be able to do a lot" [2, p. 5].

However, the main problems lie in the technique of choral conducting and its specific features. Choirmasters, unlike orchestral conductors, usually do not use a wand, because they are in close proximity to the performing group, and having an object in their hand can be traumatic for choir members. Another reason for the lack of a baton among choral conductors is the relative uniformity of timbres in the vocal ensemble, from which it is more difficult to accurately and clearly distinguish certain voices (and there is not always a real need for this). The small movements of the hands and fingers that help in this would be hampered by the wand. The timbres of the orchestra's instruments are more diverse and easier to distinguish by ear.

The author, in the process of working with students of the choral faculty, revealed that future choirmasters, listening to works for vocal groups, noticed the conductor's lack of a wand, but could not accurately explain the reason for this phenomenon. They could not see the connection between it and the timbre features of the ensembles. To solve this problem, the students carefully listened and watched the performances of choirs without instrumental accompaniment, correlating the gestures of the conductor with the development of musical material. The main attention was paid to the introduction of certain voices, the alternation of solo and general performance. It was concluded that each wave of the choirmaster's hands is directly related to the movement of the melody in the work.

The properties of a conductor's gesture include speed, strength, amplitude, and direction. They depend on the nature of the music, its tempo, rhythm, dynamics, as well as genre and style. Therefore, even different parts of the same symphony or cantata cannot be interpreted in the same way: in the slow lyrical parts, a smoother speed and not very wide scope are used, and in the scherzo and solemn finales, the movements become energetic, confident, bold. The same can be said about a cappella vocal and choral compositions.

Therefore, in practical work with future students choral conductors in the choral conducting class, the first step was to study the selected work in terms of form, tempo, character, rhythm, dynamics, as well as poetic text. In addition, a brief analysis of the characteristics of the work of the poet and composer who wrote it was conducted with the students. Such preliminary preparation helped to interpret the work more accurately, therefore, special attention was paid to this stage of work with students.

Then a vocal and choral analysis of the score and its musical language is carried out. In the process of teaching, the author used an inductive method of working with choral works. For a better understanding of the aesthetics of the sound of the work, the students played the score as a whole, and for careful study of the voices, each voice separately. Taking into account the fact that the conductor, although he does not sing himself during the performance (with very rare exceptions), is also part of the team and must feel the connection, integrity, inseparability of voices.

According to the possibilities of the students' vocal range, the method of singing the score by voice was used, when one student sang and the rest played the piano. Joint work was also carried out: in this case, the vocal parts were given to other students. This was used not only due to the fact that the tessitura of the voice does not always allow the future conductor to sing himself with the piano, but also to develop the skill of working in a team.

When learning an orchestral score, singing and solfading by voice is not always possible, because the parts of the instruments are more technically difficult (for example, passages, melisms or very wide jumps are more common in them) and it is sometimes very difficult to sing them. Working with a choral composition necessarily includes this task.

Thanks to a thorough analysis of the compositions performed and practical work with them, the author and students were able to correctly choose the nature of gestures, strength and speed of strokes. The students were already familiar with the general features of conducting, but they mainly concerned symphonic conducting.

After carefully studying the score, the choir students began to work on the staging of the conducting apparatus. The difficulty at this stage was that in everyday life it is difficult to find movements resembling a conductor's gesture this was a methodological task that required a special approach. In order to use the whole body of the future chorus conductor, classes began with warm-ups and gymnastic exercises.

The students' attention was drawn to the fact that the most mobile part of the conductor's body are the hands, especially the hands and fingers. The expressiveness of the performance of music depends on the emancipation, freedom of movement of the shoulder, forearm, hand and fingers: the plasticity of the conductor's gestures is transmitted to the choir, and the more constrained his movements are, the more dry and tasteless the singing will sound. The functions of the choirmaster's right and left hands, as well as those of an orchestral conductor, are different. The gestures of the right hand are responsible for the metrorhythm, the designation of strong and weak lobes; with the swings of the left, the conductor shows the nature of the music dynamic shades, tempo, highlights the solo voices and their groups. Therefore, the brush and fingers of the left hand, which "draws" the image of the work, are more active than those of the right (recall that the conductor's baton, controlling the orchestra, is held in the right hand).

It will be interesting to note the opinion of the professor of the Department of Solo and Choral Folk Singing of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Gnessin and the Department of Choral Conducting of MGIM. Schnittke E. Baykova. She considers the concepts of "timing" and "conducting" as related, but not identical. In her article on the conductor's gesture, tacting is understood only as the metrorhythmic side, and the teacher calls conducting the transmission through hand gestures, body movements and facial expressions of all expressive means of the performed music. "For modern texts addressed to the stylistic norms of dodecaphony or serial writing techniques (A. Schoenberg, A. Berg, A. Webern), the priority of timing becomes more obvious In relation to musical texts that correspond to the traditionally established norms of compositional thinking, the measure of balance of such components as timing and conducting becomes different. And then the aspect of the development of the creative idea of the composition is reproduced by means of an active method of intonation of the proposed material, adapted to the tonal-pitch environment based on the expressiveness of the melodic principle" [3, p. 75].

S. Kazachkov [8, p. 18]. identifies three elements of the conductor's sign language: expressive, pictorial and conditional. They are closely related to each other. The expressive element originates from the general non-verbal interaction of people, and not directly from music, but is subordinated to its sound; this is actually the translation of music into sign language. The visual is responsible for the intonation content, the peculiarities of the character of the work. An expressive element can be compared with a sketch of a painting, and a pictorial one can already be compared with its color scheme, shades, and the interaction of light and shadow.

These two elements are intuitive and do not require special explanations. In contrast, the conventional element of the conductor's sign language obeys certain rules. It is precisely to him that those movements of the conducting apparatus that indicate the rhythmic and syntactic side: a strong beat, a beat, an auftact, pauses, soli or tutti intro. Although conducting gestures have a certain nature, total standardization in them is impossible. This is influenced, among other things, by the principle of an individual approach characteristic of modern pedagogy, based on the fact that different students should be worked with taking into account their psychotype, temperament, and level of development of artistic taste.

In addition to the conductor's gesture, the method of verbal communication was used in working with students. It is with the help of words that the conductor can explain the most difficult moments that cause difficulties for the choir members or an excessively large difference in interpretation. Also, only in ordinary verbal language, the head tells about the composer's work, the general nature of the work, and its musical form.

In addition, the traditional method of showing was used, when the choral conductor illustrates individual features of the composition by playing themes on an instrument or singing them. Many choral conductors, including K. Bird, wrote about the importance of showing and listening to the music played during it: "As a practical advice for the work of the choir, it should be pointed out the need for the choir to listen to the accompaniment as much as possible during singing and at other moments. The conductor must explain the peculiarities of the movement of music and its pulse by verbal explanations or by showing (voice)" [12, p. 25]. But a technique specific to a chorus conductor still comes to the fore - a conducting gesture or manual technique.

Let's take a closer look at the basics of teaching conducting gesture techniques. They should be worked out both in direct interaction with a group of singers (which is necessary to adapt to work with a specific choir), and independently, listening to music on record (in this case, the student develops a habit mainly of the work). However, the very technique of swinging and clocking should be studied without musical accompaniment, while avoiding emasculation and turning into gymnastics.

The work on conducting begins with the correct setting of the body. In the process of teaching with students, the author focused on the exact balance between naturalness, looseness of the body position and excessive relaxation. The general physical training of future choirmasters is at a high level. The best option was chosen, the most convenient and stable: stand in front of the singers straight, with your legs about shoulder width apart. Facial expressions and facial expressions depend on the nature of the music being played; it always corresponds to the movement of the hands. In our practical work, we paid attention to the nature of each piece studied, as well as its change in the process of developing musical material. It was noted that students consider sincere emotionality to be an important property of conducting, but they cannot always show it in practice. This is usually associated with shyness, difficulty freely expressing their feelings; less often with indifference. Overcoming shyness was facilitated by a collective discussion of each composition listened to, followed by conducting.

Sincerity of facial expression, gaze and facial expressions when managing a musical group is a universal property for both orchestra conductors and choir directors.

If the movements and facial expressions of the head of the instrumental group are more active, since orchestral music is characterized by significant energy due to the greater number and variety of timbres, technical capabilities of instruments, the dynamics of vocal works, even the fastest and most virtuosic, is limited by the capabilities of the human voice. Therefore, choral conducting looks somewhat softer from the outside: its graphics are perceived as smoother (including due to the lack of a wand). Therefore, the choir conductor needs to master the ability to smoothly draw an imaginary line, as well as the flexibility of the hands.

Although the hand is the most mobile part of it, true expressiveness in conducting gestures is possible only with the participation of the whole hand. The smallest and most precise movements begin to prevail if, according to the composer/arranger's plan, a solo voice stands out in the choir. The more complex and virtuosic his part is, the more active the swings of the choirmaster's hands become. However, unlike instrumental music, the singing of a single singer in a choral piece is relatively rare. The selection of solo groups (sopranos, violas, tenors, basses) is much more often used. It is carried out with the help of clear, emphasizing gestures directed towards the selected group.

Working with students, the author emphasized the following features of the position of the hands when conducting: the elbows are not widely spaced, but not pressed against the body; the shoulders are relaxed and lowered; the elbows are slightly raised and do not interfere with the movement of the hands.

It was mentioned above that the author used warm-up exercises and gymnastics in pedagogical work with students, which help to remove clamps and strengthen the muscles of the conducting apparatus. Now we should talk about it in more detail, since not all students before our study performed it on a regular basis. For example, unhurried free lifting and lowering of the shoulders helps to relax the shoulder girdle. To eliminate the tension of the hands, you need to lift them in front of you (the hands hang freely down), hold them in this position for a while and then relax, allowing them to automatically fall along the trunk.

Another variant of the exercise to increase the looseness of the hands is to raise your hand to inhale and freely lower it to exhale. First, do it with the whole arm at once (from the shoulder), then gradually with each part, starting with the brush. The preliminary pose to the starting position when conducting is lowered, bent at the elbows and slightly extended arms. The hand is pointing slightly upward, the palm is looking down, and the fingers are arched. The position of the brush is somewhat similar to that of playing the piano.

Also, a number of gymnastic exercises for conductors include rotation with the whole arm this frees the shoulder joint; circular movements with the forearm (from the elbow) and the hand. Activating the hand, as the most mobile part of the arm, is especially important, so there are most exercises to train it. Some of them include light finger taps on the table, which are also useful for pianists. They can also be performed at the instrument, combining conducting gymnastics and learning the score at a slow pace.

The study of graphic conducting schemes begins only when the hands are already freed and freed from the clamps, otherwise the process of controlling the choir or orchestra will look constrained and unnatural from the outside. The schemes themselves are not particularly complicated. The two-sided meter is clocked by moving down to the left for a strong fraction and up to the right for a weak one. The threepart clock pattern resembles a triangle in shape: down - right up -right. The four-sided dimensions are conducted as follows: vertically down, horizontally to the left, up to the right, up. The rest of the graphic schemes originate from these three, they only show the separation of some or all strokes.

Complex sizes six, eight, twelve lobes are conducted with the designation of each lobe quite rarely, except at very slow tempos or if there is an exact indication of the composer. Here are two examples of such music.

In orchestral conducting, one can recall Onegin's aria "When Life is at Home" from Tchaikovsky's opera Eugene Onegin. The author points out that it needs to be conducted "for six" - marking every quarter with a wave. A direct quote from the clavier, which serves as a footnote to the tempo designation: "In the autograph by Tchaikovsky's hand it is indicated that it is necessary to conduct for six beat six beats in each bar" [14, p. 136]. From the choral examples with "conducting for six", it will be appropriate to recall the choir "To the Bright Prince and health and glory" from the opera Ruslan and Lyudmila by M. Glinka.

Much more often, the so-called "conducting at once" occurs, in which each new movement of the hand indicates the beginning of a beat, another strong beat. Conducting in a sixmeter meter looks like 2/4, in a ninemeter meter - like ?, in a twelve-meter meter - like 4/4. However, the hand still pulsates in parts: "one" - fingers, "two" - wrist, "three" - elbow. To work out this technique, the students of the choral department systematically conducted first with real movements for each fraction, then left only a mental pulsation.

As for the mixed meters (pentagonal, sevenfold, rarely 11lobed, as in N. Rimsky-Korsakov), it will not work to combine durations in them for one stroke. This is due to the fact that the clock cycle can be divided in at least two ways: 2+3, 3+2, 3+2+2 Graphically, the scheme resembles a foursided one - down, left, up, right, up. However, which of the gestures will have to be divided, working with pulsating, jerky movements of the hand, depends on how the composer conceived the division of the beat.

L. Amirova in the manual "Conducting and reading choral scores" suggests mastering graphic movements by tracing imaginary vertical lines down and up on the wall with the palm of your hand, relying on downward movement (strong proportion). Then an arc-shaped movement with each hand (brush) is added to them in turn, then two at the same time. Horizontal and circular movements are also used [see about this: 1, p. 11]. Amirova's manual also pays attention to the above-described preparatory exercises for freeing hands.

Each conducting gesture includes four elements that directly merge into each other: swing, recoil, aspiration and point. Strong and relatively strong lobes have the most energy. In the process of working with students, the author noticed that the first movement for a strong fraction of them is often too sharp, even in lyrical music. To overcome this disadvantage, various methods were used, including the method of showing and personal example of the teacher.

Relaxing in the position below, the hand automatically, reflexively draws an arcuate or horizontal line on the second and subsequent lobes. The last beat fraction naturally turns out to be shorter. Many students shortened it excessively, rushing to perform a strong swing at the beginning of the next beat. In this regard, we used exercises in which the hand was delayed before the last note. This helps to better feel the impact to the next beat, as well as work out the correct return.

Let's summarize the results of the study. The technique of staging the conducting apparatus and the schedule of the timing schemes practically do not differ among the heads of instrumental and vocal groups. This can be explained by the general nature, the psychology of collective music making. However, there are specific features of choral conducting: the relative smoothness of movements and gestures due to the different allocation of voices than in the orchestra, as well as the absence of a conductor's baton; the ability to interpret and understand the poetic text of works; the ability to perform a vocal display, which is associated with the capabilities of the voice of each particular chorus student. In general, choral conducting is more chamber-like than orchestral.

The practical activities described in the article mainly include traditional methods. However, the author also focuses on the nuances of choir management. Therefore, we started practical work with students of the choral faculty precisely by conducting the choir together with the orchestra, gradually transferring them to the management of unaccompanied vocal ensembles. The practical significance and novelty is the learning of the parties by votes with the participation of several students.

In the article, we identified the main methodological problem: the lack of knowledge about the intricacies of choral conducting due to the low level of professional education of students. The solution to this problem was conscious work with students, which used modern methods of teaching conducting and choral techniques.

References
1. Amirova, L. (2010). Conducting and reading choral scores. Ufa: BSPU Publishing House.
2. Andreeva, L. (1969). Methods of teaching choral conducting. Moscow: Music.
3. Baykova, E. 2021. Conductor’s gesture is a necessary component of the collective performing process. Anthropological didactics and education, 4(1), 74-82.
4. Bezborodova, L. (2011). Conducting: a textbook for students of pedagogical educational institutions and music colleges. Moscow: Flinta.
5. Vishnyakova, T., Sokolova, T., Pchelintseva, E., & Yurgenstein, O. (2024). Fundamentals of choral conducting: a textbook. St. Petersburg: Lan, Planet of Music.
6. Dmitrevsky, G. (1957). Choral studies and choir management. Moscow: Muzgiz.
7. Dudukina, I. (2016/2017). Technique of the conductor’s gesture in the process of demonstrating various types of sound management during the performance of a choral work.Methodical work. Reutov: MBUDO “Raduga Musical Choir School”.
8. Kazachkov, S. (1967). Conductor’s apparatus and its staging. Moscow: Music.
9. Krasnoshchekov, V. (1969). Questions of choral studies. Moscow: Music.
10. Musin, I. (1967). Conducting technique. Leningrad.
11. Pigrov, K. (1964). Choir management. Moscow: Music.
12. Ptica, K. (1972). Problems of style and choral performance. Tevlin B. Work with the choir. Methodology, experience. Moscow: Profizdat.
13. Solovyov, A.V. (2020) Professional training of choir conductors in the context of the traditions of the national choir school (using the example of the pedagogical principles of B.G. Tevlin). PHd. Moscow.
14. Tchaikovsky, P. (2005). Eugene Onegin: Lyrical scenes in three acts, seven scenes: Clavier. Moscow: Music.

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The subject of the study presented for publication in the journal "PHILHARMONICA. International Music Journal" article, as the author pointed out in the title ("The specifics of teaching techniques of conducting gesture in the classroom in the specialty "Choral conducting""), is the specifics of teaching techniques of conducting gesture, which, based on common sense, should have been considered in some part of reality (in the object): either practically directly in the educational process, or theoretically in the methodological support of the educational process. The nature of the object of pedagogical research, to which the presented material belongs (judging by the field of study indicated by the author), as a rule, is determined by the problem of research. An actual pedagogical problem (either of a specific process or of its methodological provision) determines the purpose of the study, from which follow the tasks and relevant specific scientific methods. Since the author has not clearly identified a specific scientific problem in the presented material, it is not clear how the specifics described by him complement the field of scientific knowledge. Even the object (part of the objective reality) of the author's attention is unclear: either some abstract (imaginary) pedagogical process with unclear goals, or its methodological support reflected in the literature analyzed by the author. Most likely, judging by the numerous judgments of duty used by the author ("movements should be energetic", "the score as a whole should be played", "It is also recommended to sing the parts", "The conductor should analyze the performed composition", "long and hard work is required", "it is recommended to warm up", "The conductor should verbally explanations", "Posture should be", "emotions must be read, indifference and artificiality are unacceptable", "such an exercise should be performed", "After freeing your hands you can start", "you need to feel the swing", "there should be the first movement", "the fraction of the beat should not be unnecessarily shortened", "before the last you can hold your hand with a note", "we must not forget about the specific features of choral conducting", etc.), the presented material aims at methodological recommendations, the need for which, again based on common sense, should be conditioned by the desire to improve the quality of teaching techniques of conducting gesture in the classroom in the specialty "Choral conducting": i.e., before such there were no recommendations, so the quality of this field of study was low, and now, after the author outlined all the necessary methodological solutions, everything will be fine. However, in fact (in the text) the author resorts to two types of arguments in favor of his recommendations: 1) to the methodological solutions of colleagues described in well-known manuals; 2) to some imaginary educational process. The author's imaginary process is available for specialists to read, since it concerns already widespread and well-established practices. Consequently, there is no scientific novelty in the arguments presented by the author based on an imaginary process. The value of the author's methodological recommendations in this case is zero. If the author's arguments are based on already known methodological recommendations, again, what is their novelty? Thus, the author's claim to the value of the methodological recommendations presented by him is untenable. The goal of improving the quality of the educational process has not been achieved, and the subject of the study has been considered from the most studied side, therefore the final conclusion is banal and of no scientific interest. The author does not pay the necessary attention to the research methodology, assuming, obviously, that the summary of the well-known methodological literature and the imaginary (well-known) educational process are sufficient grounds for colleagues to trust the recommendations outlined. But this is not the case. The confidence of specialists is aroused either by an experimentally proven method of improving the quality of the educational process, which can be used in practical work, or by solving real methodological difficulties by generalizing theoretical works. This is not in the presented work. The author's banal conclusion that choral conducting has its own specifics, although it is sufficiently reasoned, does not bring new scientific knowledge into the field of mastering the specifics of conducting gesture techniques in the classroom in the specialty "Choral conducting". The relevance of the author's repetition of the banal axioms of duty in the imaginary educational process of teaching the specifics of conducting gesture techniques in the classroom in the specialty "Choral conducting" can only be justified by the low level of qualification of choral conductors brought up in the Russian music education system. If this is the case, then this is the problem that the presented article should be devoted to: the search for the causes (factors) of the qualifications of specialists and methods of overcoming the current situation. The scientific novelty of the methodological recommendations presented by the author, in the light of the arguments outlined above by the reviewer, is questionable. The style of the text is scientific, although not all footnotes to sources correspond to the norms accepted in the journal. The structure of the article does not correspond to the logic of the presentation of the results of scientific research: the introduction does not present the research program (subject, object, problem, purpose, tasks, methods are missing); the main part is not devoted to the analysis of existing problems or the disclosure of unknown aspects of the subject of research (specifics of teaching techniques of conducting gesture in the classroom specialty "Choral conducting"), and a list of well-known methodological recommendations; the final conclusion is banal. The bibliography does not reflect the problematic area of research and the current modern musical and pedagogical discourse: there is absolutely no Russian and foreign scientific literature over the past 3-5 years. The appeal to the opponents is not entirely correct: it is difficult to separate the opinion of the author himself from the scientific and methodological achievements of his colleagues. As presented, the interest of the readership in the article is very limited. The author should pay attention to the current problems of music pedagogy in his professional field and significantly rework the presented material in order to achieve an acceptable result for publication in a scientific journal. Considering that there are indeed problems requiring scientific attention in the domestic system of professional training of choral conductors, the reviewer recommends sending the submitted material for revision.

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To the journal "PHILHARMONICA. International Music Journal" the author presented his article "The specifics of teaching conducting gesture techniques in the classroom in the specialty "Choral conducting"", in which a study of the specifics of the teaching methodology of a choral conductor as the head of a singing group was conducted. The author proceeds in studying this issue from the fact that the conducting gesture plays an important role in practical work with the team and is among the special conducting abilities. Possession of it determines the level of professionalism of the conductor or choirmaster. The nature of the music and the performing interpretation depend on the correct work of the conductor, which may differ both for one ensemble with different conductors and for one conductor with different ensembles. The relevance of the research is due to the pedagogical problem faced by the author: students studying at the conducting and choral faculty have difficulties in mastering the art of conducting gesture, which determines the depth, content, originality and brightness of the performance of the choral group. This difficulty lies in the sufficient development of theoretical and practical knowledge, which contribute to the formation of a full and high level of professional mastery of the conducting gesture. At the same time, if the theoretical part is accessible enough to master and is at a high level, then the practical part requires additional training of special skills. The purpose of the study is to determine the specifics of teaching conducting gesture techniques in a choral classroom. The object of the research is conducting activities in vocal groups. The subject of the study is the peculiarities of teaching the conducting gesture from choral conductors. To achieve this goal, the author sets the following tasks: analyzing the level of professional development of students of the choral faculty; determining the necessary methods for solving problems (including non-standard ones); using the methodology in the course of practical training; summing up and choosing appropriate methods of professional development. In the course of the study, both general scientific research methods (analysis and synthesis) and analysis of methodology and didactic tools were used. The empirical base was formed by the practical pedagogical experience of the author. The author has made the main provisions of the article. However, their content does not meet the requirements, since the provisions of the article must contain full-fledged assumptions that the author will prove by the results of the study, and not unfinished phrases. Based on the analysis of the scientific development of the studied issues, the author comes to the conclusion that there are many scientific works, monographs and methodological developments on choral conducting and conducting art in general, written by Russian authors. The works studied by the author contain a lot of information about the specifics and necessary professional qualities of a chorus conductor, including manual technique and conducting gesture. The scientific novelty of this study lies in a more practice-oriented approach and the proposal of ways to solve specific problems that arise in the process of teaching choral students. The practical significance lies in the possibility of including the research results in the learning process in the specialty "Choral conducting". In the practice of working with a choral group, the author has identified the following. The practical skills of a conductor include the ability to read scores in different keys, arrange them, correctly distribute the parts depending on the characteristics of the voices (their range, tessitura, technical capabilities). Another important skill that the author paid special attention to as a teacher is the work of the choir leader with the literary text of vocal compositions. The main problems lie in the technique of choral conducting and its specific features. Choirmasters, unlike orchestral conductors, usually do not use a wand, because they are in close proximity to the performing group, and having an object in their hand can be traumatic for choir members. Another reason for the lack of a baton among choral conductors is the relative uniformity of timbres in the vocal ensemble, from which it is more difficult to accurately and clearly distinguish certain voices (and there is not always a real need for this). In the article, the author identified the main methodological problem: lack of knowledge about the intricacies of choral conducting due to the low level of professional education of students. The solution to this problem was conscious work with students, which used modern methods of teaching conducting and choral techniques. The practical activities described in the article mainly include traditional methods. However, the author also focuses on the nuances of choir management. Therefore, he suggests starting practical work with students of the choral faculty with conducting the choir together with the orchestra, gradually transferring them to managing unaccompanied vocal ensembles. In conclusion, the author presents a conclusion on the conducted research, which contains all the key provisions of the presented material. It seems that the author in his material touched upon relevant and interesting issues for modern socio-humanitarian knowledge, choosing for analysis a topic, consideration of which in scientific research discourse will entail certain changes in the established approaches and directions of analysis of the problem addressed in the presented article. The results obtained suggest that the study of existing didactic techniques and the development of innovative solutions is of undoubted theoretical and practical cultural and methodological interest and can serve as a source of further research. The material presented in the work has a clear, logically structured structure that contributes to a more complete assimilation of the material. This is also facilitated by an adequate choice of an appropriate methodological framework. The bibliography of the study consists of 14 sources, which seems sufficient for the generalization and analysis of scientific discourse on the subject under study. The author fulfilled his goal, received certain scientific results that allowed him to summarize the material. It should be noted that the article may be of interest to readers and deserves to be published in a reputable scientific publication.