I went to the Pub with a bunch of people after the orchestra concert on Monday. It was a pretty good time, mostly because I really like talking to all of the people who were there. It also turned out to be an informative evening because one gentleman there turned out to be a vocal coach, so he had interesting opinions to share. He was actually more than willing to share his opinions when I asked, which was nice for me, but sort of killed all other conversation, which I felt bad about.
However this is not what currently interests me. My buddy A. who was a music major here just like I was contended that conductors should be done away with and replaced with robots. (comment I'm sure to be taken with a grain of salt)
My response was, well for performances fine, but what about the rehearsal process, this is when the conductor gets to work on his musical interpretation with the orchestra. (also, what I just thought of now is rehearsal management. A sign of a good conductor is one who knows how to make the most of their time in rehearsal, such that the orchestra can succeed in their performance, and still enjoy the rehearsal process)
A. Said that he thought that even there that a conductor was not necessary. He said that he thought that orchestras ought to be run through a democratic process, like the English parliament. "I think you should be louder here, I think I should be louder there" etc.
Now A. is an excellent musician, and also does Jazz. So this format would be very similar to how some jazz X-tets are run. However the X is usually 3-8 where as an orchestra can be 20-80 or even larger numbers. Oh! just imagine the rehearsals! It would be absolute chaos.
A. is also making I believe an assumption that the other musicians are as good musicians as he is. This is not a comment upon technical prowess, their ability to play well, but upon their musicality. I don't mean necessarily, their ability to "feel" the music, something that people I think confound the term musicality with frequently. But are they a good musician? Do they understand how music is constructed, how it works, and how best to demonstrate these attributes.
I would contend that in most orchestras that not every individual is a great musician, and of such a nature that collaboration for musical decisions would result in anything good at all. I think that in any orchestra that you will find a range of musicians, and as soon as everyone is not on an equal playing field I think that musical interpretation as a democratic process would fail.
Anyhow: funny how a snipit of conversation can spark your thoughts.
Closing the door, leaving the lights on
4 years ago