Study on importance of conductors misses the point

Written by Andrew Druckenbrod on .

This study about what conductors actually do is intriguing, and to be fair to the researchers it was a part of a larger study on how human movement corresponds to oral language. But it soooo misses the point about what a conductor brings! Conductors are far more than a metronome, they are the focal point of the artistic utterance. Plus the researchers might not realize how baton work has less to do with when the orchestra even comes in then might seem obvious. Many conductors throw a cue out that is barely close to the beat and the result can be stunning. I have heard the Pittsburgh Symphony perform when they had to ignore a conductor, and while it is amazing they can keep it together at a high level, it is nothing like working with the sustained attention of a conductor -- good or bad (and that good/bad is an opinion -- not anything scientific!). Not only that, but to make any case about anything using only two examples is not sound science. Alas, art eludes science again!

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