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Baton Basics


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Table of Contents

Introduction Section 1. The Body Section 2. Motion and Gestures Section 3. Connecting with the Sound Section 4. Applying and Combining Gestures Section 5. Controlling Tempo and Volume Section 6. Becoming Centered Section 7. Making Music Appendix Index

About the Author

Diane Wittry is the Music Director of the Allentown Symphony, PA, and a frequent guest conductor in the United States and Europe. She is also recognized as a teacher of conducting, leading many master classes, workshops, and seminars throughout the world. Her first book, Beyond the Baton, about artistic leadership and programming for Music Directors of regional orchestras, has become a standard for the conducting industry.


"After her singularly successful exploration of what a modern conductor needs to know about all aspects of professional life in Beyond the Baton, Diane Wittry has written another essential book. In this lucid, comprehensive study of conducting gesture and technique, Wittry has managed to distill and clarify the essence of the conductor's craft." -Alan Gilbert, Music Director, New York Philharmonic "Diane Wittry's Baton Basics is an extraordinary addition to the art of conducting pedagogy. With impressive clarity, she dissects the physical science of gesture and motion, and she tackles the less easily defined skills of leadership with sensitivity and understanding. Diane has explored the intricacies of our profession with great imagination and insight."-JoAnn Falletta, Music Director and Conductor of the Buffalo Philharmonic and the Virginia Symphony "Diane Wittry has proven herself as an exceptional conductor and conducting teacher whose new book Baton Basics tackles the issue of conducting from more than just a gestural aspect. Her concentration in this book for conductors is one which uses not only a systematic approach to building a gesture, but also deals with the issues of conducting without tension. Weight, resistance, intensity and the character of the musical phrase are all dealt with in clear and concise language. This book is a valuable tool for those teaching conducting in choral or instrumental courses."-Jo-Michael Scheibe, Chair, Choral and Sacred Music, Thornton School of Music, University of Southern California "Diane Wittry's new book is a welcome contribution to the library of conducting texts. Her holistic approach, especially her most useful ways to imagine various hand and arm motions, will help innumerable young conductors better employ their bodies in expressing music. A must for every conductor's shelf." -Charles Peltz, Director of Wind Ensembles, New England Conservatory and Music Director, Glens Falls Symphony

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