Proposal Research Part Essay Example

  • Category:
    Music
  • Document type:
    Research Proposal
  • Level:
    Masters
  • Page:
    3
  • Words:
    2011

Proposal Research Part 1

Submitted by Name:

Full Orchestra Needs Conductor with Enough Knowledge to Make Quality Music

Research Question

The question that lies at the centre of this proposal asks whether full orchestras need conductors to guide and manage them and if the conductors are required to have necessary knowledge and skills to make quality music. Therefore, the research question can be split into two:

  1. Does full orchestra need a conductor to guide and manage it?

  2. What are the necessary skills and knowledge that a full orchestra conductor should have to create quality music?

Key words: Conductor; full orchestra, wind orchestra, Brass band; music history; instrumentation; conducting development; conducting techniques; basic conducting; phrasing conducting; and pattern.

Theoretical Framework

The art of conducting can be associated with aesthetic in organization theory. Aesthetic is concerned about any form of arts and it is based on the sense of knowledge.1 The primary focuses of aesthetic are beauty and arts and the sensory experience and knowledge. Aesthetic judgment is influenced by sensuous information that comes from human senses like hearing, sight and touch.1 The art of conducting is influences by human senses, especially hearing and sight.

Aesthetic is also found in leadership practices where leaders are engaged in social processes to accomplish the set objectives. According to Weberian bureaucratic models, human beings are only considered as contingencies, as something that is hard to foresee and control but should be dealt with.2 Mainstream leadership model argues that people are just cognitive objects that are controlled by functional and purposeful actions from outside. The interaction, therefore, is cognitive based on mindful activities where people influence one another, as in the case where an orchestra conductor influences the artists or musicians.2 Orchestras involve complex relationship where artists need to communicate with one another and the conductor at the same time. Therefore, the mutual interaction among the artists themselves and with the conductor requires high level of sensitivity and the capability to create aesthetic judgment regarding the play through listening.2

Triangulation

Triangulation can be defined as the use of more than one method of research investigation to create more confidence in the final findings of a study.3 There are various forms of triangulation and they include data, investigator, theoretical, and methodological triangulations.3 In order to ensure triangulation in this research, the researcher will use literature review, interview, and observation to gather the required information and data.

Literature Review

History of Music

“Music” as a word can be traced from Greek where it meant the art of the muses. Muses were goddess and companion of Apollo in Greek and music was one of the forms of the art out of the seven forms.4 Music was taken to be one of the important factors in cultivating the soul and it therefore played an important role in educating the society since rhythms influenced the soul, establish beauty, and refine the individual listening to music.4

The earliest from of music were drum-based and early man percussion instruments like rocks and sticks to create music. The instruments were majorly used during religious ceremonies with no notation or writing of music.5 The evolution of music has been slow but steady and it is believed that as early as 4000 BCE the Egyptians had developed harps and flutes. The guitar, the most popular instrument today, was developed in 1500 BCE by the Hittites. Recording of music started in 800 BCE and recording become common as of 700 BCE.5

Full Orchestra

A full orchestra has between 90 and 100 members who are distributed in its four sections, which include string, woodwind, brass, and percussion.4 String is the largest section of about 14 first violins, 12 second violins, 10 violas, 8 cellos, and 8 double basses. Woodwinds is the second section with piccolo, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, English horn, 2 clarinets, bass clarinet, 2 bassoons, and a contrabassoon. The third section is brass containing 4 French horns, 4 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba and 2 Harps. The last section is percussion and it has timpani or kettledrums, bass and side drum, glockenspiel, triangle, and cymbals. Each musician plays a specific instrument and may not know so much about other documents. However, it is the conductors who coordinate everything.6

Conducting

The task of conducting can be traced back in history, and it is linked to a Latin word “conducere”, which simply means to guide or manage or lead.6 Traditionally, the main task of a conductor was to keep the rhythm. Initially, a conductor was guiding the rhythm by tapping a stick against the floor, which was making a lot of noises and was interfering with the quality of the music.6 It was the Romanticism that transformed the profession of conducting into its modern form.

There are universal principles that guide the profession of conducting despite the fact that each conductor has its own unique way of guiding the orchestra. It is the right hand that holds the button, and it shows tempo and dynamics.6 It is supposed to assist artists to be in line with the tempo in complex parts and it also shows nuances in dynamics. The left hand indicates entrance to different instruments, articulation and phrasing.6

The majority of production is promoted by the reputation of a conductor while music and the orchestra always play secondary role in the whole process.7 It is the conductors who determine the nature of the play because they decide whether to play louder, quieter, the tempo, and the instrument to dominate the play.7 Conductor makes decision in almost everything concerning rehearsal and the concerts, which makes him the most important member of an orchestra.8 However, some conductors negatively interfere with the quality of an orchestra by neglecting the role of passing information to the orchestra as they focus and perform to the audience through exaggerated and dramatic movements.9 Consequently, the conductor’s role is overemphasized while the artists are treated as the mass, which end up interfering with the quality of music.8

A conductor must have certain skills and good knowledge of music and a lot of conviction to successfully conduct an orchestra. He should be able to develop trust and open relationship with the orchestra members to improve the quality of music.8 Therefore, a good orchestra conductor should place at the centre of everything; he must not be in the spotlight, and should have strong but quiet conviction about the music being plaid.

Interview

The interview will be another source of data because it will enable me to seek information from people with relevant and sufficient knowledge on the required skills to successfully conduct a full orchestra. My target interviewees are people who have enough knowledge in conducting full and wind orchestras, especially the aged and the retired conductors. They will be in a better position to shed more light on conducting and the topic at large. I will arrange with them to find a suitable place and time when I can interview them.

Observation

Observation will become the third source of the data to be used in this research. I will use direct observation where I attend and be part of the audience at various orchestra concerts and keenly watch how conducting is done and the influence it has in the orchestra. In addition, I will visit various orchestra rehearsals to directly observe the process of conducting and the roles of conductors. Orchestra concert DVD and YouTube videos will also give me the opportunity to observe as many concerts as possible and to compare and contrast various ways of conducting.

Validity

Validity is about the truth and accuracy of the data collected and a good researcher must control any factor that can interfere with the validity of the research.10 To ensure the validity of this research, the researcher will strive to use only reliable sources of information that are relevant to the topic. The literature review part will only contain information from reputable literary sources that are relevant to the topic. In addition, I will only interview people who are well conversant with orchestra conducting and who have enough knowledge and experience on conducting. I will also visit a variety of orchestra concerts in different locations and with different orchestras. The orchestra DVD and YouTube that I will watch will also be diverse to enhance the accuracy of observation.

Reliability

Reliability refers to the extent to which the tools and methods used in the research yield stable and consistent results.9 The reliability of this research will be guaranteed by integrating the methods of data collection and data analysis in a credible way. Further, to ensure reliability, I will use interviews and observation in the collection of data and qualitative method in the data analysis.

Proposed Timeline

TIME (Weeks)

ACTIVITY

  • Completion of literature review part of the research

  • Completion of most of the interviews and observations

  • Completion of transcripts of interviews and summarization of the results of the observation.

  • Editing all the results from interviews, observation and literature review

  • Writing the research answers

  • Using the results from the three methods of research to form informed response to the question

  • Doing final touches by editing, removing unnecessary parts and information, and adding necessary information

  • Polishing the final report.

Research Methodology

The research will utilize ethnographic research methods through fieldwork and social approach to answer research question. Ethnography is the best method for this research because it helps in clear understanding and observing what is going in the field without relying so much on the third party for information.11 However, it is time consuming and tedious compared to other methods like survey. The researcher will personally attend the concerts and will develop rapport with musicians and conductors in order to ask them some questions regarding the topic after every orchestra concert to acquire more information.

The interview will target orchestra administrators, conductors, and musicians. The first interviewed will be aimed at understanding the administrative work in an orchestra, which will help in understanding the structure, key actors, and how the players interact. The second interview will focus on conducting and it will be aimed at understanding conducting as a process, conducting techniques, the importance of a conductor, and the knowledge and skills that an orchestra conductor should have. The final interview will focus on the instruments used.

Expected Outcome

Based on the literature review part of this research, orchestra conductors are needed in every full orchestra to make high quality music. They play very important role that make them vital for the success of orchestras and the quality of music.

Bibliography

Bryman, Alan. «Triangulation and measurement.» Retrieved from Department of Social Sciences, Loughborough University, Loughborough, Leicestershire: www. referenceworld. com/sage/socialscience/triangulation. pdf (2004).

Koivunen, Niina. Leadership in symphony orchestras. Discursive and aesthetic practices. Tampere University Press. TUP, 2003.

Logie, Nicholas. «The role of leadership in conducting orchestras.» PhD diss., The Open University, 2012.

Naumann, Emil, Ferdinand Christian Wilhelm Praeger, and FA Gore Ouseley. The history of music. Vol. 1. Cambridge University Press, 2013.

Reeves, Scott, Ayelet Kuper, and Brian David Hodges. «Qualitative research methodologies: ethnography.» Bmj 337 (2008).

Watson, Amanda, and David Forrest. «Performance reviews for the orchestral musician.» (2014): 94.

1Koivunen, Niina. Leadership in symphony orchestras. Discursive and aesthetic practices. Tampere University Press. TUP, 2003.

2Koivunen, Niina. Leadership in symphony orchestras. Discursive and aesthetic practices. Tampere University Press. TUP, 2003.

3Bryman, Alan. «Triangulation and measurement.» Retrieved from Department of Social Sciences, Loughborough University, Loughborough, Leicestershire: www. referenceworld. com/sage/socialscience/triangulation. pdf (2004).

4Koivunen, Niina. Leadership in symphony orchestras. Discursive and aesthetic practices. Tampere University Press. TUP, 2003.

5Naumann, Emil, Ferdinand Christian Wilhelm Praeger, and FA Gore Ouseley. The history of music. Vol. 1. Cambridge University Press, 2013.

6Koivunen, Niina. Leadership in symphony orchestras. Discursive and aesthetic practices. Tampere University Press. TUP, 2003.

7Watson, Amanda, and David Forrest. «Performance reviews for the orchestral musician.» (2014): 94.

8Logie, Nicholas. «The role of leadership in conducting orchestras.» PhD diss., The Open University, 2012.

9Watson, Amanda, and David Forrest. «Performance reviews for the orchestral musician.» (2014): 94.

10Bryman, Alan. Social research methods. Oxford university press, 2012.

11Reeves, Scott, Ayelet Kuper, and Brian David Hodges. «Qualitative research methodologies: ethnography.» Bmj 337 (2008).