A choral conductor's artistic processes

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Title: A choral conductor's artistic processes
Author: Olsonen, Ida
Date: 2019
Thesis level:
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/310443
Abstract: This study delves into the artistry of the choral conductor. Being based on insiderknowledge, and thereby a subjective viewpoint, autoethnography has been chosen as the appropriate research method for this study. The study displays several traits typical to artistic research, especially in its use of an intuitive, creative analysis process and the presentation of results. Instead of describing the technical skills needed to execute the conductorship or the pedagogical abilities required to lead a group, this study attempts to address the agenda driving the artistic vision – the why rather than the what or the how. The theoretical framework of the study approaches the conductor's artistry from two directions – firstly, via the different professional roles contained within the main function of conducting, and secondly, via Dag Jansson's (2018) model of the conductor's competences. The artistry is examined by identifying and analysing its key processes, as well as reflecting on how the roles or functions (the artist, the teacher and the leader) are visible within those processes. The field work took place over the spring semester of 2017, following the conductor-researcher's work with her choir Musta lammas. The conclusion of the study reinforces the notion that the different functions of the choral conductor are highly interrelated and interdependent, even when approached primarily with the artistry in mind. Along with locating aesthetic preferences, the results connect the artistic agenda to social and interpersonal processes such as building the group and becoming seen (both as individuals within the group and as performers in front of the audience). Relational processes like these can actually add to the artistic substance and be part of the artistic expression of the group. This study suggests that high ambitions and artistic emphasis actually invite a comprehensive vision with a distinctive pedagogic view and leadership.
Subject (ysa): kuorot
taiteellinen tutkimus
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