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#202579 - 09/22/11 07:33 PM Re: enchiridon, chiropractor [Re: zmjezhd]  
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BranShea Offline
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Ha, I like that : urge the singers along.:-)

The choir conductor's hands do mostly the same thing as the orchestra conductor's. When you sing in a choir without looking at the conductor's head and hand gestures you risk to derail and become a misplaced and disturbing solo singer.

Last edited by BranShea; 09/22/11 09:41 PM. Reason: direct to conduct
#202580 - 09/22/11 09:15 PM Re: enchiridon, chiropractor [Re: zmjezhd]  
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zmjezhd: Despite appearances, this is not a facetious reply: What a choral director does is conduct. The information conveyed by hand gestures (and by facial expression, though that is not so obvious to the audience) covers a lot of territory. In the first place, the tempo of the piece or, section of the piece, if the tempo varies, is established. Unlike an orchestral conductor a c.d. may not continue to mark the tempo through the piece except as need, choosing instead to indicate staccato or legato (notes separated or flowing together), loud or soft passages, accented notes, technical reminders of singing style, cues for entrances, cutoffs, sustained notes, accented notes, growing or diminishing volume, reminders to think a pitch a bit high so that it will not be sung flat (low). If necessary, the c.d. may choose to use Kodály Method hand signs to indicate specific relative pitches, although by concert time that should not be necessary. In a concert, much of what the c.d. does is to make adjustments: basses should sing a bit louder, sopranos should be careful of the vowel pronunciation on a particularly high note, altos need to show a bit more energy.

In most cases gestures do not have to be explained to the singers. They are a form of mime, mostly self-explanatory, a visual manifestation of the sound. Choral conducting seems to be an individual sport: each director has a style. If there is a systematized list of standard gestures (other than the Kodály) with a particular designation I have not run across it. I'll ask my choral director.

BranShea: In my experience the styles of orchestral and choral conducting are quite different, even when done by one individual, and even when conducting both in the same piece. We recently performed Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, and it was always easy to tell from the gestures whether the conductor was focused on the choir or the orchestra at any given moment. But yes, the overall purpose is essentially the same.

#202582 - 09/22/11 09:47 PM Re: enchiridon, chiropractor [Re: Tromboniator]  
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BranShea Offline
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Yep, that was in short ;-) what I meant to say too. [I was an a capella choirster.]

#202593 - 09/23/11 01:41 PM Re: enchiridon, chiropractor [Re: Tromboniator]  
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Despite appearances, this is not a facetious reply:

Well, I have observed both conductors conducting an orchestra and choir directors using chironomy to guide a choir, and my observations lead me to distinguish the two practices. That's all. As I said, for me the word has its 18th/19th century rhetorical meaning, but that was the first definition I came across.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
#202598 - 09/23/11 08:32 PM Re: enchiridon, chiropractor [Re: zmjezhd]  
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It comes from ancient times and had a spiritual meaning where as now with orchestras and choirs it has the more practical purpose to lead the assembled musicians. Although with really great musical performances the spiritual part comes into it as well. I saw Kristjan Järvi in action this summer. He jumped and stepped and danced so it was more head, shoulders, knee and toe chironomy.
Great concert.

#202603 - 09/24/11 06:42 AM Re: enchiridon, chiropractor [Re: BranShea]  
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I had a long conversation with my conductor/director friend at dinner this evening, in which I did not introduce the word chironomy, but did ask if he knew a word that encompassed or described the gestures of choral conducting. He was unaware of any such term. I suspect that its modern use is limited and fairly specific, but that conclusion is based on not much knowledge at all. I have, by email, asked my friend to investigate this term using his insider status in the field, hoping that he will broach the question to colleagues throughout the country. As he is very busy, not much may come of it, but I hope for some response.

#202606 - 09/24/11 02:48 PM Re: enchiridon, chiropractor [Re: Tromboniator]  
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BranShea Offline
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This man explains something about the tradional thing, though it seems to go back long beyond the Jewish tradition.

Link

#202608 - 09/24/11 03:36 PM Re: ritual pointer [Re: BranShea]  
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zmjezhd Offline
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R'lyeh
This man explains something about the tradional thing, though it seems to go back long beyond the Jewish tradition.

Pretty good. I have a book comparing the Indo-European ans Semitic languages written by Professor Saul Levin. While we're on Jewish liturgy and hands, there is an instrument one uses while reading the Torah scroll in temple called a yad 'hand' (in Hebrew, also the name of the letter). It is in the shape of a hand withe index finger extended. Rather than put one's real finger under the words as you are reading, you use the yad.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
#202621 - 09/26/11 07:50 AM Re: ritual pointer [Re: zmjezhd]  
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BranShea Offline
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Hey, surprise! Thisyad I think lives on in the dutch slang word 'jat' = hand. In informal speech they say: Keep your 'jatten' off it! = hands off! It is verbed to 'jatten' = nick, steal.

#202627 - 09/26/11 02:51 PM Re: ritual pointer [Re: zmjezhd]  
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LukeJavan8 Offline
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Originally Posted By: zmjezhd
This man explains something about the tradional thing, though it seems to go back long beyond the Jewish tradition.

Pretty good. I have a book comparing the Indo-European ans Semitic languages written by Professor Saul Levin. While we're on Jewish liturgy and hands, there is an instrument one uses while reading the Torah scroll in temple called a yad 'hand' (in Hebrew, also the name of the letter). It is in the shape of a hand withe index finger extended. Rather than put one's real finger under the words as you are reading, you use the yad.




http://www.google.com/search?q=yad&hl=en...sa=X&ei=CZGATp_


----please, draw me a sheep----
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