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Conducting textbooks (all levels)

Date: Mon, 25 Mar 1996 13:15:18 -0600 (CST)
From: Robert Prowse
Subject: Conducting text compilation (long)

Many thanks to all who responded with suggestions for graduate
conducting texts. The Max Rudolph book was the most frequently mentioned,
and it is coming out in a new edition, I believe. I am not going to use
it, however, because it does not adequately address choral conducting.
Likewise, the Decker/Kirk book (Focus on Communication) and the
Decker/Herford book (Choral Conducting: A Symposium) do not address
instrumental conducting enough.

I have not yet chosen a text, but the Elizabeth Green "The Modern
Conductor" appeals to me because it seems to address all the
necessary features of my course: both instrumental and choral conducting
AND rehearsal techniques.

Here, then, are the complete responses:


Brock McElheran wrote a book geared to beginners and
advanced. Oxford University Press. There is also the old Max Rudolf which
is coming out in a new edition. There really isn't a good
conducting text out there from what I can see, and I need one too, for this new
course they're offering here. You could also look at the Prausnitz
SCORE AND PODIUM from W.W. Norton.

Peter J. McCarthy


The Modern Conductor by Elizabeth Green is an excellent text that
coversbaton and rehearsal techniques as well as approaching the score.
Domingos Robinson


From: SVSTHP(a)

Thomas House Publications has 2 "supplementary" texts available.
A Conductor's Handbook: vol. 1--An Exercise manual for Individual
or Ensemble practice (patterns, etc.); vol 2--A Conductor's Alphabet (things
to decide in order to make better music).
If you'd like to see reference copies, check with your local
music supplier or contact our distributor Intrada at 800-INTRADA.

Vern Sanders


From: SBZBAIR(a)

Do you have the Conductor and His Score by Green/Malko, The
Dynamic Orch by Green, Scherchen's Handbook of Conducting, Leinsdorf's
Composer's Advocate, Casals and the Art of Interpretation by Blum?

Sheldon Bair


Have you considered using the "Choral Conducting; A Symposium",
ed by Harold Decker and Julius Herford? It has lots of good
information on a variety of subjects by a variety of authorities. I have never
seen it used as a graduate text, but it is certainly a wonderful

Todd M. Norton
University of Colorado, Boulder


From: Jeffrey Poland

May I suggest _Focus on Communication_ by Harold Decker and
Colleen Kirk.
Unfortunately, I'm at home and the book is in the office, so I
can't provide publisher, date, ISBN.


Max Rudolph's "The Grammer of Conducting" is/has been a great
resource. It is now in the thirs edition.
There is also a text co-written by Huntsinger(?) entitled "The
Art of Conducting" that is also very good.
I'm sorry that I don't have the publisher information.

Scott A. Houchins
Palm Beach Atlantic College


From: SteveKuja(a)

Prausnitz "Score and Podium" is very good book for graduate
conducting classes. I highly recommend it!

Steve Kujawa, Asst. Conductor
Symphony Chorus of New Orleans


From: Jonathan Baldwin

I don't recall the title, but my grad prof was high on Elizabeth
A. H. Green


From: Gary Weidenaar

I really am impressed with (and use daily) for my bands, the
Creative Director (Edward Lisk). In it he describes a comprehensive set
of music warm ups called the circle of fourths and the Grand Master Scale.
My average high school players play through all 12 major scales (the
3 enharmonic scales aren't doubled) with no problems. I've found
it to be a real creative way to build musicianship and teach basic theory to
the bands - and highly recommend it to any instrumental or choral


From: FordFred(a)

Although it is oriented entirely to instrumental conducting, I
still find Max Rudolf"s "The Grammar of Conducting" to be the most useful
reference on solid conducting technique. It is one of the few texts to deal
in detail with varied styles of beats, with differentiation of the right
and left hand, and application to hundreds of pertinent examples.
Frederic Ford
East Brunswick, NJ


From: JNJMuse(a)

The Grammar of Conducting by Max Rudolf, 3rd edition (c) 1994, is
hard to beat as a general text. Very little on choral (vocal) technique
but everything else is excellent. Published by Schirmer Books
ISBN 0-02-872221-3.
Jerry Jaco - jnjmuse(a)

Date: Wed, 11 Jun 1997 12:53:55 -0600
From: Susan McMane
Subject: Compilation of Conducting Texts

Here is a list of responses I received concerning conducting texts
listers used for undergraduate one semester course.

The most votes (3) goes to: The Choral Experience, Robinson/Winold
ISBN 0-88133-650-5

Next were: (with two votes each)
Focus on Communication, Decker

The Complete Conductor, Robert Demaree/Don Moses

Conducting Techniques for Beginner and Professionals,
McElheran, Brock

Other suggestions:


Max Rudolph

video: "Refine Your Conducting Technique" with Dr. Timothy Mount,
Santa Barbara Music

Choral Conducting, Abraham Kaplan

The Art of Conducting, 2nd ed., Hunsberger

Problems in Conducting, Daniel Moe

Conducting : A Leadership Teaching Approach, pub. by Mark Foster

The Conductor's Handbook, Vern Sanders

Thanks to all who responded. This was late in the season and I know
many of you are on break now, so I thank those of you who took the
time to reply.

Susan McMane

Date: Mon, 22 Jun 1998 09:38:36 -0600
From: Mel Unger
Subject: Re: Anthologies for Choral Conducting Class

Dear listers:

At the request of several colleagues, I am posting the results of my recent
request for choral conducting anthologies.

1. Samuel Adler, _Choral Conducting, An Anthology_ (New York: Holt,
Rinehart and Winston, 1971).

2. Lee Kjelson and James McCray, _The Conductor's Manual of Choral Music_
(Belwin Mills, 1973).

3. James McKelvy, _Music for Conducting Class_ (Champaign IL: Mark Foster,

4. Five Centuries of Choral Music, Vol I and II. (G. Schirmer) Hal Leonard.

Some of the above works may be available in more recent editions.

I also received several recommendations regarding choral conducting texts.
To my knowledge, however, none of them have music examples as extensive as
the above anthologies.

Mel Unger

after August 1/98
Baldwin-Wallace College
Berea, Ohio
Dr. Mel Unger
NAB College, Music Dept.
11525 - 23 Ave.
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
T6J 4T3
(403) 431-5216 (Office)
(403) 463-2576 (Home)
(403) 436-9416 (Fax)

Date: Thu, 23 Jul 1998 23:47:23 -0700
From: Lee & Susan Dengler
Subject: Summary - Conducting Textbook (long)

Here is the summary of responses to my original posting shown here.


I just found out that I am going to teach a course in Beginning
Conducting this fall. This will be a college level course for music
majors. The class will be no larger than 10 students. I have not taught
this course in the past so I am looking for your advice in regards to two

1. If you have taught a similar course, what textbook have you used and

2. Since the class is rather small there is not going to be a good
balance of voice parts and instrumentalists among the students to make up
an ensemble to conduct. What, in your view, are the pros and cons of
having a student conduct in class a live, but meger group as opposed to
conducting a professional recording?


My recommendations are to read "Evoking Sound" by James Jordan immediately
if you haven't already. I especially like where it begins - with
breathing, alignment, etc. - rather than with patterns. I would get a look
at Brian Busch's "The Complete Choral Conductor: gesture and method" as a
possible text along with Brock McElheran's standard "Conducting Technique:
for beginners and professionals."

I would strongly recommend using the class as its own lab choir regardles
of balance considerations. I would do a lot of unison singing. The longer
I teach the more strongly I believe that the most important thing for any
conductor - beginning or professional - is to have the sound image in the
inner ear and to find a way to become that sound through gesture.
Conducting a recording, while useful in some rare situations - perhaps for
variety - runs counter to that goal.

Good luck!

Dan Graves
Earlham College
Richmond, IN

In my experience conducting recordings doesn't accomplish much. Any
ensemble of any combination of voices and/or instruments can respond to most
conducting gestures for entrances, changes in dynamics, etc. Only with live
players/singers will you see if the student succeeded in communicating with
his or her gestures. (And,. if they don't, it will be painfully obvious, no
matter what the instrumentation.
Best of luck,
Steve Bruce

Avoid using recording for conducting because that way music take
controls of conductor. Choose your music carefully such that balance
will not be an obstacle to student conductors. Can try SSA, SAB or even
two parts songs such that balance of voice part will not bother you too
much. Occasionally you could invite outside singers to attend the class
and sing the SATB songs. Whatever it is you shouldn't use recording and
just let the students cope with the unbalance sound. Afterall when they
graduate, they might face the same problem in real life.

Nelson Kwei
Choral Director,
Victoria Chorale Singapore

I have never used it as a text but a book which was of great value to me when
I was just beginning was:
Choral Directing by Wilhelm Ehmann published byAugsburg in 1968

I took a summer course in conducting, where the (totally unbalanced)
group was made workable by volunteer singers who wanted to get
more sight reading & general musical experience. Maybe this could work
for you too?

Conducting to records really doesn't make any sense (in fact teachers
have always told me NEVER to do this because it gives you the wrong
idea about timing)): with live people you 'anticipate' and get direct
feedback whereas conducting a record could only help you with baton
technique. Conducting, IMO, is all about learning to communicate musical
ideas in a very clear and exact manner (so that people understand what
you want). So, try & get more people, or find pieces that will work with
the people you've got.

Kind regards,
Else Craigmore

I can only respond in reference to a conducting class I took in college. We
each took turns conducting the other students in the class, usually we all
conducted the same few pieces. There was a video camera in the class and we
brought our own tape. In the end it was a nice portfolio of our work and
growth. There is always an advantage to conducting a live group, as that first
downbeat is so important, if all you do is conduct a recording, you never have
that experience. Also, lower-classmen were also invited to sing for the class
to assist. When I was a freshman, sophomore, and junior, I learned so much by
singing for these classes that I went all the time.

Also, conducting students were given the opportunity to conduct the University
Choir and Orchestra. The students in the choir and orchestra gave feedback to
the conductors as to what they liked and what they didn't. That was very
helpful as well.

Hope this helps,

Sharon Schwanz

Although I have no training beyond my B.S., I have found Elizabeth
Green's The Modern Conductor to be an absolutely wonderful book. I
refer to it often. It gives solutions to every problematic entrance,
cut-off, fermata/cesura, everything. Even the psychological aspects of
conducting. It is so good, in fact, it sits on my nightstand. It is
fairly balanced between instrumental and choral.

I have the Fourth Edition, and I am almost certain there is a fifth out
now. It is 250+ pages, but is fairly expensive for it's size. However,
it is a worth-while investment for any serious student of conducting.
It is published by Prentice Hall. The ISBN # for the fourth edition is:
0-13-590183-9 01.

I had the advantage of taking conducting at two schools. I transfered,
and even though I tested out of all conducting at the second school, I
opted to take it for the varied experience. At the first, the prof.
used both recordings and the class. At the second, the prof. was
vehimately opposed to conducting to recordings. However, at the second,
we were allowed to conduct both the top band and the top choir as a part
of the experience.

The recordings were good in that it was possible to conduct genres that
were far past the availabilty of ensembles at the college. It's
difficult to conduct a recitative in a small conducting class, or a
cadenza to a concerto. However, if a student has trouble with
establishing control (especially of tempo), the recording will fall
short. The advantage of a live ensemble is that it gives students a
realistic view of the results of their conducting. If they are giving
two preps (which was common in most of my classmates), they can
immediately see the results in the tentative ensemble. Other bad habits
also become immediately apparent, especially if the "ensemble" follows
the conductor to the "T" and doesn't bury their respective noses in the

I hope my opions (based on limited knowledge) are helpful. I will
eventually be teaching conducting at the college level as well. Any
advice on where to go to Grad school?!

Garrett W. Lathe
Choir Director
Bagley High School, MN

My conducting class only had five people, but all we did was live conducting.
Having live immediate feedback is invaluable. We had to find out how to evoke
the desired response from real musicians...Sound was irrelevant. We also had
an accomplished pianist for all classes. For me, conducting live was terribly

Good luck on the new class.

I use the Elizabeth Green Modern Conducting.....expensive, but a comprehensive
book for conducting.

I think that real conducting HAS to be done for part of the time simply
because students have to know whether anyone responds to their gestures.
Conducting from recording is ok for part of the time, but there needs to be
some conducting of real performers, no matter how few.

Just my thoughts!

Nancy Cobb
Oklahoma Baptist University

In response to your question below, I have not taught a conducting class,
but have taken part in some - no specific textbook. A limited number of
voices could be helpful to do creative voicing. Directing "live" voices
would be far better than a recording. A recording would cause the director
to "follow" rather than lead, yes?

Lois Yale

I know it sounds self-serving, but since you are teaching conducting for
the first time to a small class, I really think you might be interested in
my little book published by Mark Foster entitled "Choral Conducting: A
Leadership Teaching Approach." This is not a textbook for the students,
but something to benefit the teacher of the introductory course. There
are lots of textbooks out there, and many good ones. An excellent, new
one is by Robert Demaree and Don Moses, and is adaptable for many kinds of
situations. Have fun! - Harriet Simons

Harriet R. Simons
(Director of Choruses)
(University at Buffalo,NY)
3802 Lakebriar Dr.
Boulder, CO 80304
Phone: 303/442-2184

There was a question about conducting textbooks on choralist not
long ago. You might see whether you could get copies of that. I
recommend Brock McElheran's _Conducting Technique_, Oxford, as a good
basic text. A good choral conducting anthology is Samual Adler's
_Choral Conducting: an Anthology_. It also has basic techniques
outlined in the opening chapter.

Susan Marrier
Lakehead University
Thunder Bay, Ontario Canada

Just finished teaching a small college condcuting class last
semester at Providence College. There were five students but we did sing
for each other almost every day. Many assignments were given that used
recordings, however. But the best experiences came from lab session which
I scheduled for them with the Concert Band and Concert Chorale. We video
taped these sessions and even used two sessions as their final exam grade.
They had to prepare the rehearsals they condcuted showing their complete
plan and we watched the videos together togather feedback,
I used the text Evoking Sound by James Jordan from Westminster,
It's a fantastic and current text but is more geared toward choral
conducting. The information, however, was valuable for instrumental or
choral conductors. I also used the Max Rudolf which is completely
technical but a good "bible" for conductors.
Good luck! It's a great course to teach. You'll enjoy it.

Michele Holt

Dr. Michele M. Holt e-mail: holtm(a)
Director of Choral Activities
Providence College
Providence, RI

> 1. If you have taught a similar course, what textbook have you used and
> why.
> 2. Since the class is rather small there is not going to be a good
> balance of voice parts and instrumentalists among the students to make up
> an ensemble to conduct. What, in your view, are the pros and cons of
> having a student conduct in class a live, but meger group as opposed to
> conducting a professional recording?
> Thanks to all who can help! I will post a summary to the list.
> Lee Dengler+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

I have not found an all-inclusive conducting text that, in my
estimation, satisfies the needs of our students. I use several
reference sources such as the McElheran book, which is an excellent
text, and several other sources from which the students are to obtain
information. I feel that beginning conductors need a well-founded
fundamentals base> before they conduct tunes,etc. After many years of
teaching conducting -among them, basic conducting- I have compiled
exercises,etc. from many sources- my own; several from one of my
university professors who was a student of Elizabeth A. H. Green;
and many others. Over the years, I have eliminated those exercises which
simply took up space on the page; those which were not as effective as I
had hoped and retained and added only those that "cut-to-the-chase".

I would be happy to share my materials with you if you wish.

With regard to your second question: I cannot think of any reason for a
conducting student to gesture to any recording-professional of otherwise.
As you know, the recording is "set" and regardless of what the student
does nothing will change. I find that the students are far better off
conducting a quartet, whether it be choral or instrumental, than a "fixed"
recording. Even a solo-inst or vocal with piano accomp. is a possibility.
I've used that combination-= it's certainly not ideal, but it can work.

Well, I provided far more than you perhaps bargained for, but the price
was right. You need not use my response in a general compilation--I did
not rediscover the wheel.

I wish you well,


========================Charles E. Ruzicka, D.M.A.
Professor of Music
Director of Choral Music
Moorhead State University
Moorhead, MN 56563
218.236.4098 [studio]
218.236.2168 [FAX] Attn:"Charles E. Ruzicka"

Just back from a week in Boston, and in response to many requests, I am
happy to post this compilation of responses I received following my inquiry
about beginning conducting texts for a junior college. Thanks again to all
of you who responded. I posted my inquiry to both Choralist and
Orchestralist, since the class will introduce students to both instrumental
and choral conducting issues. Some of the suggested texts are slanted more
toward one or the other, but here they are, and unless otherwise noted, any
commentaries are by those who responded:

Many people mentioned
Elizabeth Green's "The Modern Conductor" (Prentice-Hall)
Max Rudolph's "The Grammar of Conducting" (Schirmer Books)
Donald Hunsberger's "The art of conducting" (Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.)
Brock McElheran "Conducting Technique" (Oxford) (said to be cheap, $20 or

The following were also mentioned by at least one respondent:

Robert Demaree "The Complete Conductor" (Prentice-Hall)
Allan Ross "Techniques for beginning conductors" (Wadsworth)
Stanton, "The Dynamic Choral Conductor" (Shawnee Press)
Robert L. Garretson, "Conducting Choral Music" (Prentice-Hall 1988)
Abraham Kaplan, "Choral Conducting" ("excellent excellent text!")
Decker & Kirk, "Choral Conducting: Focus on Communication"
Samuel Adler, "Choral Conducting: An Anthology 2d edition"
Hideo Saito, "The Saito Conducting Method" (trans Fumihiko Torigai)

Finally, I got two useful posts which I'll quote at length, to which I hope
the authors will not object:

>From Bruce Dunn: (snip snip...) "I must add that I do not use any of the
published texts because I don't generally agree with the way beat patterns
are presented and the books are too damned expensive to inflict on students.
Yes, these books have value, but a one-off course in basic elements of
conducting does not require a complete analysis of the art.... I do use a
text - a pamphlet I put together myself based on the learning method devised
by Hideo Saito."

>From Thom Proctor at Warner Bros.:
Dear Mr. Kent:
We have two books and videos available:
Conducting: A Hands-On Approach is by Anthony Maiello and music examples by
Jack Bullock. It is a 232 page soft cover book which includes an audio CD
with all of the music examples recorded so a student can practice conducting
with the music. All of the music examples are in the book in score form so
students can perform the examples in class with almost any combination of
instruments: C, B-flat, E-flat, Alto Clef, F, Bass Clef, and piano. The book
has a special binding called Otobind which helps it to lie flat. There is
also a supplemental video in which Anthony Maiello emphasizes some of the
aspects of conducting from the book and also some of the music examples.
Anthony Maiello is Professor of Music and Director of Instrumental Studies
at George Mason University, director of the wind ensemble and symphonic
band, and symphony orchestra. The book and CD (SB3017CD, ISBN 1-57623-453-3)
cost is $49.95. The video (SB3017V, ISBN 1-57623-452-5 ) is $24.95.

The Art of Conducting Technique, A New Perspective by Harold Farberman is a
289 page book, and has a supplemental video emphasizing various aspects of
conducting from the book. " When a conductor is ready to perform publicly,
his or her preparation is generally the culmination of a three-step process:
(1) Learning the score; (2) Devising a technique to convey that knowledge to
the orchestra; (3) Conducting the music in rehearsal. The Art of Conducting
Technique focuses on step two and is written for beginning conductors, as
well as practicing professionals." There are 152 figures (illustrations) and
121 music examples, including extensive analyses of the four movements of
Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring Second Part,
"The Sacrifice", and Mozart's Die Zauberflote Overture. Harold Farberman is
the founder and director of the widely acclaimed Conductor's Institute, a
summer conducting program at the Hartt School now in its second decade, and
is Professor of Conducting at the Hartt School. He founded the Conductor's
Guild in 1976 and served two terms as its first president. The book
(EL96104, ISBN 1-57623-730-3) is $49.95. The video (EL96104V) is $29.95. If
you would like a desk copy of either book, please fax a request on College
letterhead to 305-621-1094 to my attention. Thank you for your interest in
our products.

*** end of compilation ***

Thanks again to all who responded.
Larry Kent
Tampa FL

Get Free Email and Do More On The Web. Visit

Dear List,

Several of you asked for a compilation of responses regarding choral
conducting texts. Here's what I received. Thanks to all who contributed.

#* = # of recommendations

5* The Modern Conductor, Elizabeth Green, Prentice Hall
4* Basic Techniques, K. Phillips
3* Choral Conducting, Focus on Communication, Decker and Kirk, Waveland
2* Conducting Technique, Brock McElheran, Oxford

Other texts mentioned once:

Choral Conducting: A Leadership Teaching Apporach, H. Simons, Shawnee
The Complete Conductor, Demaree and Moses, Prentice Hall
The Complete Choral Conductor, B. Busch, Schirmer
A Conductor's Handbook and A Conductor's Alphabet, Thomas House Publish.
Basic Choral Concepts, Daniel Moe
Choral Conducting: A Symposium, Decker and Herford
The Grammar of Conducting, Max Rudolph, Schirmer
The Art of Conducting, Hunsberger, McGraw Hill
The Choral Experience, Robinson, Winold
Choral Conducting, A. Kaplan, Norton
Choral Conducting, Garretson
Problems in Conducting, Daniel Moe
The Conductor's Manual of Choral Music, Kjelson and McCray, Belwin

Hope this is helpful.


Pattye Casarow
Dear Colleagues,

Thanks so much for all of your responses to my recent post regarding your
favorite textbook for teaching beginning conducting. There are nine good
books here; all worthy of our consideration. I've summarized the responses
below, and follow the summary with the actual responses. My notations are
in parentheses, bold and italic.


Dave Gardner


(4 times) "The Modern Conductor" by Elizabeth Green and Mark Gibson

(3 times) "The Art of Conducting" by Donald Hunsberger and Roy Ernst

(twice) "Conducting Technique" by Brock McElheran

(once) "Face to Face with an Orchestra" by Don Moses, Robert Demaree, Jr.,
and Allen Ohmes (used in conjunction with the Green book for a Masters level

(once) "Evoking Sound" James Jordon (and accompanying video)

(once) "Learning to Conduct and Rehearse" by Daniel L. Kohut and Joe W.

Prentice Hall--ISBN# 0-13-52676

(once) "The Complete Conductor" by Robert Demaree, and Don Moses (but see
entry at bottom of compilation)

(once) "A Conductor's Lexicon: Resources for Basic Conducting Study" by Tim

(once) "Basic Conducting Techniques" by Joseph Labuta

And here are the actual recommendations, with the responders' comments:

none better than green/gibson


Hunsburger- The Art of Conducting

Great for both choral and orchestral, great excerpts, etc. Really worth a
close look.


I have no idea if it is still in print, as I bought my copy in the

late 1970s, but I always liked Brock McEleheran's Conducting

Technique For Beginners and Professionals, which was published by

Oxford back in the sixties (the original copyright date is 1964). It

has a very common sense approach and is equally applicable to choral

and instrumental conducting.


No textbooks to recommend really, well, other than the Green but I'm sure
you already have that well in mind. (I do remember how useful it was when I
was an undergrad long ago, for both instrumental and choral



From my perspective Brock McEleheran's CONDUCTING TECHNIQUE is the

best, no nonsense, basic conducting book one can use. It's

inexpensive too.


The Art of Conducting by Donald Hunsberger and Roy Ernst is great.


Hello. I can't tell you as a teacher, but as a conducting master's student,
we used the Green (2nd ed.) and the newer edition of Face to Face w/an
Orchestra (Demaree, Moses, Ohmes). Hope this helps


I've been very pleased with The Art of Conducting, 2nd ed., by Hunsberger
and Ernst, McGraw-Hill Inc. with my class of instrumental and

vocal majors. Lots of examples. Addresses concerns of singers and

instrumentalists. I've used it for Beginning Conducting class for the

past seven or eight years.


Definitely consider Elizabeth Green's The Modern Conductor. The Seventh
Edition was published in 2004. Good luck in your search


I use the Jordan Evoking Sound book and the accompanying Video. Most of the
other texts begin with patterns and pattern maps and I want my students to
think about sound first. One thing I've learned from bitter experience,
most of them do not really know how to look at a piece of music, much less
how to rehearse. I try to build that in.


A text that I have found quite useful for the type of class you describe
(beginning conducting with both vocal and instrumental needs) and have used
for over 10 years myself is:

Learning to Conduct and Rehearse--Daniel L. Kohut and Joe W. Grant

Prentice Hall--ISBN# 0-13-52676


I teach a combined beginning conducting as well. I use Joseph Labuta's

"Basic Conducting Techniques" and am very happy with its focused and

methodical approach.


At the risk of scandalous self-promotion, allow me to introduce my book, A
Conductor's Lexicon: Resources for Basic Conducting Study, which I have
published with my own small firm, Highlands House Music Publishers.

I have taught basic conducting (for both instrumental and choral folks)
here at Samford University for more than twenty-five years. In that time I
have used other standard texts (Rudolf, and more recently Green), but the
outrageous costs of textbooks forced me to put my own method into print (for
a lot cheaper price!). You can see a contents page at my website ( ) by clicking on the "Lexicon" logo. It's not fancy, but
it gets the job done with my students (and those of a few others) at a
fraction of the cost.


As a college instructor let me warn you about prices on any kind of
conducting textbooks. The best book for what you are seeking is the The
Complete Conductor by Demaree and

Moses and I have used it for several years. It is well-written and
comprehensive coverage of both instrumental and vocal conducting and styles.
That being said, I will no longer use it because of my recent experience
with Prentice hall, the publisher of this book. When I required it for my
conducting class this past year, I was shocked to find students being
required to pay nearly $120 in our bookstore for a paperback edition of this
book. this is not a revised version, but the same book that was first
published about 10 years ago. I went online and found that even at Amazon
and other online stores, the book was being sold for over $110, so I knew
the problem was not with my bookstore.

I contacted Prentice Hall and they discovered that the price was indeed out
of line, but they offered no assistance to me or my students and I have
since decided to purchase no more textbooks from that publisher - even if it
means restructuring my curriculum and ceasing to purchase what I consider to
be the best book available for conducting (I used it for both basic and
advanced conducting. I cannot do business with a company that really gouged
my students and then did nothing to correct the situation.

Texbook prices are a major concern to me now and I work hard to limit the
cost and number of books I have my students purchase. My suggestion is to
buy this book for your library and a copy for your reserve but don't give
Prentice hall your business. I have seen their prices generally and they
are higher than what I consider to be reasonable.

Seek other publishers and you will find good alternatives. We all need to
be better shoppers and force publishers to re-evaluate their pricing.

David B. Gardner, DMA

Assistant Professor of Music,

Director of Choirs

Southwestern College

Darbeth Fine Arts Center

100 College Street

Winfield, Kansas 67156

(620) 229-6302

(800) 846-1543 ext. 6302 nationwide toll free

(316) 220-2600 ext. 6302 toll free from Wichita