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The Score, the Orchestra, and the Conductor Paperback – August 26, 2009

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (August 26, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195326369
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195326369
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 1 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #421,308 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"As a student of Gustav Meier, I was enormously inspired and impressed by his knowledge and unwavering commitment to the music. Reading this book, I am once again equally inspired and impressed. Gustav Meier is brilliant and clearly one of the leading conducting teachers in the world; his book is chock-full of invaluable information."--Marin Alsop, Music Director Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Music Director, Cabrillo Music Festival

"Many times I've been able to get Gustie on the phone whenever I've found myself stuck and couldn't figure out how to conduct my way through a thorny passage. Now that I have his book, I'll still give him a try on the phone, but if I can't reach him, I'll know here I can get the answers I'm looking for. Thank you Gustie for sharing your vast knowledge of the the art of conducting with the world. Your student, Bobby McFerrin."

"With its myriad examples from the standard repertoire both symphonic and operatic, Gustav Meier's book is an indispensable tool for conductors aspiring and professional alike on all aspects of this mysterious craft.--Anthonio Pappano, Music Director, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and Music Director, Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia

"The lessons within the pages of The Score, the Orchestra, and the Conductor are highly useful...A welcome addition to our library." --Kevin McMahon, Podium Notes

"An important addition to the conducting reference library." --Music Educators Journal

About the Author

Gustav Meier is the director of the Orchestra Conducting Program at the Peabody Institute and Music Director of the Greater Bridgeport Symphony Orchestra in Connecticut. He has served on the faculties of Yale University, the Eastman School of Music, the University of Michigan and the Tanglewood Music Center. He makes regular appearances as guest conductor and teacher of conducting master classes in Europe, South and Central America, China, Canada, and throughout the United States.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 7 customer reviews
The book I found on the Internet at son's recommendation.
Davor Dobrijevic
This book is well writen and provides some new insight into conducting and studying a score.
Geoffrey B. Neuman
Cues - This book is worth buying just from the section on cuing.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Elle on November 17, 2009
Format: Paperback
Conducting is one of the most difficult things to study, and nothing is more valuable than getting in front of an orchestra and just doing it. Unfortunately, that isn't an opportunity that most people have, so it's incredibly valuable to watch and read about the technique of more experienced conductors. Meier's text is incredibly useful for that purpose- he goes through various excerpts of musical literature and writes out suggested ways to conduct them. Such examples include a good section on preparatory beats and different ways of delivering them, cutoffs, and cueing. His system of symbols and beat patterns might be confusing at first, but are definitely worth investing time into in order to receive the "aha" moments.

The book is divided into several chapters, but I found the chapters on beating and preparing the orchestra to be most useful. However, there is also a substantial area devoted to different assignments of the orchestra and the benefits of each layout which I haven't encountered as thoroughly in many conducting books, and this text is probably worth buying just for Meier's comments on different orchestral setups.

Highly recommended.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By KSHomma on January 22, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is the best resource on conducting. You must have a small knowledge of technique, but thankfully this book is not about that. It's about how to interpret, prepare, and rehearse scores like a pro in the most efficient way possible. Meier has an extensive system of shorthand notation that occur throughout the book. These notations can be applied to any score you are going to conduct, and if you gain familiarity with his notation, you will be able to save hours of time in rehearsal and also in independent practice. The amount of time it takes to learn the shorthand is very minimal, and it will save you maximal amounts of time. Here are the best sections of the book in my opinion and why:

Preparatory Beats - while anyone who has studied conducting technique will find this trivial, there are example preparatory beats of almost every type, from recitative, to huge orchestral tutti, to solo instruments. This book has them all written out in score form, cited, and explained. Meier explains why the passages are prepped the way they are, and additional suggestions on certain passages. His system of notating how to beat these passages is confusing at first, but if you use your logic, you will begin to understand very quickly that it is a very efficient and helpful notation. These notations can even be marked in the score.

Score Preparation - This is the most important activity a conductor can spend his/her time on. Meier has an entire method on how to mark scores with regard to phrasings, orchestration, important parts, which instruments should be cued and which ones can function on their own. If you follow his advice, you will be able to conduct some of the more difficult scores in a fraction of the time you would have spend trying to memorize these things.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By David C. Bugli on February 2, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Gustav Meier's book has very detailed ideas about baton technique, and he deals with many situations. There are plenty of examples from the standard repertoire on how to cue entrances and how to start a composition or movement. His style of baton movement notation was new to me, so it will probably best for readers to familiarize themselves with his notation. Without doing this step, someone picking up the book in the first 60 pages would get some wrong ideas of what he was recommending. I liked some of the visual cues that he suggests putting in one's score, especially those related to cuing the woodwinds and the strings. The index in the back points to problems and opportunities in standard repertoire, and this can be handy when one is learning a new piece and just refreshing their approach to a piece one has done before. I found four or five "gems" like this related to a piece that I am preparing for performance after a 10-year hiatus. This book is well worth the cost.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Northwest native on November 17, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book, written by a master conductor, came as advertised and I am very pleased with it. Its good condition makes it appropriate as a gift to my best music student who may go on, helped by the information in the book, to be a stellar conductor himself.
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