Classical Symphony Orchestras โ€“ Do They Need Conductors?

โ€œA man who wants to lead the orchestra must turn his back on the crowd.โ€ โ€“ Max Lucado

My paraphrase: Whatever it is you wish to accomplish in life, you must ignore the naysayers.

What Is A Classical Symphony Orchestra?


Of course, when we think of the word โ€˜classical โ€˜ our musical minds go back to the classical period (1775-1825).

Whereas classical music refers to a particular genre or style of music the term itself is broadly used to describe all types of orchestral music.

Some of the greatest composers and masterminds of that period include Joseph Haydn, Wolfgang A. Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven and Franz Schubert.

So, what is a Classical as opposed to Symphony orchestra?

Classical vs. Symphony Orchestra

A classical orchestra is considered to be smaller than a symphony orchestra and has fewer instruments.

A symphony orchestra, meanwhile, is a large classical orchestra, consisting of a mixture of instruments, inclusive of percussion, double bass, woodwinds, and strings family.


The Amazing One-Man Band

According to Wikipedia, a one-man band (or woman) is a musician who plays a number of instruments simultaneously using his hands, feet, limbs or other body parts.

You have probably heard about an amazing one-man-band street performer (Cigo man band.)ย  ย  ย  ย 

Apparently, this guy, a singer, accompanies himself on the acoustic guitar, with a harmonica strapped below his mouth. He also has a flute or clarinet attached to his neck with cymbals between the knees. Additionally, a bass drum is attached to his back triggered by a pedal tied to his feet.
How he moves about and performs is truly remarkable, but, additionally, he has tambourines and maracas attached to his limbs.

He walks the streets displaying his talents, and patrons reward him with monetary donations gifts in a special pouch extending from his neck.

Whatโ€™s more, one-band men (and women) are becoming more and more commonplace worldwide.


Throughout the years, the music industry has produced many great, world famous multi-instrumentalist.
Take the renowned Prince for example. He is reported to have played over 27 musical instruments, all really well.
These include clavinet, percussion, saxophone, harmonica, piano, keyboard, drums, and the beat goes on.

Watch the conductor

The story is told of Joshua Bell, one of the worldโ€™s most prominent violinist and conductor. Renowned for his passion, and multi-faceted musical interest, Joshua has a very unusual way of conducting his 44-member chamber orchestra.

Rather than waving a baton, he directs when playing his own violin, by sending signals and direction that orchestra understands. For instance, every dip in his violin, raise in his eyebrow or the way he draws the bow, communicates the sound heโ€™s looking for.

Winner of many awards including Grammy, he is also a soloist, chamber musician and recording artist. He won an Oscar for his soundtrack, the Red Violin, one of over 40 CDโ€™s he has recorded. Joshua is an outspoken advocate for classical music and a strong proponent of musical education in the classrooms.

To Conduct Or Not To Conductย 

Do orchestras really need conductors?

Are conductors merely overpaid showman stealing the performerโ€™s thunder by their arm-waving, body twisting antics?

Canโ€™t the band members read and interpret the music themselves?

Yes, an orchestra can, in theory, keep time without a conductor.

However, despite the fact that conductorless orchestras are becoming more commonplace, research suggests that there is, indeed,ย  a โ€ฆ

Need For A Conductor

  • Without a conductor, there is the temptation of each band member to interpret the music for himself, thus creating disharmony and timing issues.
  • Synchronize the movements of all band members particularly in large orchestras where there is a time-lag in sound from the back to the front of the players.
  • A scientific study revealed that a conductorโ€™s influence over the players is tremendous. Orchestras with conductors produced an overall much more delightful performance than those without.

What do you think?



Hope this article has helped you in some way. Your questions, comments, and suggestions are always greatly appreciated. Please leave me a comment below.

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Sources: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

The Cavan Project

Seattle Symphony

NPR Classical

Classical Acoustic-Electric Guitar โ€“ Review

Classical Acoustic-Electric Guitar / My Review

โ€œThe guitar is the easiest instrument to play, and the hardest to play well.โ€ โ€“ Andres Segovia.

Brief History Of The Guitar

We owe the name โ€˜guitarโ€™ (kithara) to the ancient Greeks, although its existence in some form predates recorded history.

Carved images of stringed guitar-like instruments can be traced as far back as 3,000 years ago during the Mesopotamian and Babylonian empires.

Guitar Cousins & Ancestors

Two musical instruments, the European Lute and the Arabian Oud, were most important in guitarโ€™s history and development. These instruments are often referred to as the cousins of the guitar, according to scholars.

Since then the instrument has traveled across all continents, countries, and cultures which have greatly influenced its development.

The Classical Guitar

The classical guitar is often called the first modern guitar in history, thanks primarily to Antonio de Torres Jurado (1817 โ€“ 1892)

Antonio -de-torres

*Antonio Torres was a Spanish guitarist and luthier who has been described as โ€œthe most important guitar maker of the 19th century.โ€

He is the credited most for the development of the modern classical guitar. His design of the classical guitar was far superior to any known at the time and has become the standard for acoustic guitars today.

Another influential Spanish guitarist, Andres Segovia improvised upon Torresโ€˜ classical guitar to the point where it is now used as a concert instrument.

Classical Acoustic-Electrical Guitars / Distinction

Since we are reviewing a Classical Acoustic-Electrical guitar, it behooves us to know the distinguishing feature(s)

Whereas shapes and sizes are ever evolving, the most obvious difference between the three guitars are the strings.

While acoustic and electrical guitars use steel strings, Classical guitar use nylon strings.

Another important distinction is in the production of sound. Both the Classical and Acoustic guitars produce sound by the vibration of the strings through their bodies.

However, with the electric guitar, the stringโ€™s vibration is routed via a cable into an amplifier. Without an amplifier, you will be unable to hear the sound.

2nd Most Popular Musical Instrument

The twentieth century saw the transitioning of the classical guitar from a background musical instruments to the forefront.

From its humble beginning some 3500 years, the guitar is widely acclaimed as the second most popular instrument in the world. Second only, that is, to the piano.

Ibanez AEG10N11 Grand Concert Classical Acoustic โ€“ Electrical Guitar

Looking for an exceptional Grand Concert Classical Acoustic-Electric Guitar at a great price?

The Ibanez AEG10N11 may be what you are looking for.

This gem combines a classical guitar styling with an acoustic-electric grand concert body.

The slim body facilitates easy playing and a clear, rich sound. It has a spruce top with mahogany back and sides,

and includes a built-in tuner and a Sonicare Fishermanโ€™s pickup.

Choice of two colors Black and Tangerine.

Product Overview

PRODUCT: Ibanez AEG10N11 Grand Classical Concert Acoustic-Electric Guitar

PRICE: $299.99

CHEAPEST PLACE TO BUY: ZZounds.comย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย 

USER RATING: * * * * *ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย 


FEATURES: * * * * *

QUALITY: * * * * *

SOUND: * * * * *

VALUE: * * * * *

EASE OF USE: * * * * *

WOW FACTOR: * * * * *

Warranty: 1-year warranty on NEW instruments from original purchaser withย proof of purchase.

My Conclusion

This guitar is not recommended for entry-level guitarists, but for the more mature guitarists. The entry-level guitarist may click here to for My Review: Best Acoustic Guitars For Beginners Or Old Pro.

Sure, there are many more comparable Grand Classical Concert Acoustic-Electric Guitars on the market, but if you want value for money, the Ibanez AEG10N11 is hard to beat.ย 


Has this review been helpful? Please leave your questions or comments below.


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Sources: Guitar History Facts 2017 *Wikipedia, the free Encyclopediaโ€

History Of The Guitar October 2016

Liberty Park Music