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Rehearsals of four outstanding choral conductors were examined to isolate techniques used and time spent in developing choral tone. Participants included four collegiate choral conductors who have been identified as experts in the field of choral music as evidenced by national and international acclaim. Video data were collected over the course of two semesters in three distinct settings: a state level honor choir, a collegiate choir, and a community choir. Two hours of unscripted rehearsals in each setting were recorded, and video footage was edited into five-minute rehearsal segments. Observed rehearsal behaviors were coded into three categories of tone building technique: verbal, nonverbal and vocal model. Video data were analyzed using SCRIBE observation software (Duke & Stammen, 2007) and time spent in each technique was recorded. Additional analysis garnered frequencies of verbal and vocal model types, i.e., technical or figurative language and exemplar or non-exemplar models. Findings indicated significant differences in time spent developing tone between settings as well as between verbal and vocal model types. While Conductors B and C had no statistical differences between time spent in each setting, Conductor A had significant differences between all combinations of settings, and Conductor D had significant differences between the honor choir and community choir settings, as well as between the honor choir and the collegiate choir settings. Significant differences were also found between verbal types for Conductors B and C in the collegiate choir setting, and Conductor D in the community choir setting. No significant differences between vocal model types were found in Conductor A in the collegiate choir or Conductor D in the community choir. However, all other cases yielded significantly more exemplar vocal models. Recommendations for further research were made and implications for practicing choral music educators and teacher certification programs were discussed.
A Dissertation submitted to the College of Music in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Includes bibliographical references.
Judy Bowers, Professor Directing Dissertation; Roy Delp, University Representative; Alice-Ann Darrow, Committee Member; John Geringer, Committee Member; André J. Thomas, Committee Member.
Florida State University
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