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Conducting requires dynamic interpretation in order to convey meaning and intention. Without proper interpretation, a piece of music could lack meaning to the audience and the performer, thereby not accomplishing its original intention. Every piece of music has a specific desired meaning that the composer has in mind to convey to the audience. The interpreted compositions being performed by conductors in recent times have been distorted to the audience as the conductor–performer could not meaningfully penetrate deeply into the composer's ideas and emotional intentions. The writer aimed to strike a balance between the composers' and the conductor's views by embracing an interpretive approach to conducting selected choral works to realize the composer's intentions. The significant interest of the writer is to explore the techniques of musical response in choral music performance and examine the interpretive approach to conducting African choral works: A conductor's task. The interpretative approach in conducting African choral works in this study is limited to realizing the composer's intentions. The purpose is to provide helpful information on this prolific figure in the music ministry, especially now that he is still alive. The paper, hinged on the Theory of Interpretation by Richard Wagner (1868), employed a bibliography and oral interview as primary data collection; the writer also used secondary sources such as books, journals, the internet, etc. The study underscores the art of directing/conducting, interpretation, elements of interpretation in conducting, and score preparation/study. Findings reveal that meaningful interpretation of African music depends on the director's ability to capture the mood of the music, the shape of dynamics, colour of tone, drive the rhythm, express the form, and most importantly, develop an inner sense to read into the mind of the composers. Therefore, reaching excellence in conducting African choral music in performance requires expertise in score reading and adequate interpretation of each African choral piece, studying and teaching new pieces. Based on the findings, the study recommends, among others, that the school of music should develop a curriculum that emphasizes meaningful interpretations of African music in a performance. Scholars and researchers in the art of conducting should still explore studies in the proper application of score studies towards realizing a meaningful insight into the composer's mind in a performance.


Interpretation conducting choral music African conductors

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How to Cite
Odusanya, O. S., & G. Idọlọr , E. (2023). Interpretive Approach to Conducting African Choral Works: A Conductors Task. CENTRAL ASIAN JOURNAL OF ARTS AND DESIGN, 4(10), 36-48. Retrieved from


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