Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)



Committee Chair

Thomas V. Fraschillo

Committee Chair Department


Committee Member 2

Joseph Brumbeloe

Committee Member 2 Department


Committee Member 3

Gregory Fuller

Committee Member 3 Department


Committee Member 4

Chris Goertzen

Committee Member 4 Department



The purpose of the dissertation was to provide a comparative guide of conducting textbooks for conducting teachers and students. In order not to replicate M. Johnson's (1967) dissertation only instrumental conducting textbooks available to conducting teachers and students between 1967 and 1997 were considered. The survey determined that the most common area emphasized by textbook authors was physical movement. Six textbooks by the following authors were selected for comparison of approaches to physical movement: E. A.H. Green (1997), D. Hunsberger and R. E. Ernst (1992), D. Kohut and J. W. Grant (1990), J. A. Labuta (1995), B. McElheran (1989), and M. Rudolf (1994).

Authors' approaches to baton grips, beat patterns, dynamics, expressive gestures, changing tempo, cuing, left hand, preparatory and release motions, holds and fermatas, and body language were examined along with related warm-up, conducting, and diagnostic skills exercises. Methodology of approach and emphasis on specific techniques were compared and analyzed. An extensive annotated bibliography was included of all instrumental conducting textbooks surveyed between 1967 and 1997.

The author of the dissertation noted areas of strong agreement and disagreement among texts. He concluded that the six textbooks compared served specific types of students based on their educational level, ability, number of students enrolled in the class, course requirements, additional resources available to both the instructor and students, one- or two-semester sequence, and personal preferences of the instructor.