Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Fine Arts


Music Performance

First Advisor

Prof. John Nardolillo


We can observe the conductor’s work at his performances and rehearsals. However, we cannot see the process of score preparation from the time they get the score to the downbeat of the first rehearsal because the conductor does this work alone. This dissertation discusses the debate among conductors past and present about whether, when, and how to use recordings as part of the score preparation. It considers the advantages and disadvantages of using recordings in the score preparation process. I conducted several types of research on the use of recordings by living conductors. I interviewed conductors using Skype and phone conversations, email correspondence, and in-person interviews. I found information online, and in books and magazine articles. This dissertation recounts these conductors’ methods of learning scores with and without listening to recordings and answers the following questions:

What are conductors specifically interested in when listening to recordings?

How did conductors from the past learn the scores when the recordings did not exist, or when they were not widely available?

Do conductors use recordings to learn the score?

How do conductors use the recordings in their score learning process?

The research presented within begins to answer the questions about learning scores, an important process for all conductors.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)