Conducting is the art of directing a musical performance, such as an orchestral or choral concert. It has been defined as "the art of directing the simultaneous performance of several players or singers by the use of gesture."[1] The primary duties of the conductor are to interpret the score in a way which reflects the specific indications in that score, set the tempo, ensure correct entries by ensemble members, and "shape" the phrasing where appropriate.[2] Conductors communicate with their musicians primarily through hand gestures, usually with the aid of a baton, and may use other gestures or signals such as eye contact.[3] A conductor usually supplements their direction with verbal instructions to their musicians in rehearsal.[3]

The conductor typically stands on a raised podium with a large music stand for the full score, which contains the musical notation for all the instruments or voices. Since the mid-19th century, most conductors have not played an instrument when conducting, although in earlier periods of classical music history, leading an ensemble while playing an instrument was common. In Baroque music from the 1600s to the 1750s, the group would typically be led by the harpsichordist or first violinist (see concertmaster), an approach that in modern times has been revived by several music directors for music from this period. Conducting while playing a piano or synthesizer may also be done with musical theatre pit orchestras. Communication is typically non-verbal during a performance (this is strictly the case in art music, but in jazz big bands or large pop ensembles, there may be occasional spoken instructions, such as a "count in"). However, in rehearsals, frequent interruptions allow the conductor to give verbal directions as to how the music should be played or sung.

Conductors act as guides to the orchestras or choirs they conduct. They choose the works to be performed and study their scores, to which they may make certain adjustments (such as in tempo, articulation, phrasing, repetitions of sections), work out their interpretation, and relay their vision to the performers. They may also attend to organizational matters, such as scheduling rehearsals,[4] planning a concert season, hearing auditions and selecting members, and promoting their ensemble in the media. Orchestras, choirs, concert bands and other sizable musical ensembles such as big bands are usually led by conductors.

Bundesarchiv Bild 183-R92264, Herbert von Karajan
Herbert von Karajan conducting in 1941
Steven Sametz conducting, cropped
Steven Sametz conducting the Lehigh University Choir without a baton


The principal conductor of an orchestra or opera company is sometimes referred to as a music director or chief conductor, or by the German words Kapellmeister or Dirigent. Conductors of choirs or choruses are sometimes referred to as choral director, chorus master, or choirmaster, particularly for choirs associated with an orchestra. Conductors of concert bands, military bands, marching bands and other bands may hold the title of band director, bandmaster, or drum major. Respected senior conductors are sometimes referred to by the Italian word, maestro, which translates as "master" or "teacher".[5]


Middle Ages to 18th century

An early form of conducting is cheironomy, the use of hand gestures to indicate melodic shape. This has been practiced at least as far back as the Middle Ages. In the Christian church, the person giving these symbols held a staff to signify his role, and it seems that as music became rhythmically more complex, the staff was moved up and down to indicate the beat, acting as an early form of baton.

In the 17th century, other devices to indicate the passing of time came into use. Rolled sheets of paper, smaller sticks and unadorned hands are all shown in pictures from this period. The large staff was responsible for the death of Jean-Baptiste Lully, who injured his foot with one while conducting a Te Deum for the king's recovery from illness. The wound became gangrenous and Lully refused amputation, whereupon the gangrene spread to his leg and he died two months later.[6]

In instrumental music throughout the 18th century, a member of the ensemble usually acted as the conductor. This was sometimes the concertmaster, who could use his bow as a baton, or a lutenist who would move the neck of his instrument in time with the beat. It was common to conduct from the harpsichord in pieces that had a basso continuo part. In opera performances, there were sometimes two conductors, with the keyboard player in charge of the singers and the principal violinist or leader was in charge of the orchestra.

On Fri, 30 Sep 1791 in Vienna, Mozart's opera Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute) premiered at the Theater auf der Wieden, with Mozart himself conducting the orchestra, according to documents and publicity posters from that time.[7]

In 1798, Joseph Haydn conducted the premiere of Creation with his hands and a baton while "Kapellmeister Weigl [sat] at the fortepiano."[8]

19th century

Verdi conducting Aida in Paris 1880 - Gallica - Restoration
Giuseppe Verdi conducting his opera Aida in 1881

By the early 19th century (ca. 1820), it became the norm to have a dedicated conductor, who did not also play an instrument during the performance. While some orchestras protested the introduction of the conductor, since they were used to having a concertmaster or keyboard player act as leader, eventually the role of a conductor was established. The size of the usual orchestra expanded during this period, and the use of a baton became more common, as it was easier to see than bare hands or rolled-up paper. Among the earliest notable conductors were Louis Spohr, Carl Maria von Weber, Louis-Antoine Jullien and Felix Mendelssohn, all of whom were also composers. Mendelssohn is claimed to have been the first conductor to utilize a wooden baton to keep time, a practice still generally in use in the 2010s. Prominent conductors who did not or do not use a baton include Pierre Boulez, Kurt Masur, James Conlon, Yuri Temirkanov,[9] Leopold Stokowski, Vasily Safonov, Eugene Ormandy (for a period), and Dimitri Mitropoulos.[10]

The composers Hector Berlioz and Richard Wagner attained greatness as conductors, and they wrote two of the earliest essays dedicated to the subject. Berlioz is considered the first virtuoso conductor. Wagner was largely responsible for shaping the conductor's role as one who imposes his own view of a piece onto the performance rather than one who is just responsible for ensuring entries are made at the right time and that there is a unified beat. Predecessors who focused on conducting include François Habeneck, who founded the Orchestre de la Société des concerts du Conservatoire in 1828, though Berlioz was later to be alarmed at Habeneck's loose standards of rehearsal. Pianist and composer Franz Liszt was also a conductor.

Wagner's one-time champion Hans von Bülow (1830–1894) was particularly celebrated as a conductor, although he also maintained his initial career as a pianist, an instrument on which he was regarded as among the greatest performers (he was a prized piano student of Franz Liszt, whose daughter Cosima he married – although she was to abandon him for Wagner. Liszt was a major figure in the history of conducting, who attained remarkable performances).

Bülow raised the technical standards of conducting to an unprecedented level through such innovations as separate, detailed rehearsals of different sections of the orchestra ("sectional rehearsal"). In his posts as head of (sequentially) the Bavarian State Opera, Meiningen Court Orchestra, and Berlin Philharmonic he brought a level of nuance and subtlety to orchestral performance previously heard only in solo instrumental playing, and in doing so made a profound impression on young artists like Richard Strauss, who at the age of 20 served as his assistant, and Felix Weingartner, who came to disapprove of his interpretations but was deeply impressed by his orchestral standards. Composer Gustav Mahler was also a noted conductor.

20th century

Technical standards were brought to new levels by the next generation of conductors, including Arthur Nikisch (1855–1922), who succeeded Bülow as music director of the Berlin Philharmonic in 1895. Nikisch had previously served as head of the Leipzig Opera, Boston Symphony Orchestra, and Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, and was to serve as music director of the London Symphony Orchestra. Nikisch premiered important works by Anton Bruckner and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, who greatly admired his work; Johannes Brahms, after hearing him conduct his Fourth Symphony, said it was "quite exemplary, it's impossible to hear it any better."

Nikisch took the London Symphony Orchestra on tour through the United States in April 1912, the first American tour by a European orchestra. He also made one of the earliest recordings of a complete symphony: the Beethoven Fifth with the Berlin Philharmonic in November 1913. Nikisch was also the first conductor to have his art captured on film – alas, silently. The film confirms reports that he made particularly mesmerizing use of eye contact and expression to communicate with an orchestra; such later conductors as Fritz Reiner stated that this aspect of his technique had a strong influence on their own.

Conductors of the generations after Nikisch often left extensive recorded evidence of their arts. Two particularly influential and widely recorded figures are often treated, somewhat inaccurately, as interpretive antipodes. They were the Italian conductor Arturo Toscanini (1867–1957) and the German conductor Wilhelm Furtwängler (1886–1954). Toscanini played in orchestras under Giuseppe Verdi and made his debut conducting Aida in 1886, filling in at the last minute for an indisposed conductor. He is to this day regarded by such authorities as James Levine as the greatest of all Verdi conductors. But Toscanini's repertory was wide, and it was in his interpretations of the German symphonists Beethoven and Brahms that he was particularly renowned and influential, favoring stricter and faster tempi than a conductor like Bülow or, before him, Wagner. Still, his style shows more inflection than his reputation may suggest, and he was particularly gifted at revealing detail and getting orchestras to play in a singing manner.

Furtwängler, whom many regard as the greatest interpreter of Wagner (although Toscanini was also admired in this composer) and Bruckner, conducted Beethoven and Brahms with a good deal of inflection of tempo – but generally in a manner that revealed the structure and direction of the music particularly clearly. He was an accomplished composer as well as performer, and a disciple of the theorist Heinrich Schenker, who emphasized concern for underlying long-range harmonic tensions and resolutions in a piece, a strength of Furtwängler's conducting. Along with his interest in the large-scale, Furtwängler also shaped the details of the piece in a particularly compelling and expressive manner.

The two men had very different techniques: Toscanini's was Italianate, with a long, large baton and clear beats (often not using his left hand); Furtwängler beat time with less apparent precision, because he wanted a more rounded sound (although it is a myth that his technique was vague; many musicians have attested that he was easy to follow in his own way). In any event, their examples illustrate a larger point about conducting technique in the first half of the 20th century: it was not standardized. Great and influential conductors of the middle 20th century like Leopold Stokowski (1882–1977), Otto Klemperer (1885–1973), Herbert von Karajan (1908–1989) and Leonard Bernstein (1918–1990) – incidentally, the first American conductor to attain greatness and international fame – had widely varied techniques.

Karajan and Bernstein formed another apparent antipode in the 1960s–80s, Karajan as music director of the Berlin Philharmonic (1955–89) and Bernstein as, for part of that period, music director of the New York Philharmonic (1957–69), and later frequent guest conductor in Europe. Karajan's technique was highly controlled, and eventually he conducted with his eyes often closed; Bernstein's technique was demonstrative, with highly expressive facial gestures and hand and body movements. Karajan could conduct for hours without moving his feet, while Bernstein was known at times to leap into the air at a great climax. As the music director of the Berlin Philharmonic, Karajan cultivated warm, blended beauty of tone, which has sometimes been criticized as too uniformly applied; by contrast, in Bernstein's only appearance with the Berlin Philharmonic in 1979 – performing Mahler's Symphony No. 9 – he tried to get the orchestra to produce an "ugly" tone in a certain passage in which he believed it suited the expressive meaning of the music (the first horn player refused, and finally agreed to let an understudy play instead of himself).

Both Karajan and Bernstein made extensive use of advances in media to convey their art, but in tellingly different ways. Bernstein hosted major prime-time national television series to educate and reach out to children and the public at large about classical music; Karajan made a series of films late in his life, but in them, he did not talk. Both made numerous recordings, but their attitudes toward recording differed: Karajan frequently made new studio recordings to take advantage of advances in recording technique, which fascinated him – he played a role in setting the specifications of the compact disc – but Bernstein, in his post-New York days, came to insist on (for the most part) live concert recordings, believing that music-making did not come to life in a studio without an audience.

In the last third of the 20th century, conducting technique – particularly with the right hand and the baton – became increasingly standardized. Conductors like Willem Mengelberg in Amsterdam until the end of World War II had had extensive rehearsal time to mold orchestras very precisely, and thus could have idiosyncratic techniques; modern conductors, who spend less time with any given orchestra, must get results with much less rehearsal time. A more standardized technique allows communication to be much more rapid. Nonetheless, conductors' techniques still show a great deal of variety, particularly with the use of the left hand, facial and eye expression, and body language.

21st century

Full score
Conductor's score and batons on a lit, extra-large conductor's music stand

Women conductors were almost unheard of in the ranks of leading orchestral conductors through most of the 19th and 20th centuries, but today, artists like Hortense von Gelmini,[11] Marin Alsop and Simone Young are to be seen conducting leading orchestras. Alsop was appointed music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in 2007 – the first woman ever appointed to head a major US orchestra – and also of the Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo in 2012, and Alsop was the first woman to conduct on the last night of The Proms. Young scored similar firsts when she became head of the Hamburg State Opera and Philharmoniker Hamburg in 2005; she is also the first woman conductor to record the Ring Cycle of Richard Wagner. The Guardian called conducting "one of the last glass ceilings in the music industry".[12] A 2013 article stated that in France, out of 574 concerts only 17 were conducted by women and no women conducted at the National Opéra in Paris.[13] "Bachtrack reported that, in a list of the world's 150 top conductors that year, only five were women."[14]

While Mexico has produced several major international conductors, Alondra de la Parra has become the first Mexican-born woman to attain distinction in the profession. Similarly, Asian origin has become unremarkable, because of the international successes of conductors from the Far East such as Seiji Ozawa, who was the Boston Symphony Orchestra's music director from 1973 until 2002 after holding similar posts in San Francisco and Toronto, and Myung-Whun Chung, who has held major posts in Germany and France and now is bringing the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra to international attention. There is still under-representation of artists of black origin in the conducting profession, but there have been notable exceptions, such as Henry Lewis, Dean Dixon, James DePreist, Paul Freeman, and Michael Morgan. For more information on black conductors, see Black conductors. According to a 2004 article in The Guardian, "black conductors are rare in the classical music world and even in symphony orchestras it is unusual to see more than one or two black musicians."[15]


Battue de la mesure à 2 temps
, 2
, or fast 6
Battue de la mesure à 3 temps
or 3
Battue de la mesure à 4 temps
slow 6

Conducting is a means of communicating artistic directions to performers during a performance. Although there are many formal rules on how to conduct correctly, others are subjective, and a wide variety of different conducting styles exist depending upon the training and sophistication of the conductor. The primary responsibilities of the conductor are to unify performers, set the tempo, execute clear preparations and beats, listen critically and shape the sound of the ensemble, and to control the interpretation and pacing of the music. Communication is non-verbal during a performance, however in rehearsal frequent interruptions allow directions as to how the music should be played. During rehearsals, the conductor may stop the playing of a piece to request changes in the phrasing or request a change in the timbre of a certain section. In amateur orchestras, the rehearsals are often stopped to draw the musicians' attentions to performance errors or transposition mistakes.

Conducting requires an understanding of the elements of musical expression (tempo, dynamics, articulation) and the ability to communicate them effectively to an ensemble. The ability to communicate nuances of phrasing and expression through gestures is also beneficial. Conducting gestures are preferably prepared beforehand by the conductor while studying the score, but may sometimes be spontaneous.

A distinction is sometimes made between orchestral conducting and choral conducting. Typically, orchestral conductors use a baton more often than choral conductors. The grip of the baton varies from conductor to conductor.

Beat and tempo

At the beginning of a piece of music, the conductor raises his hands (or hand if he only uses a single hand) to indicate that the piece is about to begin. This is a signal for the orchestra members to ready their instruments to be played or for the choristers to be ready and watching. The conductor then looks at the different sections of the orchestra (winds, strings, etc.) or choir to ensure that all the orchestra members are ready to play and choir members are ready. In some choral works, the conductor may signal to a pianist or organist to play a note or chord so that the choir members can determine their starting notes. Then the conductor gives one or more preparatory beats to commence the music. The preparatory beat before the orchestra or choir begins is the upbeat. The beat of the music is typically indicated with the conductor's right hand, with or without a baton. The hand traces a shape in the air in every bar (measure) depending on the time signature, indicating each beat with a change from downward to upward motion.[16] The images show the most common beat patterns, as seen from the conductor's point of view.

The downbeat indicates the first beat of the bar, and the upbeat indicates the beat before the first note of the piece and the last beat of the bar. The instant at which the beat occurs is called the ictus (plural: ictūs or ictuses), and is usually indicated by a sudden (though not necessarily large) click of the wrist or change in baton direction. In some instances, "ictus" is also used to refer to a horizontal plane in which all the ictuses are physically located, such as the top of a music stand where a baton is tapped at each ictus. The gesture leading up to the ictus is called the "preparation", and the continuous flow of steady beats is called the "takt" (the German word for bar, measure and beat).

If the tempo is slow or slowing, or if the time signature is compound, a conductor will sometimes indicate "subdivisions" of the beats. The conductor can do this by adding a smaller movement in the same direction as the movement for the beat that it belongs to.

Changes to the tempo are indicated by changing the speed of the beat. To carry out and to control a rallentando (slowing down the pace of the music), a conductor may introduce beat subdivisions.

While some conductors use both hands to indicate the beat, with the left hand mirroring the right, formal education discourages such an approach. The second hand can be used for cueing the entrances of individual players or sections, and to aid indications of dynamics, phrasing, expression, and other elements.

During an instrumental solo section (or, in an opera orchestra during a vocalist's unaccompanied solo), some conductors stop counting out all the subdivisions and simply tap the baton down once per bar, to aid performers who are counting bars of rests.

There is a difference between the "textbook" definition of where the ictus of a downbeat occurs and the actual performance practice in professional orchestras. With an abrupt, loud sforzando chord, a professional orchestra will often play slightly after the striking of the ictus point of the baton stroke.


Dynamics are indicated in various ways. The dynamic may be communicated by the size of the conducting movements, larger shapes representing louder sounds. Changes in dynamic may be signalled with the hand that is not being used to indicate the beat: an upward motion (usually palm-up) indicates a crescendo; a downward motion (usually palm-down) indicates a diminuendo. Changing the size of conducting movements frequently results in changes in the character of the music depending upon the circumstances.

Dynamics can be fine-tuned using various gestures: showing one's palm to the performers or leaning away from them may demonstrate a decrease in volume. To adjust the overall balance of the various instruments or voices, these signals can be combined or directed toward a particular section or performer.


The indication of entries, when a performer or section should begin playing (perhaps after a long period of rests), is called "cueing". A cue must forecast with certainty the exact moment of the coming ictus, so that all the players or singers affected by the cue can begin playing simultaneously. Cueing is most important for cases where a performer or section has not been playing for a lengthy time. Cueing is also helpful in the case of a pedal point with string players, when a section has been playing the pedal point for a lengthy period; a cue is important to indicate when they should change to a new note. Cueing is achieved by "engaging" the players before their entry (by looking at them) and executing a clear preparation gesture, often directed toward the specific players. An inhalation, which may or may not be a semi-audible "sniff" from the conductor, is a common element in the cueing technique of some conductors. Mere eye contact or a look in the general direction of the players may be sufficient in many instances, as when more than one section of the ensemble enters at the same time. Larger musical events may warrant the use of a larger or more emphatic cue designed to encourage emotion and energy.

Other musical elements

US Navy 030228-N-5576W-002 Jazz great visits Navy
A conductor, Gerald Wilson, leads a jazz big band

Articulation may be indicated by the character of the ictus, ranging from short and sharp for staccato, to long and fluid for legato. Many conductors change the tension of the hands: strained muscles and rigid movements may correspond to marcato, while relaxed hands and soft movements may correspond to legato or espressivo. Phrasing may be indicated by wide overhead arcs or by a smooth hand motion either forwards or side-to-side. A held note is often indicated by a hand held flat with palm up. The end of a note, called a "cutoff" or "release", may be indicated by a circular motion, the closing of the palm, or the pinching of finger and thumb. A release is usually preceded by a preparation and concluded with a complete stillness.

Conductors aim to maintain eye contact with the ensemble as much as possible, encouraging eye contact in return and increasing the dialogue between players/singers and conductor. Facial expressions may also be important to demonstrate the character of the music or to encourage the players.

In some cases, such as where there has been little rehearsal time to prepare a piece, a conductor may discreetly indicate how the bars of music will be beat immediately before the start of the movement by holding up their fingers in front of their chest (so only the performers can see). For example, in a 4
piece that the conductor will beat "in two" (two ictus points or beats per bar, as if it were 2
), the conductor would hold up two fingers in front of his chest.

In most cases, there is a short pause between movements of a symphony, concerto or dance suite. This brief pause gives orchestra or choir members time to turn the pages of their part and ready themselves for the start of the next movement. String players may apply rosin or wipe sweat off their hands with a handkerchief. Reed players may take this time to change to a new reed. In some cases, woodwind or brass players will use the pause to switch to a different instrument (e.g., from trumpet to cornet or from clarinet to E clarinet). If the conductor wishes to immediately begin one movement after another for musical reasons, this is called attacca. The conductor will instruct the orchestra members and choristers to write the term in their parts, so that they will be ready to go immediately to the next movement.


US Navy 060529-N-2383B-123 The U.S. Navy band performs during Memorial Day ceremonies held in the amphitheater of Arlington National Cemetery
A military conductor leads the U.S. Navy band during Memorial Day ceremonies held at Arlington National Cemetery.

The roles of a conductor vary a great deal between different conducting positions and different ensembles. In some cases, a conductor will also be the musical director of the symphony, choosing the program for the entire season, including concerts by guest conductors, concerto soloists, pop concerts, and so on. A senior conductor may attend some or all of the auditions for new members of the orchestra, to ensure that the candidates have the playing style and tone that the conductor prefers and that candidates meet the highest performance standards. Some choral conductors are hired to prepare a choir for several weeks which will subsequently be directed by another conductor. The choral conductor is usually acknowledged for their preparatory work in the concert program.

Some conductors may have a significant public relations role, giving interviews to the local news channel and appearing on television talk shows to promote the upcoming season or particular concerts. On the other hand, a conductor hired to guest conduct a single concert may only have the responsibility of rehearsing the orchestra for several pieces and conducting one or two concerts. While a handful of conductors have become well-known celebrities, such as Leonard Bernstein, most are only known within the classical music scene.

Training and education

David Baker (far left) leading the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra
David Baker, a music educator, composer and conductor, (far left) leads the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra during the NEA Jazz Masters awards ceremony and concert in 2008.

Classical choral and instrumental conducting have established comprehensive systems of instruction and training. Aspiring conductors can study at colleges, conservatories, and universities. Conservatories, which are the standard musical training system in France and in Quebec (Canada) provide lessons and amateur conducting experience. Universities offer a range of conducting programs, including courses in conducting as part of bachelor's degrees, a small number of Master of Music degrees in conducting, and an even smaller number of Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in conducting.

In addition, there are a variety of other training programs such as classical summer camps and training festivals, which give students the opportunity to conduct a wide range of music. Aspiring conductors need to obtain a broad education about the history of music, including the major periods of classical music and regarding music theory. Many conductors learn to play a keyboard instrument such as the piano or the pipe organ, a skill that helps them to be able to analyze symphonies and try out their interpretations before they have access to an orchestra to conduct. Many conductors get experience playing in an orchestra or singing in a choir, an experience which gives them good insights into how orchestras and choirs are conducted and rehearsed.

In 2014, orchestra conductors typically hold a master's degree in music and choir conductors in the US typically hold a bachelor's degree in music.[17] Bachelor's degrees (referred to as B.Mus. or B.M) are four-year programs that include conducting lessons, amateur orchestra experience, and a sequence of courses in music history, music theory, and liberal arts courses (e.g., English literature), which give the student a more well-rounded education. Students do not usually specialize in conducting at the B.Mus. stage; instead, they usually develop general music skills such as singing, playing an orchestral instrument, performing in a choir, playing in orchestra, and playing a keyboard instrument such as the piano or the organ.

Another topic that conducting students study is the languages used in Classical music opera. Orchestral conductors are expected to be able to rehearse and lead choirs in works for orchestra and choir. As such, orchestral conductors need to know the major languages used in choral writing (including French, Italian and Latin, among others) and they must understand the correct diction of these languages in a choral singing context. The opposite is also true: a choral conductor will be expected to rehearse and lead a string orchestra or full orchestra when performing works for choir and orchestra. As such, a choral conductor needs to know how to rehearse and lead instrument sections.

Master of music degrees (M.mus.) in conducting consist of private conducting lessons, ensemble experience, coaching, and graduate courses in music history and music theory, along with one or two conducted concerts. A Master's degree in music (referred to as an M.Mus. or M.M.) is often the required minimum credential for people who wish to become a professor of conducting.

Doctor of Musical Arts (referred to as D.M.A., DMA, D.Mus.A. or A.Mus.D) degrees in conducting provide an opportunity for advanced study at the highest artistic and pedagogical level, requiring usually an additional 54+ credit hours beyond a master's degree (which is about 30+ credits beyond a bachelor's degree). For this reason, admission is highly selective. Examinations in music history, music theory, ear training/dictation, and an entrance examination and conducting audition are required. Students perform a number of conducted concerts, including a combination lecture-conducted concert with an accompanying doctoral dissertation, advanced coursework. Students must typically maintain a minimum B average. A DMA in conducting is a terminal degree, and as such, it qualifies the holder to teach in colleges, universities and conservatories. In addition to academic study, another part of the training pathway for many conductors is conducting amateur orchestras, such as youth orchestras, school orchestras and community orchestras.

A small number of conductors become professionals without formal training in conducting. These individuals often have achieved renown as instrumental or vocal performers, and they have often undertaken a great deal of training in their area of expertise (instrumental performance or singing). Another way that a small number of conductors become professionals without formal training in conducting is by learning on the job by conducting amateur orchestras, school orchestras, and community orchestras (or the equivalent choral ensembles).

The average salary of conductors in the US in 2014 was $48,180. A 3% growth rate is forecast for conducting jobs from 2014 to 2024, a slower than average growth rate.[17]

See also


  1. ^ Sir George Grove, John Alexander Fuller-Maitland; eds. (1922). A Dictionary of Music and Musicians, Volume 1, p.581. Macmillan. [ISBN unspecified].
  2. ^ Kennedy, Michael; Bourne Kennedy, Joyce (2007). "Conducting". Oxford Concise Dictionary of Music (Fifth ed.). Oxford University Press, Oxford. ISBN 9780199203833.
  3. ^ a b Holden, Raymond (2003). "The technique of conducting". In Bowen, José Antonio (ed.). The Cambridge Companion to Conducting. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 3. ISBN 0-521-52791-0.
  4. ^ Espie Estrella (6 March 2017). "The Conductor". Retrieved 9 March 2018.
  5. ^ Lusted, Marcia Amidon (2011). Entertainment. ABDO Publishing Company. p. 44. Retrieved 2019-01-31.
  6. ^ Jérôme de La Gorce (2007). "(1) Jean-Baptiste Lully (Lulli, Giovanni Battista) (i)". Oxford Music Online (New Grove). Oxford University Press. Retrieved 8 October 2008. (subscription required)
  7. ^ Edge, Dexter. "The earliest published report on the premiere of Die Zauberflöte (1 Oct 1791)". Mozart: New Documents. Dexter Edge and David Black. Retrieved 25 August 2018.
  8. ^ H.C. Robbins Landon, Liner notes to The Creation, 1994, Vivarte SX2K 57965
  9. ^ Libbey, Theodore (2006). The NPR Listener's Encyclopedia of Classical Music, p. 44. Workman. ISBN 9780761120728.
  10. ^ Galkin, Elliott W. (1988). A History of Orchestral Conducting: In Theory and Practice, p. 521. Pendragon. ISBN 9780918728470.
  11. ^ David Mutch: "The gathering critical judgement of Hortense von Gelmini, Germany's only woman conductor, is that she has not only the talent but the education, energy, and persistance to make her mark in this difficult and competive profession" – 1976 in: The Christian Science Monitor
  12. ^ Hannah Levintova. "Here's Why You Seldom See Women Leading a Symphony". Mother Jones. Retrieved 2016-01-20.
  13. ^ Victor Tribot Laspière (2013-10-02). "Une main ferme à l'Orchestre national de France". France Musique. Retrieved 2016-10-17.
  14. ^ "11 of today's top women conductors". 2015-03-06. Retrieved 2016-01-20.
  15. ^ Higgins, Charlotte (10 August 2004). "Black conductor fears he will remain exception". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 June 2017.
  16. ^ Wakin, Daniel J. (6 April 2012). "The Maestro's Mojo – Breaking Conductors' Down by Gesture and Body Part". The New York Times. Retrieved 26 April 2012.
  17. ^ a b "Music Directors and Composers : Occupational Outlook Handbook : U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics". Retrieved 2017-08-19.

Further reading

  • Michael Bowles: The Art of Conducting (Garden City, New York: Doubleday, 1959); English edition as The Conductor: His Artistry and Craftsmanship (London: G. Bell & Sons, 1961).
  • Larry G. Curtis and David L. Kuehn: A Guide to Successful Instrumental Conducting (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1992); ISBN 978-0697126948.
  • Michel Faul: Louis Jullien: Musique, spectacle et folie au XIXe siècle (Biarritz: Atlantica, 2006); ISBN 9782351650387.
  • Elliott W. Galkin: A History of Orchestral Conducting in Theory and Practice (New York: Pendragon Press, 1988); ISBN 978-0918728470.
  • Norman Lebrecht: The Maestro Myth: Great Conductors in Pursuit of Power (2nd revised and updated edition, New York: Citadel Press, 2001).
  • Brock McElheran: Conducting Technique for Beginners and Professionals (New York: Oxford University Press, 1989); ISBN 978-0193858305.
  • Ilya Musin: The Technique of Conducting (Техника дирижирования) (Moscow: Muzyka Publishing House, 1967).
  • Ennio Nicotra: Introduction to the Orchestral Conducting Technique in Accordance with the Orchestral Conducting School of Ilya Musin, book and DVD in English, German, Italian, Spanish (Milan: Edizioni Curci, 2007).
  • Frederik Prausnitz: Score and Podium (New York: W.W. Norton, 1983); ISBN 978-0393951547.
  • Max Rudolf: The Grammar of Conducting (New York: Macmillan, 2nd ed. 1981); ISBN 978-0028722207.
  • Palmer, Fiona M. (17 March 2017). Conductors in Britain, 1870–1914: Wielding the Baton at the Height of Empire. Woodbridge: Boydell Press. p. 320. ISBN 9781783271450.

External links


The bronchioles or bronchioli are the passageways by which air passes through the nose or mouth to the alveoli (air sacs) of the lungs, in which branches no longer contain cartilage or glands in their submucosa. They are branches of the bronchi, and are part of the conducting zone of the respiratory system. The bronchioles divide further into smaller terminal bronchioles which are still in the conducting zone and these then divide into the smaller respiratory bronchioles which mark the beginning of the respiratory region.

Carlo Maria Giulini

Carlo Maria Giulini, Cavaliere di Gran Croce OMRI (Italian pronunciation: [ˈkarlo maˈriːa dʒuˈliːni]; 9 May 1914 – 14 June 2005) was an Italian conductor.

From the age of five, when he began to play the violin, Giulini’s musical education was expanded when he began to study at Italy's foremost conservatory, the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome at the age of 16. Initially, he studied the viola and conducting; then, following an audition, he won a place in the Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia.

Although he won a conducting competition two years later, he was unable to take advantage of the prize, which was the opportunity to conduct, because of being forced to join the army during World War II, albeit that he was a pacifist. As the war was ending, he hid until the liberation to avoid continuing to fight alongside the Germans. While in hiding, he married his girlfriend, Marcella, and they remained together until her death in 1995. Together, they had three children.After the 1944 liberation, he was invited to lead what was then known as the Augusteo Orchestra (now

the Santa Cecilia Orchestra) in its first post-Fascist concert, and quickly other conducting opportunities came along. These included some of the world's major orchestras including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, London's Philharmonia Orchestra, and the Vienna Philharmonic. His career spanned 54 years with retirement coming in 1998. He died in Brescia, Italy, at 91 years of age.

Conductive polymer

Conductive polymers or, more precisely, intrinsically conducting polymers (ICPs) are organic polymers that conduct electricity. Such compounds may have metallic conductivity or can be semiconductors. The biggest advantage of conductive polymers is their processability, mainly by dispersion. Conductive polymers are generally not thermoplastics, i.e., they are not thermoformable. But, like insulating polymers, they are organic materials. They can offer high electrical conductivity but do not show similar mechanical properties to other commercially available polymers. The electrical properties can be fine-tuned using the methods of organic synthesis and by advanced dispersion techniques.

Discourse on the Method

Discourse on the Method of Rightly Conducting One's Reason and of Seeking Truth in the Sciences (French: Discours de la Méthode Pour bien conduire sa raison, et chercher la vérité dans les sciences) is a philosophical and autobiographical treatise published by René Descartes in 1637. It is best known as the source of the famous quotation "Je pense, donc je suis" (English: "I think, therefore I am", or "I am thinking, therefore I exist"), which occurs in Part IV of the work. A similar argument, without this precise wording, is found in Meditations on First Philosophy (1641), and a Latin version of the same statement Cogito, ergo sum is found in Principles of Philosophy (1644).

Discourse on the Method is one of the most influential works in the history of modern philosophy, and important to the development of natural sciences. In this work, Descartes tackles the problem of skepticism, which had previously been studied by other philosophers. While addressing some of his predecessors and contemporaries, Descartes modified their approach to account for a truth he found to be incontrovertible; he started his line of reasoning by doubting everything, so as to assess the world from a fresh perspective, clear of any preconceived notions.

The book was originally published in Leiden, in the Netherlands. Later, it was translated into Latin and published in 1656 in Amsterdam. The book was intended as an introduction to three works: Dioptrique, Météores and Géométrie. La Géométrie contains Descartes's initial concepts that later developed into the Cartesian coordinate system. The text was written and published in French rather than Latin, the latter being the language in which most philosophical and scientific texts were written and published at that time. Most of Descartes' other works were written in Latin.

Together with Meditations on First Philosophy, Principles of Philosophy and Rules for the Direction of the Mind, it forms the base of the epistemology known as Cartesianism.

Electrical conduction system of the heart

The electrical conduction system of the heart transmits signals generated usually by the sinoatrial node to cause contraction of the heart muscle. The pacemaking signal generated in the sinoatrial node travels through the right atrium to the atrioventricular node, along the Bundle of His and through bundle branches to cause contraction of the heart muscle. This signal stimulates contraction first of the right and left atrium, and then the right and left ventricles. This process allows blood to be pumped throughout the body.

The conduction system consists of specialised heart muscle cells, and is situated within the myocardium. There is a skeleton of fibrous tissue that surrounds the conduction system which can be seen on an ECG. Dysfunction of the conduction system can cause irregular, fast, or slow heart rhythms.

Gustav Mahler

Gustav Mahler (German: [ˈmaːlɐ]; 7 July 1860 – 18 May 1911) was an Austro-Bohemian late-Romantic composer, and one of the leading conductors of his generation. As a composer he acted as a bridge between the 19th century Austro-German tradition and the modernism of the early 20th century. While in his lifetime his status as a conductor was established beyond question, his own music gained wide popularity only after periods of relative neglect which included a ban on its performance in much of Europe during the Nazi era. After 1945 his compositions were rediscovered by a new generation of listeners; Mahler then became one of the most frequently performed and recorded of all composers, a position he has sustained into the 21st century.

In 2016, a BBC Music Magazine survey of 151 conductors ranked three of his symphonies in the top ten symphonies of all time.Born in Bohemia (then part of the Austrian Empire) to Jewish parents of humble circumstances, the German-speaking Mahler displayed his musical gifts at an early age. After graduating from the Vienna Conservatory in 1878, he held a succession of conducting posts of rising importance in the opera houses of Europe, culminating in his appointment in 1897 as director of the Vienna Court Opera (Hofoper). During his ten years in Vienna, Mahler—who had converted to Catholicism to secure the post—experienced regular opposition and hostility from the anti-Semitic press. Nevertheless, his innovative productions and insistence on the highest performance standards ensured his reputation as one of the greatest of opera conductors, particularly as an interpreter of the stage works of Wagner, Mozart, and Tchaikovsky. Late in his life he was briefly director of New York's Metropolitan Opera and the New York Philharmonic.

Mahler's œuvre is relatively limited; for much of his life composing was necessarily a part-time activity while he earned his living as a conductor. Aside from early works such as a movement from a piano quartet composed when he was a student in Vienna, Mahler's works are generally designed for large orchestral forces, symphonic choruses and operatic soloists. These works were frequently controversial when first performed, and several were slow to receive critical and popular approval; exceptions included his Second Symphony, Third Symphony, and the triumphant premiere of his Eighth Symphony in 1910. Some of Mahler's immediate musical successors included the composers of the Second Viennese School, notably Arnold Schoenberg, Alban Berg and Anton Webern. Dmitri Shostakovich, Benjamin Britten, Leonard Bernstein and Peter Maxwell Davies are among later 20th-century composers who admired and were influenced by Mahler. The International Gustav Mahler Institute was established in 1955 to honour the composer's life and work.

Haryana Cricket Association

Haryana Cricket Association is the governing body of the Cricket activities in the Haryana state of India and the Haryana cricket team and the Haryana women's cricket team. It is affiliated to the Board of Control for Cricket in India.Haryana Cricket Association affiliated to the Board of control for cricket in India is the parent body or governing the game of Cricket in Haryana, and involved in the conduct of the game from the grass root level to the International level.

The Haryana Cricket Association promotes and develops Cricket by conducting various League Tournaments,Tournaments for the age group Under-13, Under-15, Under-17, and Under-19, Under-22 and Under-25 categories besides organising and conducting National Tournaments.

Insulator (electricity)

An electrical insulator is a material whose internal electric charges do not flow freely; very little electric current will flow through it under the influence of an electric field. This contrasts with other materials, semiconductors and conductors, which conduct electric current more easily. The property that distinguishes an insulator is its resistivity; insulators have higher resistivity than semiconductors or conductors.

A perfect insulator does not exist, because even insulators contain small numbers of mobile charges (charge carriers) which can carry current. In addition, all insulators become electrically conductive when a sufficiently large voltage is applied that the electric field tears electrons away from the atoms. This is known as the breakdown voltage of an insulator. Some materials such as glass, paper and Teflon, which have high resistivity, are very good electrical insulators. A much larger class of materials, even though they may have lower bulk resistivity, are still good enough to prevent significant current from flowing at normally used voltages, and thus are employed as insulation for electrical wiring and cables. Examples include rubber-like polymers and most plastics which can be thermoset or thermoplastic in nature.

Insulators are used in electrical equipment to support and separate electrical conductors without allowing current through themselves. An insulating material used in bulk to wrap electrical cables or other equipment is called insulation. The term insulator is also used more specifically to refer to insulating supports used to attach electric power distribution or transmission lines to utility poles and transmission towers. They support the weight of the suspended wires without allowing the current to flow through the tower to ground.

Karnataka Secondary Education Examination Board

Karnataka Secondary Education Examination Board came into existence in the year 1964, has been conducting SSLC and other examinations. The board regulates and supervises the system of Secondary education in Karnataka State. It executes and governs various activities that include devising of courses of study, prescribing syllabus, conducting examinations, granting recognitions to schools and, providing direction, support and leadership for all secondary educational institutions under its jurisdiction.

Leonard Bernstein

Leonard Bernstein ( BURN-styne; August 25, 1918 – October 14, 1990) was an American composer, conductor, author, music lecturer, and pianist. He was among the first conductors born and educated in the US to receive worldwide acclaim. According to music critic Donal Henahan, he was "one of the most prodigiously talented and successful musicians in American history."His fame derived from his long tenure as the music director of the New York Philharmonic, from his conducting of concerts with most of the world's leading orchestras, and from his music for West Side Story, Peter Pan, Candide, Wonderful Town, On the Town, On the Waterfront, his Mass, and a range of other compositions, including three symphonies and many shorter chamber and solo works.

Bernstein was the first conductor to give a series of television lectures on classical music, starting in 1954 and continuing until his death. He was a skilled pianist, often conducting piano concertos from the keyboard. He was also a critical figure in the modern revival of the music of Gustav Mahler, the composer he was most passionately interested in.As a composer he wrote in many styles encompassing symphonic and orchestral music, ballet, film and theatre music, choral works, opera, chamber music and pieces for the piano. Many of his works are regularly performed around the world, although none has matched the tremendous popular and critical success of West Side Story.

Leopold Stokowski

Leopold Anthony Stokowski (18 April 1882 – 13 September 1977) was an English conductor of Polish and Irish descent. One of the leading conductors of the early and mid-20th century, he is best known for his long association with the Philadelphia Orchestra and his appearance in the Disney film Fantasia. He was especially noted for his free-hand conducting style that spurned the traditional baton and for obtaining a characteristically sumptuous sound from the orchestras he directed.

Stokowski was music director of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the NBC Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra, the Houston Symphony Orchestra, the Symphony of the Air and many others. He was also the founder of the All-American Youth Orchestra, the New York City Symphony, the Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra and the American Symphony Orchestra.

Stokowski conducted the music for and appeared in several Hollywood films, most notably Disney's Fantasia, and was a lifelong champion of contemporary composers, giving many premieres of new music during his 60-year conducting career. Stokowski, who made his official conducting debut in 1909, appeared in public for the last time in 1975 but continued making recordings until June 1977, a few months before his death at the age of 95.

Master of Music

The Master of Music (M.M. or M.Mus.) is, as an academic title, the first graduate degree in Music awarded by universities and conservatories. The M.M. combines advanced studies in an applied area of specialization (usually performance in singing or instrument playing, composition, or conducting) with graduate-level academic study in subjects such as music history, music theory, or music pedagogy. The degree, which takes one or two years of full-time study to complete, prepares students to be professional performers, conductors, and composers, according to their area of specialization. The M.M. is often required as the minimum teaching credential for university, college, and conservatory instrumental or vocal teaching positions.

Military aviation

Military aviation is the use of military aircraft and other flying machines for the purposes of conducting or enabling aerial warfare, including national airlift (air cargo) capacity to provide logistical supply to forces stationed in a theater or along a front. Airpower includes the national means of conducting such warfare, including the intersection of transport and war craft. Military aircraft include bombers, fighters, transports, trainer aircraft, and reconnaissance aircraft.


The pharynx (plural: pharynges) is the part of the throat behind the mouth and nasal cavity, and above the esophagus and larynx – the tubes going down to the stomach and the lungs. It is found in vertebrates and invertebrates, though its structure varies across species.

In humans, the pharynx is part of the digestive system and the conducting zone of the respiratory system. (The conducting zone—which also includes the nostrils of the nose, the larynx, trachea, bronchi, and bronchioles—filters, warms and moistens air and conducts it into the lungs). The human pharynx is conventionally divided into three sections: the nasopharynx, oropharynx, and laryngopharynx. It is also important in vocalization.

In humans, two sets of pharyngeal muscles form the pharynx and determine the shape of its lumen. They are arranged as an inner layer of longitudinal muscles and an outer circular layer.

Racket (crime)

A racket, according to the current common and most general definition, is an organized criminal act in which the criminal act is some form of substantial business, or a way to earn illegal money either regularly, or briefly but repeatedly. A racket is therefore generally a repeated or continuous criminal operation.

However, originally and often still specifically, a “racket” referred to a criminal act in which the perpetrator or perpetrators fraudulently offer a service to solve a nonexistent problem, a service that will not be put into effect, or a service that would not exist without the racket. Conducting a racket is racketeering. Particularly, the potential problem may be caused by the same party that offers to solve it, but that fact may be concealed, with the specific intent to engender continual patronage for this party.

The most common example of a racket is the "protection racket", which promises to protect the target business or person from dangerous individuals in the neighborhood and then either collects the money or causes damage to the business until the owner pays. The racket exists as both the problem and its solution, and it is used as a method of extortion.

However, the term "racket" has expanded in definition and may now be used less strictly to refer to any continuous or repeated illegal organized crime operation, including those that do not necessarily involve fraudulent practices. For example, "racket" may be used to refer to the "numbers racket" or the "drug racket", neither of which generally or explicitly involve fraud or deception with regard to the intended clientele.

Racketeering is most often associated with organized crime, and the term was coined by the Employers' Association of Chicago in June 1927 in a statement about the influence of organized crime in the Teamsters union.

Respiratory tract

In humans, the respiratory tract is the part of the anatomy of the respiratory system involved with the process of respiration. Air is breathed in through the nose or the mouth. In the nasal cavity, a layer of mucous membrane acts as a filter and traps pollutants and other harmful substances found in the air. Next, air moves into the pharynx, a passage that contains the intersection between the oesophagus and the larynx. The opening of the larynx has a special flap of cartilage, the epiglottis, that opens to allow air to pass through but closes to prevent food from moving into the airway.

From the larynx, air moves into the trachea and down to the intersection that branches to form the right and left primary (main) bronchi. Each of these bronchi branch into secondary (lobar) bronchi that branch into tertiary (segmental) bronchi that branch into smaller airways called bronchioles that eventually connect with tiny specialized structures called alveoli that function in gas exchange.

The lungs which are located in the thoracic cavity, are protected from physical damage by the rib cage. At the base of the lungs is a sheet of skeletal muscle called the diaphragm. The diaphragm separates the lungs from the stomach and intestines. The diaphragm is also the main muscle of respiration involved in breathing, and is controlled by the sympathetic nervous system.

The lungs are encased in a serous membrane that folds in on itself to form the pleurae – a two-layered protective barrier. The inner visceral pleura covers the surface of the lungs, and the outer parietal pleura is attached to the inner surface of the thoracic cavity. The pleurae enclose a cavity called the pleural cavity that contains pleural fluid. This fluid is used to decrease the amount of friction that lungs experience during breathing.


A semiconductor material has an electrical conductivity value falling between that of a conductor, such as metallic copper, and an insulator, such as glass. Its resistance decreases as its temperature increases, which is behaviour opposite to that of a metal. Its conducting properties may be altered in useful ways by the deliberate, controlled introduction of impurities ("doping") into the crystal structure. Where two differently-doped regions exist in the same crystal, a semiconductor junction is created. The behavior of charge carriers which include electrons, ions and electron holes at these junctions is the basis of diodes, transistors and all modern electronics. Some examples of semiconductors are silicon, germanium, gallium arsenide, and elements near the so-called "metalloid staircase" on the periodic table. After silicon, gallium arsenide is the second most common semiconductor and is used in laser diodes, solar cells, microwave-frequency integrated circuits and others. Silicon is a critical element for fabricating most electronic circuits.

Semiconductor devices can display a range of useful properties such as passing current more easily in one direction than the other, showing variable resistance, and sensitivity to light or heat. Because the electrical properties of a semiconductor material can be modified by doping, or by the application of electrical fields or light, devices made from semiconductors can be used for amplification, switching, and energy conversion.

The conductivity of silicon is increased by adding a small amount (of the order of 1 in 108) of pentavalent (antimony, phosphorus, or arsenic) or trivalent (boron, gallium, indium) atoms. This process is known as doping and resulting semiconductors are known as doped or extrinsic semiconductors. Apart from doping, the conductivity of a semiconductor can equally be improved by increasing its temperature. This is contrary to the behaviour of a metal in which conductivity decreases with increase in temperature.

The modern understanding of the properties of a semiconductor relies on quantum physics to explain the movement of charge carriers in a crystal lattice. Doping greatly increases the number of charge carriers within the crystal. When a doped semiconductor contains mostly free holes it is called "p-type", and when it contains mostly free electrons it is known as "n-type". The semiconductor materials used in electronic devices are doped under precise conditions to control the concentration and regions of p- and n-type dopants. A single semiconductor crystal can have many p- and n-type regions; the p–n junctions between these regions are responsible for the useful electronic behavior.

Some of the properties of semiconductor materials were observed throughout the mid 19th and first decades of the 20th century. The first practical application of semiconductors in electronics was the 1904 development of the cat's-whisker detector, a primitive semiconductor diode used in early radio receivers. Developments in quantum physics in turn allowed the development of the transistor in 1947 and the integrated circuit in 1958.

Superconducting Super Collider

The Superconducting Super Collider (SSC) (also nicknamed the Desertron) was a particle accelerator complex under construction in the vicinity of Waxahachie, Texas.

Its planned ring circumference was 87.1 kilometers (54.1 mi) with an energy of 20 TeV per proton and was set to be the world's largest and most energetic. It would have greatly surpassed the current record held by the Large Hadron Collider which has ring circumference 27 km (17 mi) and energy of 6.5 TeV per proton. The project's director was Roy Schwitters, a physicist at the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Louis Ianniello served as its first Project Director for 15 months. The project was cancelled in 1993 due to budget problems.


A thyristor () is a solid-state semiconductor device with four layers of alternating P- and N-type materials. It acts exclusively as a bistable switch, conducting when the gate receives a current trigger, and continuing to conduct until the voltage across the device is reversed biased, or until the voltage is removed (by some other means). A three-lead thyristor is designed to control the larger current of the Anode to Cathode path by controlling that current with the smaller current of its other lead, known as its Gate. In contrast, a two-lead thyristor is designed to switch on if the potential difference between its leads is sufficiently large (breakdown voltage).

Some sources define silicon-controlled rectifier (SCR) and thyristor as synonymous. Other sources define thyristors as more ornately constructed devices that incorporate at least four layers of alternating N-type and P-type substrate.

The first thyristor devices were released commercially in 1956. Because thyristors can control a relatively large amount of power and voltage with a small device, they find wide application in control of electric power, ranging from light dimmers and electric motor speed control to high-voltage direct-current power transmission. Thyristors may be used in power-switching circuits, relay-replacement circuits, inverter circuits, oscillator circuits, level-detector circuits, chopper circuits, light-dimming circuits, low-cost timer circuits, logic circuits, speed-control circuits, phase-control circuits, etc. Originally, thyristors relied only on current reversal to turn them off, making them difficult to apply for direct current; newer device types can be turned on and off through the control gate signal. The latter is known as a gate turn-off thyristor, or GTO thyristor. A thyristor is not a proportional device like a transistor. In other words, a thyristor can only be fully on or off, while a transistor can lie in between on and off states. This makes a thyristor unsuitable as an analog amplifier, but useful as a switch.

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