Leading Musically Musical leadership is associated with a specific profession—the conductor— as well as being a colloquial metaphor for human communication and co- operation at its best. This book examines what musical leadership is, by delving into the choral conductor role, what goes on in the music-making moment and what it takes to do it well. One of the unique features of the musical ensemble is the simultaneity of collective discipline and individual expression. Music is therefore a potent laboratory for understanding the leadership act in the space between leader and team. The musical experi- ence is used to shed light on leading and following more broadly, by l inking it to themes such as authority, control, empowerment, intersubjectivity, sensemaking and charisma. Jansson develops the argument that musical leadership involves the combination of strong power and deep sensitivity, a blend that might be equally valid in other leadership domains. Aesthetic knowledge and musical perception therefore offer untapped potential for leadership and organisational development outside the art domain.
First published 2018 by Routledge 2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 4RN and by Routledge 711 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10017 Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business © 2018 Dag Jansson The right of Dag Jansson to be identified as author of this work has been asserted by him in accordance with sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.
Contents List of figures ix Preface xi 1 The muse within 1 Part I Enactment of musical leadership 27 2 The choral conductor role 29 3 Situational-relational mastery 51 4 Existential foundation 75 5 The intersubjective space of leading and following 99 Part II Developing artful leadership 129 6 Expanding the leadership repertoire 132 7 Music in team development 152 8 The choir as the conductor’s mirror 176 Part III agency and surrender 195 9 Authority and musical leadership 197 10 The locus of charisma 211 11 Leading musically: power and senses in concert 237 Index 253.
Figures 2.1 Choral conductor competences 39 2.2 Functions of conducting gestures. Comparison of two models by mapping Gumm’s (2012) six functions onto Durrant’s (2003) three functions 42 3.1 Beginning of Hanns Eisler’s Gegen den Krieg 55 3.2 Beginning of Claudio Monteverdi’s (1567–1643) Hor ch’el ciel e la terra (from Madrigals, Eight Book) 56 3.3 Excerpt (Kyrie) from Alfred Schnittke’s (1934–1998) Requiem (from the stage music to the drama ‘Don Carlos’ by Schiller, for soloists, chorus and instruments), 2 57 5.1 Choral excerpt from Johannes Brahms’s Ein Deutsches Requiem, sixth movement, from measure 152 106 5.2 The conductor’s sensemaking territory 116 6.1 Affordances of art-based leadership development 140 6.2 Taxonomy of aesthetics-based leadership development 144 7.1 Four intertwining experience trajectories found in the management choir 157 8.1 Conceptualisation of four learning aspects from choral conducting as a leadership development intervention 191 11.1 Four ‘force fields’ of leading musically 239.
Preface The title of this book is intentionally ambiguous. Clearly, it’s about music, but in what way? It’s also about leadership, but what’s the connection to music? Leading music is concrete enough—it’s about organising sound and ensuring cohesion in an orchestra, a choir, a rock band or any other musical ensemble. The conductor role is the most iconic manifestation of leading music. Everyone has some idea about what a conductor is, some understand what a conductor does, but few have reflected on what it’s really about, why we need it and what it takes to do it. One aim is to deep-dive into the con- ductor role, exploring it on its own terms, as well as discussing it in light of leadership and organisational theory.
1 The muse within The unity of psyche is paramount for concentrating the will and for survival. Those of our progenitors who could combine the advantages of differentiated language and knowledge with the unity of psyche and the ability to concen- trate the will received survival benefits. The above considerations led to the following hypothesis: while part of the human voice evolved into language, acquired concrete semantics, and lost some of its emotionality, a nother part of the voice evolved into a less concretely semantic but p owerfully emotional ability—toward music—helping to unify the split psyche.
Part I Enactment of musical leadership From the start we should understand that singing happens. It happens and will continue to happen in various contexts with or without conductors. So why do we need them? My argument is that we might be better off without conductors— particularly when a bad conductor gets the baton. The number of friends and colleagues—singers and orchestral players—who say they perform well in spite, rather than because, of the conductor is uncomfortably large. A necdotes and amusing quips abound of musicians who feel the conductor plays a limited—or even negative—role. […] Bad conductors can damage voices, demotivate, foster poor self-esteem in singers and players, and make mediocre music. They can be worse than bad politicians! But good ones? Well, that’s a different story. We should keep reminding ourselves of the potential for that dynamic interaction and connection that an inspiring conductor can provide.