Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


School of Music



First Advisor

Donald Portnoy

Second Advisor

Cormac Cannon


The art of conducting musical ensembles has grown since conductors such as Louis Spohr, Carl Maria von Weber, Felix Mendelssohn, Richard Wagner, and Hector Berlioz popularized it in the classical and romantic eras of music history. However, there appear to be discrepancies between the prevalence of conducting throughout music history and the availability of bachelor’s degrees in music performance centered around conducting in the United States. Europe has a strong tradition of training conductors from a young age, and Asia is beginning to develop a strong tradition of its own. The United States is a worldwide leader in many degree programs and university activities, but the addition of undergraduate degrees in conducting may not be paramount to those university administrators and faculty who have the power to implement them. Many music performance majors are given the opportunity to pursue a degree and lessons in their instrument prior to the graduate level, but conductors are expected to learn their art throughout the course of their careers, often with only two or three courses in conducting where podium time in front of a live ensemble is limited. In this research, I will unveil some of the universities that offer undergraduate degrees in conducting performance in the United States and examine similar degree programs in Germany, Austria, and Korea.


© 2017, Erik Lee Garriott

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