Guess who the First Conductor in History is
We have seen how majestic conductors were as they wave their batons with confidence and authority right in front of a huge orchestra. But have you ever asked yourself who is the first conductor and what was it like during his time? Do they have the same conducting patterns and technique that we have today?
If you have guessed right, the first conductor that was documented in the history is none other than Jean-Baptiste Lully. In fact, he was the first conductor who used the baton, much like what our conductors used today. However, it was not a baton stick that you can wave lightly in the air, it was a staff. This six-foot long staff was not used to swirl around in the air. It was used to set the timing of the music by pounding it into the ground.
Aside from Lully’s contribution as a conductor, he was also noted for his contribution to the baroque and classical era through French overture a form of music he invented during the 1650’s. This invention became very useful that even George Frideric Händel and Johann Sebastian Bach used it extensively. Because its prominence and benefit, Lully was given credit for such creativity.
Lully death was somewhat unusual but still has something to do with music, especially with conducting. His health began to deteriorate when he accidentally struck his foot with the staff he used for conducting. Lully was conducting a celebration concert for the King for his recovery from sickness during that time. His foot got injured but he refused to treat it, so it got worse and eventually resulted into gangrene. Two months after the incident, he died. Maybe it’s one of the reasons why the big staff is no longer used today for conducting. Instead, it was replaced with a baton to avoid similar accidents such as Lully’s. What do you think? O well, his injury would have been healed if he allowed it to be treated.