Passing the baton

March 12, 2015

I was fascinated to learn David Eastwood’s thoughts on being a vice-chancellor, although like many, I suspect, of your musician readers, slightly doubtful about his allusion to sonata form (“Know the score”, Features, 5 March).

The tension between two different keys and (sometimes) moods in the exposition is really the thing, and later obsession with extensive development can be tiring. I suspect that vice-chancellors who try too much development end up improvising, which is also a mistake unless one is very able. And I’m sure that our own much loved vice-chancellor would baulk at the prospect of orchestration too. This is really very difficult and I know that he would happily leave it to the experts, even perhaps questioning the morality of attempting the task with people rather than instruments.

A really successful vice-chancellor (such as ours) makes sure that the musicians have the resources they need, and will watch the conductor’s back.

Ben Hall
Department of music, University of Chichester

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