Adrian Casas Lupercio - conducting expert

How to finish a piece - The cut off

How to effectively conduct the end of a piece

In this video, Adrian gives you useful tips on how to conduct the end of a piece correctly and without bad surprises!

Released on April 7, 2021

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DISCLAIMER: The views and the opinions expressed in this video are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Virtual Sheet Music and its employees.

Video Transcription

Hello everyone. My name is Adrian Casas. I am a violinist and conductor from Regina, Canada, and we are here today to talk about how to finish a piece. Or the Cutoff, or the Release.

So typically for the Cutoff or the Release, you will see a singular motion, either clockwise or counterclockwise that comes after the last beat of the piece. So if your last beat is in the four-beat, then you will see one and two and three and four and cut. Or if your last beat is the third beat, then you will see one and two and three and cut. Not as a soup division at the end of each beat.

Now, in one of my previous videos, I talk about acceleration and deceleration into the beat point. And how fast you hit into the beat point will depend on the music that you have in front of you.

The same will apply for the cut. Make sure that your gesture matches the music. So a good way to think about the Cutoff is, think how you want the musicians to release and stop the sound at the end of the piece. So how you want the musicians, how do you want the violinist to draw the bow at the end? Or how do you want the woodwinds and the brass to release that little bit of air that you have at the end?

If you're dealing with a choir, think of how you want them to finish that last syllable at the end of the piece.

Now there are other types of cutoffs such as a placement or a strike, but always remember that if the baton stops, the music stops. And this is particularly useful for dealing with fermatas. So for example, if you have a fermata, make sure that your baton keeps moving all the way through the fermata until you're ready to release.

Here are some examples of the types of Cut Offs that I use with my end sounds.

Thank you very much for watching and stay safe.
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