Conducting is the art of directing a musical performance, such as an orchestral or choral concert, by way of visible gestures with the hands, arms, face and head. The primary duties of the conductor are to unify performers, set the tempo, execute clear preparations and beats (meter), and to listen critically and shape the sound of the ensemble.
Conductors act as guides to the orchestras and/or choirs they conduct. They choose the works to be performed and study their scores, to which they may make certain adjustments (e.g., regarding tempo, repetitions of sections, and so on), work out their interpretation, and relay their vision to the performers. They may also attend to organizational matters, such as scheduling rehearsals, planning a concert season, hearing auditions, and promoting their ensemble in the media. Orchestras, choirs, concert bands and other sizable musical ensembles such as big bands are usually led by conductors.