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Latency and Ormandy

As I recall, Eugene Ormandy used to conduct about 1/2 beat ahead of the
orchestra (on the occasions I saw him with the Philadelphia in Saratoga
in the mid-70s). Anyone who played 'with the downbeat' was ahead.

In most cases of non-Ormandy conductors, they adjusted and played on the
(given) beat. On one occasion, the orchestra was playing the Verdi Four
Sacred Pieces with a conductor they _did not_ like.

In a slow movement the choir sang 'on the beat', and the orchestra played
1/2 beat behind for the entire movement, 'as a lesson to the conductor'
(I was later told by members of the orchestra). From what I could tell,
few in the audience noticed (!) that the choir and orchestra were half a
beat apart. Ormandy was _not_ amused and informed the orchestra the
following day.

IME, the concept of 'chronometric synchronicity' is often loose in many
musicians, exceptions being the likes of Glenn Gould. It seems to me (as
a non-scientist) that three parts involved are: auditory (can one hear
the delay), physical (can one get any closer), psychoacoustic (does the
listener care). Sychronization in the blues may not even place the 'beat'
in the same 'bar'. (But I also played in a band that couldn't play
together and it never worked (the same place twice).)



In support of psychoacoustics for the real world.