January 1, 2005 4:17 AM Subscribe
Question from a musical layman--I just went to a great New Year's classical concert and two things I always wondered about struck me again: 1) Why does an orchestra need a conductor? I know it's for tempo, but most of the time the musicians don't even seem to be looking at the conductor. Would the players be completely lost without him/her? And 2) why do musicians need the sheet music? All other types of musicians don't need sheet music...surely they've memorized the piece they're playing....even I know exactly how, say, Beethoven's 5th sounds like (though I couldn't play it to save my life).
Go easy on me, I know the answers must be painfully obvious to many of you.