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baton

baton (Fr.). The stick used by conds. for beating time and securing expressive playing. The accurate orig. of its use is undiscoverable, but it is said that in the 15th cent. in the Sistine Choir at Rome the maestro di cappella beat time with a roll of paper called ‘sol-fa’. Lully's death is alleged to have been the result of an injury to his foot caused by accidentally striking it with a heavier-than-usual cane he was using to thump out the beat on the floor. During the 18th cent. perfs. were dir. from the kbd. and early in the 19th cent. by the first violinist waving his bow at his colleagues when he was not playing. The use of a baton began in Ger. in the 19th cent. Beethoven appears to have cond. with a baton and so did Mendelssohn. Then followed the virtuoso conds. such as Wagner and Bülow. The length of the stick varies, some conds. (e.g. Richter and Boult) using a long baton. Generally, however, a light, short baton is preferred with which the cond. can indicate more than merely the beats of the bar; hence ‘stick technique’. Some conds. abjure the baton and use their hands only (and, of course, their eyes).

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baton

ba·ton / bəˈtän/ • n. a short stick or staff or something resembling one, in particular: ∎  a thin stick used by a conductor to direct an orchestra or choir. ∎  Track & Field a short stick or tube passed from runner to runner in a relay race. ∎  a long stick carried and twirled by a drum major. ∎  a police officer's club. PHRASES: pass (on) the baton hand over a particular duty or responsibility. take up (or pick up) the baton accept a duty or responsibility.

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baton

baton XVI. — F. bâton :- Rom. *bastō, -ōn-, f. *bastāre drive with a stick (cf. L. burdubasta donkey-driver), f. late L. bastum stick.

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baton

batonbaton, batten, fatten, flatten, harmattan, Manhattan, Mountbatten, paten, patten, pattern, platen, Saturn, slattern •Shackleton • Appleton •Hampton, Northampton, Rockhampton, Southampton, Wolverhampton •Canton, lantern, Scranton •Langton, plankton •Clapton •Aston, pastern •Gladstone •Caxton, Paxton •capstan • Ashton • phytoplankton •Akhenaten, Akhetaten, Aten, Barton, carton, Dumbarton, hearten, Parton, smarten, spartan, tartan •Grafton •Carlton, Charlton •Charleston • kindergarten •Aldermaston •Breton, jetton, Sowetan, threaten, Tibetan •lectern •Elton, melton, Skelton •Denton, Fenton, Kenton, Lenten, Trenton •Repton •Avestan, Midwestern, northwestern, Preston, southwestern, western •sexton •Clayton, Deighton, Leighton, Paton, phaeton, Satan, straighten, straiten •Paignton • Maidstone •beaten, Beaton, Beeton, Cretan, Keaton, neaten, Nuneaton, overeaten, sweeten, uneaten, wheaten •chieftain •eastern, northeastern, southeastern •browbeaten • weatherbeaten •bitten, bittern, Britain, Briton, Britten, handwritten, hardbitten, kitten, Lytton, mitten, smitten, underwritten, witan, written •Clifton •Milton, Shilton, Stilton, Wilton •Middleton • singleton • simpleton •Clinton, Linton, Minton, Quinton, Winton •cistern, Liston, piston, Wystan •brimstone • Winston • Kingston •Addington • Eddington •Workington •Arlington, Darlington •skeleton •Ellington, wellington •exoskeleton •cosmopolitan, megalopolitan, metropolitan, Neapolitan •Burlington • Hamilton • badminton •lamington • Germiston • Penistone •Bonington • Orpington • Samaritan •Carrington, Harrington •sacristan • Festschriften •Sherrington • typewritten •Warrington • puritan • Fredericton •Lexington • Occitan • Washington •Whittington • Huntington •Galveston • Livingstone •Kensington •Blyton, brighten, Brighton, Crichton, enlighten, frighten, heighten, lighten, righten, tighten, titan, triton, whiten •begotten, cotton, forgotten, ill-gotten, misbegotten, rotten •Compton, Crompton •wanton • Longton •Boston, postern •boughten, chorten, foreshorten, Laughton, Morton, Naughton, Orton, quartan, quartern, shorten, tauten, torten, Wharton •Alton, Dalton, Galton, saltern, Walton •Taunton • Allston • Launceston •croton, Dakotan, Minnesotan, oaten, verboten •Bolton, Doulton, molten •Folkestone • Royston •Luton, newton, rambutan, Teuton •Houston • Fulton •button, glutton, Hutton, mutton •sultan •doubleton, subaltern •fronton • Augustan • Dunstan •tungsten • quieten • Pinkerton •charlatan • Wollaston • Palmerston •Edmonton • automaton • Sheraton •Geraldton • Chatterton • Betterton •Chesterton • Athelstan •burton, curtain, uncertain •Hurston

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