A baton is a stick that is used by conductors primarily to exaggerate and enhance the manual and bodily movements associated with directing an ensemble of musicians. They are generally made of a light wood, fiberglass or carbon fiber which is tapered to a comfortable grip, usually made of cork or wood. The grip can be customized based on the conductor's needs. Professional conductors often have them made to their own specifications based on their own physical demands and the nature of the performance: Sir Henry Wood and Herbert von Karajan are some examples. When Gaspare Spontini arrived in Dresden in 1844, Wagner was required to have a baton made - a thick ebony staff with ivory knobs at either end.
Batons normally vary in length from about 10" up to 24", which Sir Henry Wood requested when his baton was being made.
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