|Themes > Arts > Music > Elements of Music > About Interpretation in Music|
Danlee Mitchell and
Jack Logan, Ph.D.
Musicians seldom perform a piece of music exactly the same way during repeated performances, whether the music is notated or played each time from memory. This notion is known as the interpretation of music by the performer and it is this aspect of performance that makes music "come alive" and "breathe" whether the music is Mozart, jazz, salsa or rock. Interpreting music allows performers the opportunity to probe spirituality as a fundamental part of music.
Musicians enjoy the surprise of their interpretation of music. Upon hearing familiar music there are certain expectations as to tempos, dynamics, timbre and other elements of music that listeners anticipate. When performers create surprise in music because of "interpretation", openings to new perspectives about music occur.
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