I am a pianist, and I often hear the term "interpretation" in phrases like –
- "you must now develop your own interpretation of the piece"
- "when advancing in music, subtlety in approaching the interpretation of the music is very important"
- "For being a good musician, one must have good interpretative insight"
However, what exactly does it mean? What is an interpretation of music?, is it the dynamics, the changes in speed, the articulation, or something else? What concrete and practical steps can I take to develop my own interpretation of a piece?
Now if I play the notes correctly, play with the dynamics as given in the sheet music, and also the articulation, then what remains?
I have tried to ask some people and the responses I got were like "understand what the composer was trying to convey and convey it in your style" or "make use of all the musical tools you have (dynamics, phrasing, pedaling, articulation, etc.) to create your own impression of the song".
Now although they sound very philosophical and nice, yet I still haven't gotten something discrete I can work towards.
What I want to know is:
- What is musical interpretation and what is it made of? (i.e. what aspects of performance create the interpretation?), is it a general feature of a performance, or does it come out of tiny specific details? If so, what details? or what feature?
- How can interpretation be developed when everything is being done according to a given sheet music; from dynamic variations (crescendos, diminuendos, etc.) to tempo control (retardation, etc.)?, does interpretation come from implementing these in different ways, or does it use some completely different tool(s) not present in the sheet music?
- How can I understand and differentiate the interpretations of different performers (who are playing the same song)?