The Art of Interpretation

Music is a living and breathing entity. Remember this.

It's not enough to perform the notes on the page perfectly, or to recreate the recording/arrangement in detail. You need to make the music come alive. Otherwise, we could just have computers play everything. You need to put your soul into a piece of music and find a way to get beyond the notes, because the notes aren't static. The notes live. The notes breathe. And they want to be found, not just glossed over in a matter of fact way. They want to be explored and to yield up their nuances. 

Perfection is a hollow dream, it is a ghost that really doesn't exist. Yes, we want to play the music as best as we can, but not at the sacrifice of the soul of the music. If everyone sought the same perfection and achieved it, then everyone would sound like everyone else, and there would be little point in having different musicians, bands, or orchestras, because they would all sound the same. But life isn't like that, and it offers us a rich variety. Some musicians will play the note slightly ahead, or behind, or exactly on the beat. Some will offer more or less attack, or a slightly different timbre on each note. Each performance can be perfect in its own way, yet very different.

So when you play a piece of music, don't just play the notes, but put your own personality in them, make them an extension of yourself. Be more than just a technician. Be a musician.

How do you make your music live and breathe?

~ MB


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