Interpretive Content of a Musical Work: The Performing Aspect

Main Article Content

Olga Solomonova
Olha Ohanezova-Hryhorenko
Viola Demydova
Yurii Kuchurivskyi
Volodymyr Bordonyuk


The relevance of this study is determined by the urgent importance the issues of training the musicians in the context of qualitative nurturing their abilities for music interpretation in accordance with the author's main ideas. The purpose of this study lies in the analysis of the main features of the problem of interpretation of musical works by different composers, in terms of the development of the performing skills of musicians, as a major constituent of qualitative perception of a musical piece. The leading methodological approach to consideration within the scope of the research combines a systematic approach to the study of the features of performing different pieces of musical culture, depending on their individual characteristics and the level of performance skills, with the analytical study of the development of performance skills of the individual performers, in the context of their training in modern educational institutions of primary, secondary and higher music education. The results of this study indicate the high importance of qualitative interpretation of musical works by performers for the perception of listeners, as well as the low level of research on this range of issues, which necessitates further research in this area. The results and conclusions of this study are essential for teachers of educational institutions that train future musicians, as well as for the musicians themselves, who by the nature of their professional activities face the urgent need to reflect in the musical works they perform the author's intention expressed in the intonational palette of the musical work and to enhance their performance to expand their ability to reflect the meanings of a piece of music.


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1. Introduction

The quality of a piece of music performed by a particular performer depends on a multitude of factors, both directly related and unrelated to each other. Among such factors is the performer's ability to feel the author's intonational palette of a musical work correctly and to interpret the author's intentions regarding the possibilities of artistic representation of certain experiences and moods in the music during the performance (Perlovsky, 2017) [1]. Musical art reflects in sound combinations the wide range of human emotions of all kinds, so the performer's interpretation of a piece of music is essential to communicate the full range of emotions intended by the creator of the piece at the time of its creation.

The current requirements of the music education system imply the need for future performers of musical works to develop special competencies directly related to the ability to find correct interpretations of the intonations of the given works, which were laid down by the author when writing them, and to correctly represent them directly in the performance process (Yinger, 2017) [2]. This is achieved through sustained lessons at all stages of a future performer's education at a music school, and such competencies can theoretically be achieved by absolutely every student, regardless of their level of musical giftedness. The interpretative context of a piece of music implies a wide range of possibilities for the performer to interpret the author's intention, depending on their level of professional training and perception of the characteristics of a piece of music. The artistic expressiveness of the intonation palette of a piece of music in this context is determined by the combination of the performer's skill and ability to convey the author's intent through the expressive power of an instrument or group of instruments (Thomson and Jaque, 2016) [3].

The training of contemporary musicians takes place in the context of the emerging contradictions between the narrow focus of their professional training and the currently very vague social demands on the music itself and the level of skill of musical performers. Such contradictions reveal themselves most clearly in evaluating the accumulated experience of music performance in the former Soviet Union and abroad, the system of requirements for musicians of national and foreign schools, as well as in conducting a comprehensive assessment of the requirements put forward today for music education in general. Contemporary musicians, who are at the very beginning of the process of developing competencies necessary for quality musical performance in the future, are faced with the need for proper teaching processes in the context of developing the ability to interpret the author's ideas in the performance of musical works. The potential of the performing ability of musicians is seen in this area since the ability to interpret the subtleties of a piece of music is not common, and its development requires considerable effort from both the musician and the teachers who teach it within the requirements of the school's curriculum (Bowins, 2020) [4].

The interpretation of any piece of music requires an advanced ability of the performer to perceive the author's idea of the composition, as well as the ability to convey it artistically in the performance. Performers are to a large extent responsible for conveying a piece of music, namely how they can enliven or spiritualise it and convey the author's emotions and meanings in the full range of their artistic expression. As the process of realising a musical work in the sounds of musical notation, interpretation requires an individual approach to performance, and a pronounced creative vision of the performer to implement the author's intention (Pfordresher, 2019) [5]. At various stages of music history, the art of musical interpretation has been equated with the art of musical composition, as very often musical works were only performed by their authors. Musical interpretation refers to the expressive performance of musical works, where musicians provide personal interpretation and express feelings through dynamics, tempo, phrasing, etc. A musical composition, on the other hand, is a piece of music itself, created by a composer, which can be reproduced by performers. Musical interpretation uses a musical composition as a basis for a performance, where performers bring their own style and emotional expression, and the composition serves as the basis for that performance. The intensification of concert activity in modern conditions has contributed to the gradual development of the art of musical interpretation, as a separate component of performing skills. It is worth citing a few examples of outstanding interpretations of musical works. The famous organist and composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart performed the Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565, in a lively and expressive style. His interpretation was impressive because of the special emphasis on the harp and the enormity of the fugue, which gave it unsurpassed expressiveness. An analysis of this interpretation emphasizes the expressiveness and conformity to the structure of the work. Mozart successfully reproduced the contrasts in tempo and dynamics, emphasizing the dramatic character of this musical masterpiece. The renowned conductor Herbert von Karajan gave an outstanding interpretation of Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No. 9, "Ode to Joy," with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. In his interpretation, he particularly emphasized the melody and dynamics of the music. Karayan was noted for his precision and clarity of performance, taking care to preserve the emotional content of the work and emphasize its uniqueness.

Therefore, the main research question is to determine what are the stages of formation of musicians' interpretive competence and what factors influence their interpretive approach. The main purpose of the study is to investigate the process of musical interpretation from the point of view of the performer and to identify the key stages and factors that influence interpretation.

2. Materials and Methods

In this research, a comprehensive methodological approach was employed to investigate the interpretation of musical works by performers. This approach combines a systematic analysis of how performers interpret different pieces of musical culture based on their individual characteristics and skill levels with an analytical examination of how their performance skills develop throughout their education in primary, secondary, and higher music institutions and in their professional careers.

This study was conducted in three stages. In the first stage, a theoretical study of scientific publications on the subject was carried out. The data obtained at this stage were used later to conduct a systematic analysis of the peculiarities of the interpretation of musical works by different performers. In the second stage, an analytical study of the development of musicians' performing skills while studying at music schools was conducted, as well as a comparison of the data obtained with the results of similar studies by other scholars. In the third and final stage, the main conclusions of the study were formulated on the basis of the analysis and generalization of the data obtained. By combining theoretical and practical studies and utilizing these diverse research methods, this approach aims to fully explore the topics at hand and draw conclusive insights into the interpretative aspects of musical performance within its contextual framework.

The theoretical basis of this study is provided by numerous studies of a number of national and, mainly, international authors, who have considered in their studies features of musical works interpretation by various performers to create a qualitative basis for scientific research of the interpretational content of a musical work from the point of view of the performing aspect. To create the necessary conditions for the best perception of the information presented and to facilitate its comprehension in the presentation, all studies by international authors considered in this paper and presented in the order of citation have been translated into English. The methodological basis of this study was determined in full accordance with the chosen topic and contributed to covering it as fully as possible in accordance with the chosen research methods.

This study was carried out in three stages.

1. At the first stage of the study, a theoretical analysis of scientific literature by national and a number of foreign authors on the problems of interpreting musical works from the perspective of the performance aspect was carried out. Relevant scientific publications were selected and analyzed, and the main approaches and concepts of musical interpretation were considered. Based on the critical review, gaps in research were identified and working hypotheses for further study were formulated.

2. At the second stage, an analytical study was conducted. In particular, a survey of musicians, analysis of recordings of musical performances, and study of the curricula of music institutions were conducted. The collected data was subject to quantitative and qualitative analysis. The results were compared with the theoretical positions and hypotheses formulated in the first stage.

3. The third and final stage summarized the results of the theoretical and analytical research. On their basis, answers to the research questions were formulated, and the theoretical and practical contribution of the work was determined.

3. Results and Discussion

3.1. Factors that influence the interpretation of a piece of music

The breadth of interpretative perception of musical works by different performers is due to a complex combination of many factors, among which the main ones should be considered the level of preparation of the performer of musical works and their level of cultural perception of music in general, involving the developed ability to feel the author's concept of the musical work and the ability to convey it during performance. The interpretative content of a piece of music depends directly on the performing principles of the specific school of art to which a particular performer belongs, as well as the degree of understanding of these principles by a particular performer. Any interpretation of a piece of music is always strictly individual and presupposes both creative ability and a vision of the performance concept (Trondalen, 2019) [6].

Figure 1 presents a diagram of the structural relationship between the performance aspect of a musical work and the various components that determine the quality of a performer's interpretation of a musical work.

Figure 1. The structural relationship of the performance aspect in a piece of music Source: created by authors

The complexity of interpreting a musical piece hinges on the composer's vision for conveying emotions through the musical palette. The author's artistic expression is paramount in shaping a musical work. However, capturing the author's vision presents a significant challenge for performers, as it depends on their ability to grasp the composer's intentions. Improvisation in musical interpretation can be challenging, especially in complex compositions where there may be limited room for improvisational elements. Interpretation, therefore, necessitates the creative imagination of the performer, encompassing their unique perspective on the author's concept and their artistic expression. Artistic variances in interpreting a piece of music are influenced by the performer's training, the traditions of their music school, and their individual vision for conveying musical ideas. Additionally, the performer's level of training and their diverse approaches to expressing these ideas also contribute to the nuanced interpretation of a musical work (Viljoen and Viljoen, 2018) [7].

The aesthetic values of the art school, in which a particular musician was trained, have a significant impact on the quality of the interpretation of the work, as their embedded in the learning process determines the mastery of the transfer of artistic images created in music in the context of their aesthetic component. The aesthetics of the performance largely determines the listeners' perception of the characteristics of a piece of music, as well as the performer's ability to convey the author's message to them.

The level of musical training and skill of the performer is crucial, both in any performance in general and in the performance of a particular work, in terms of the ability to accurately convey the message of its author. This refers primarily to the technique of playing an instrument and the level of mastery of the instrument. The performer's improvisational and interpretative skills determine their abilities both in terms of expressing the author's ideas and in the context of extending the author's intention, adding to the performance of the piece their vision of revealing its main features. The author's concept in a piece of music can undergo significant modifications, depending on the level of performance skill of the musician performing the piece, as well as their ability to express and reflect in music their vision of the musical composition.

3.2. Stages of formation of interpretive competence

The long-term training of a musician involves a gradual development of the ability to express oneself in music and the ability to interpret the intention of the author of a piece of music directly in the process of performing it. This is facilitated by the gradual development of the musician's ability to perceive, comprehend, creatively process and then communicate the musical material directly in the performance of a piece of music. In this way, a gradual development of the musician's professional is taking place, which involves a stage in the education of a professional musician capable of interpreting, at a high level of complexity, pieces of music at the highest level.

In the context of the performing aspect in the interpretation of a piece of music, the following main stages can be distinguished in the development of the performer's competence in musical works:

– the development of the ability to comprehend the author's intention of a musical work and the main ideas laid down by the author at the stage of its writing;

– the development of performance skills in interpreting the composer's intent, directly in the performance of a piece of music in a rehearsal session environment;

– the development of interpretative skills and the consistent refinement of these skills directly during performances.

The performer's ability to interpret a piece of music during a stage performance, in addition to their stage culture and the general level of gradually developing performing skills, is based on their ability to transform into an author, with the aim of practical understanding of the features of the author's intention in relation to a particular piece of work. This aspect is even more important from the point of view of the actual interpretation of a work of art than the level of the musician's performance, because it implies the presence of the actor's imagination and the acting abilities of the musical performer, which, combined with the developed performing skills of the musician, is a very rare phenomenon. In addition, the possibilities of artistic, interpretative expression in a musical composition are usually limited to the author's intent, which a priori implies imposing certain restrictions on the performer (Héroux, 2018) [8].

The interpretation content of a musical composition implies a qualitative approach to the performer's perception of a musical composition, its comprehension, internal processing and subsequent performance in strict accordance with the traditions of the musical school to which the performer belongs. Nurturing a quality performer capable of ensuring a high level of interpretation of musical compositions requires the inclusion of a large number of aesthetic, cultural, and musicological mechanisms in the training process, expressed in the activities of music teachers at the stage of training at the educational institution. On the aesthetic front, musicians should study the philosophical principles and sensibilities that have shaped the music they interpret, including historical artistic movements and schools of thought. Immersion in aesthetic values provides a context for the emotions and meanings embedded in the works. Culturally, performers need to be familiar with the traditions, customs, and spirit of the places and eras where the music originated. This helps them to authentically convey the cultural fabric intertwined with the notes on the page. For example, knowledge of Baroque cultural norms is key to interpreting Bach. From a musicological point of view, novice interpreters must analyze the technical and structural elements of each piece to recognize the composer's creative choices. Understanding harmonic patterns, rhythmic motifs, melodic contours, etc. can help illuminate musical ideas. Incorporating this multidimensional aesthetic, cultural, and theoretical engagement into music education develops a keen sensitivity to all aspects of a work. The quality of their collaboration largely determines the end result, expressed in the "creative birth" of a high-class master of musical performances, capable of interpreting the works of any author at a high level (Viljoen and Viljoen, 2018) [7].

Performing a piece of music presupposes the musician's ability to discover the author's intention in the context of their interpretation, in accordance with the musician's own way of perceiving and performing the musical composition. The performance of classical music by high-class musicians reveals a certain 'spiritual experience', expressed in a reflection of the experiences of the author at the time of the creation of the musical composition, and of the performer when it is performed on stage. Performing interpretations of musical works can be extremely diverse and effective in conveying musical ideas and emotions. For example, consider a classic example - Sonata No. 14 "Moonlight Sonata" by Ludwig van Beethoven, which can be performed by different pianists. If the performer emphasizes the softness and lyrical melodies of this piece, the audience will feel its emotional depth and sophistication. On the other hand, if the performer strongly emphasizes the dynamics and abrupt transitions in the music, it can create an impression of energy and tension. An artist's interpretation of a composition is a full expression of their creative and personal identity (Lotter and van Staden, 2019) [9]. At the same time, a first-rate performance of the music of a particular composer allows the listener to experience the spirit and traditions of the country in which the composer was born, their views, their worldview and the spiritual foundation of their entire oeuvre. Each work of a particular author is part of their creative concept, expressing their views and creative vision of the world. The performing aspect lies in the musician's ability to convey to the listener the breadth of the palette of a musical composition recorded in musical notation and to preserve at the proper level the expression of the author's ideas, worldview and creative vision of the world, conveyed in a particular combination of musical symbols. Achieving such a feat is not easy – it takes several years of regular study to train a top-class musical performer, provided there is regular, dedicated effort on their part. There is an organic relationship between the creator and the performer of a musical artwork.

3.3. Performing skills as a combination of technique and interpretation

The art of performing music is about connecting sound and meaning. The art of musical performance is intended to build up a convincing interpretative form of a musical composition for a trained audience on the basis of full aural and sensory perception. This implies the focus of the educational process on the study and development of certain ways and operations, techniques and technologies used by consciousness, physiology, perception, the performing apparatus in the multifaceted and complex process of transformation of the set of auditory stimuli, cultural, aesthetic, art history ideas into a phenomenon of performing musical culture (Solomonova, 2008) [10].

The national and cultural roots of musical works significantly shape their performance interpretation. A piece often reflects the musical idioms and aesthetic sensibilities of the place and time period where it originated. Performers must study the historical and geographical context to authentically convey cultural elements woven into the composition. For instance, Indian ragas feature intricate melodic ornamentations and rhythmic cycles rooted in Hindu devotional traditions. Mastering sitar and tabla performance techniques allows musicians to capture the spiritual essence and improvisational freedom in Indian classical music. In Western classical music, national schools of composition and performance have distinct flavours. The rich harmonies and ornamented melodies of French baroque works demand artful execution on the harpsichord or chamber organ. Beyond instrumentation, techniques for interpreting notation also vary between traditions. Skills like pitch bending, microtonality, and flexible rhythm add authenticity to genres outside of Western classical. For example, blues guitar performance relies on expressive, vocal-like pitch slides. Correctly voicing these "blue notes" channels the soulful African-American origins (Mukhamedjanova, 2020) [11].

Training on culture-specific instruments and learning era-appropriate techniques allows versatile musicians to convincingly cross genres and styles. However, some contend that strictly adhering to historical practices stunts artistic creativity. There are different, sometimes contradictory, views on the extent to which a performer can deviate from the composer's original intent in his or her interpretation of a work. On the one hand, some believe that a performer should convey the author's intent as accurately as possible without introducing their own interpretations. This approach is based on respect for the original work and its creator. However, critics point out that excessive accuracy can make the performance dry and unemotional. On the other hand, supporters of free interpretation believe that the performer has the right to contribute his or her own vision, even changing some elements of the work. This allows the composition to be refreshed and updated. However, critics warn that too loose an interpretation can distort the author's intention (Davies, 2006) [12].

The plastic work of the performer of a musical composition has a huge impact on the stage as well. Often the semantic transformations of a musical image are displayed not only by sound, but also by plastic means – starting with dance, plastic composition, pantomime in musical theatre, and ending with "plastic handwriting" of an instrumentalist musician, which also serves as an aspect of embodiment of intonational content of music through the performing manner of the musician (Ohanezova-Hryhorenko, 2018) [13].

Interpreting a musical composition when performing it in a concert programme or studio recording requires the musician to have a thorough understanding of the composer's intentions, ideas and the possibilities of conveying them using a specific musical instrument. The completeness of all artistic creations, including those belonging to the field of musical art, is a relative concept and is determined by the depth of the author's ideas, as well as by the performance capabilities of a particular musician, and the level of their performing skills. Every piece of music contains a wide range of intonation, which leads to a wealth of artistic interpretations and a variety of interpretative possibilities (Christensen and Gomila, 2018) [14].

In music, intonation represents the starting point for all possible communication, as well as its informational and emotional source. Musical intonations are the basis for performing interpretation, as they contain the whole spectrum of the author's unique experiences, embedded directly in the creation of the musical composition. Intonations play a crucial role in shaping the atmosphere of dramatic scenes woven into the broader structure of a musical piece, especially when considering a composition intended for musical theatre (Ohanezova-Hryhorenko, 2018) [13]. Listeners perceive music not only with their ears, but also with their senses, and it is the listener's capacity for sensory perception of music, the ability to transform the composer's ideas and personal experience into verbal images that is crucial to the impact of musical interpretation on the audience. The perceptual aspect of the musical composition, which relates directly to the performer's role in the process, plays a secondary role in this context (Gilbert, 2021) [15].

3.4. Author's interpretation of a piece of music

The performer, acting as the interpreter of the musical composition, infuses the musical forms created with new energies of the artistic creation process. A high-class performer has the developed ability to find, in the variety of intonation palettes of a musical composition, the only intonations that are meaningful from the point of view of the author's intention and the accuracy of their artistic transmission (Cuddy et al., 2020) [16]. Achieving such a level of performance demands an immense amount of musical talent and years of intensive training to develop an intuitive feel for the composer's concept of musical composition and to interpret it correctly when playing a musical composition.

The contemporary reality of musical culture, shaped by its historical development, contains a large number of artistic works in various genres, styles and directions of popular and classical music. The qualitative selection and thorough analysis of different versions of musical works provide the broadest possible basis for research into the features of constructing the interpretative content of a musical work, which is extremely important from the perspective of educating professional performers of musical works. Every professional musician, even at the stage of learning the basics of the profession in an educational institution, gets the opportunity to choose from the entire breadth of the proposed repertoire of certain styles and directions of modern and classical music that are closest to them for performing a composition, to gradually hone their skill in their performance (Haire and MacDonald, 2021) [17]. Such a distribution of creative effort can be considered the most productive in terms of the quality of training, compared to the outdated approach of memorising standardised pieces of music chosen from the music vocational programme. Future performers are given the opportunity to gradually develop their models of how to attract the audience's attention to specific works and styles, which entails finding and refining their style of musical performance.

The musician's repertoire is based on their individual preferences, level of training and ability to interpret the works of particular composers. As a rule, the core of the performing repertoire consists of works that define the musician's national affiliation and chosen themes of musical compositions, which are significant in terms of artistic expression of their creative essence. In this context, the general level of the performer's musical culture is of particular importance, which is expressed in their ability to correctly assess the level of preparation of the intended audience of listeners for the perception of the intonation palette of a particular piece of music, as well as in their ability to correctly convey the author's intention within the framework of their creative interpretation. The availability of a school of musical performance and the right conditions to train a skilled musical performer are of paramount importance in this context (Mukhamedjanova, 2020) [11].

Among the main factors for the success of a musical performance, are the duration of its performance and the general preparedness of the audience. Also of great importance is the stylistics of a musical composition, unique in each specific case and peculiar to only one particular musician. The combination of these factors largely determines the success of the performance with the audience, as well as their ability to correctly perceive the emotions and moods conveyed by the musician. Undoubtedly, achieving a sufficiently prepared audience for a given performance requires the ability to hold the audience's attention, the volitional control of which, at the level of the large-scale composition of a musical work, is a crucial aspect of performance. A performance style specific to a musician is characterised by a certain intensity of playing, a typical rhythm and the level of expression of the emotional experience embedded in the musical composition (Dassa and Harel, 2019) [18]. When a composer creates a composition, he conjures up an inimitable picture of artistic images that gradually coalesce into a coherent sound within a three-dimensional, multi-layered picture. When performed well, the external and internal sound images create an organic, aural integrity, partly unified, and partly contradictory in its own artistic diversity. The performer must be able to convey to the listener the full range of sounds in the musical palette, with the correct emphasis on specific, artistically meaningful passages (Malashevska and Kozhevnikova, 2022) [19].

The author's performance of a composition has a special flavour, involving a consistent presentation of the author's own conceived ideas and artistic concepts within the framework of the musical notation (Viljoen and Viljoen, 2018) [7]. The interpretation of the author's idea in this case acquires unique, hidden from the untrained listener, the original creative impressions and motives that guided the composer to create the composition. In this case, the performance fully reflects the author's feelings and associations beyond music, which are connected with specific events in the composer's life, echoes of which were transferred to the sheet music and are reflected in the sound when he performs their work (Berehova, 2022) [20]. The spirituality of the performance is transmitted to the listener, evoking a whole range of corresponding feelings caused by the performing skill of the author of the composition. The author constructs vivid, moving and lively images in their imagination, which are transmitted to the listener during the performance. These come together in aural embodiment and have a complex effect on the audience, causing them to have an internal need to rethink what they hear (Abrahan et al., 2021) [21].

3.5. The role of the teacher in the development of interpretive skills

There are many aspects to the process of developing performance skills in musical compositions, and the search for new possibilities and options for improving the ability of performers to interpret the ideas of their creators. In this context, it is particularly important that music teachers are able to convey to students the importance of cultivating the ability to correctly perceive the essence of the author's artistic intention and to reflect it faithfully in the performance itself (Svanidze et al., 2023) [22]. Ultimately, this is what determines the success of a musical composition in terms of arousing the interest of the audience (Linda, 2023) [23].

The achievement of a musical performer's excellence in terms of the ability to correctly interpret the author's intention when performing a musical composition is a complex and multidimensional process that requires a considerable amount of effort on the part of both the future musician and his/her teacher-mentors (Davies, 2006) [12]. The concept of personal and professional growth of a musician implies a pronounced desire to achieve a high level of skill in interpreting the artistic idea of the author, involving the ability to empathise with the emotions expressed in the musical notation and the talent to express them correctly during the performance, conveying them to the audience in their entirety. It should be noted that not all musicians are capable of personal and professional growth, which makes it very difficult for them to develop the competencies needed to interpret the author's intention when performing musical compositions (Hromchenko, 2022) [24].

The interpretative content of the musical composition in its performance aspect requires the musician to constantly follow the latest trends in the world of music and the latest developments in music pedagogy, putting into practice the latest pedagogical trends concerning the education of musicians and finding ways to enhance their performance skills (Kudabaeva and Aitmukhanova, 2016) [25]. This implies a musician's capacity for constant self-learning and self-education, both professionally and personally. The development of this ability over time leads a performer to quickly appreciate the complexity of interpreting any musical composition and the possibilities of accurately conveying the author's concept in public performance (Venkatarangam, 2021) [26].

The sequence of formation of the future musical performer is directly linked to the age-specific characteristics of the individual, whereby this process is directly linked to the development of their personality in general. The younger the performer, the easier it is for them, over time, to achieve competence high enough to express the author's idea of a musical composition qualitatively (Zhekibayeva et al., 2020) [27]. In any case, nurturing a musical performer who can achieve a meaningful level in creating interpretive content of high quality is a long-term process, and the earlier it starts, the better for the performer and the prospects for further creative growth.

Every creative environment has its own ideas about the acceptable quality of the artistic interpretation of the musical composition and the competence of the performer to provide it at a sufficiently high level (Kalimova et al., 2022) [28]. In music culture, there are many examples of high-level performers, who have masterfully conveyed to the listener the author's diverse range of emotions and experiences in the performance of the musical composition. The performance aspect has always been and always will be of paramount importance to the full expression of the author's intention when performing music, regardless of its styles, genres and directions (Komilova et al., 2023) [29].

The level of the performer's professional training and their ability to correctly interpret the author's idea is of paramount importance when a performer creates the interpretative content of the musical performance directly on the stage (Berkimbaev et al., 2013) [30]; (Bimaganbetova et al., 2013) [31]. The aesthetic perception of the author and the performer of the musical composition should be taken into account, the coincidence of which is extremely successful in ensuring the listeners' perception of the musical work and its success.

4. Conclusions

The purpose of this study was to provide a new understanding of the process of musical interpretation from the perspective of a performer. The study revealed the key stages in the formation of musicians' interpretive competence, as well as the factors that influence the interpretive approach. Thus, a new understanding of how musicians master the art of conveying a composer's intent through performance interpretation was gained.

A key finding is that building interpretation competence requires gradual training across three main stages - comprehending the composer's ideas, translating them into performance in rehearsals, and refining the interpretation in live performances. The study also demonstrates the multitude of factors that shape a performer's interpretative approach, including their aesthetic values, training, and creative imagination.

The significance of this work lies in emphasizing the creative art involved in musical interpretation, which depends on a deep understanding of the composer's ideas as well as the performer's expressive skills. Proper training of interpretation abilities is crucial for musicians to effectively communicate the meanings and emotions contained within the musical score.

The novelty of this work lies in the emphasis on the creative art of musical interpretation, which depends on a deep understanding of the composer's ideas as well as the expressive skills of the performer. Proper training of interpretive abilities is crucial for musicians to effectively convey the meaning and emotions contained in a musical recording.

The study concludes that performance excellence stems not only from technical mastery but also from the ability to delve into the composer's mindset and creatively bring their conception to life. More research can further examine optimal methods to nurture these elusive interpretive skills in musicians. But this work underscores how vital quality interpretation is for impactful musical communication between composer, performer, and audience.

Article Details

How to Cite
Solomonova, O. ., Ohanezova-Hryhorenko, O., Demydova, V. ., Kuchurivskyi, Y. ., & Bordonyuk, V. . (2023). Interpretive Content of a Musical Work: The Performing Aspect. Convergences - Journal of Research and Arts Education, 16(32), 125–138.
Case Reports
Author Biographies

Olga Solomonova, Department of History of World Music, Ukrainian National Tchaikovsky Academy of Music, Kyiv, Ukraine

Full Doctor in Arts, Professor at the Department of History of World Music, Ukrainian National Tchaikovsky Academy of Music, 01001, 1/11 Arkhitektor Gorodetsky Str., Kyiv, Ukraine. ORCID: 0000-0002-3058-425x. She received her professional education at the Kherson Music School and the Kyiv State Conservatory. She defended her candidate's thesis "The art of buffoons in the context of national culture", her doctoral thesis "The funny world of Russian musical classics". She worked at the Rostov Conservatory named after C.V. Rakhmaninov, Taganrog Pedagogical Institute, Kherson Music School, NMAU named after P.I. Tchaikovsky at the department of the history of music of ethnic groups of Ukraine and music criticism; Kyiv Music School, Kyiv Children's Academy of Arts (now Kyiv Academy of Arts). She teaches the courses "History of World Music", "Laughing World of Music. The Theory of Parody", conducts individual classes in music criticism.

Olha Ohanezova-Hryhorenko, Department of Solo Singing, Odessa National A.V. Nezhdanova Academy of Music, Odesa, 65023, 63 Novoselsky Str., Odesa, Ukraine.

born in 1970 in the city of Odesa. In 1993, she graduated from the Odessa State Conservatory named after A.V. Nezhdanova, vocal and choral faculty with the specialty "Singing". In 2007, she graduated from the Odesa Regional Institute of Public Administration of the National Academy of Public Administration under the President of Ukraine, majoring in "Public Administration in the Field of Culture and Arts" with honors. She started her career in 1991 as a soloist-vocalist of the municipal show theater "Richelieu", where she worked until 1995. From 1995 to the present, she has been working as a soloist-vocalist at the Odessa Academic Theater of Musical Comedy named after M.G. Vodianyi. From 2006 to the present, she works as a vocal teacher at the department of "solo singing" at the Odesa National Music Academy named after A.V. Nezhdanova. In 2009, she defended her dissertation on the topic "Formation of the professional mentality of future vocalists in the process of professional training". In 2011, she received the scientific title of associate professor. She published the monograph "Theory and practice of forming the professional mentality of vocalists in the process of professional training." In 2018, she defended her doctoral dissertation "Autopoiesis of a Musical Artist as a Creative Phenomenon and Subject of Musicological Discourse".

Viola Demydova, Department of Solo Singing, Odessa National A.V. Nezhdanova Academy of Music, Odesa, Ukraine

PhD in Arts, Associate Professor at the Department of Solo Singing, Odessa National A.V. Nezhdanova Academy of Music. She started working in 1988 as a concertmaster of the solo singing department of the Odessa State Conservatory named after A.V. Nezhdanova, to which she was invited back in her student years. During this time, she became one of the leading concertmasters of the ONMA named after A.V. Nezhdanova. She was a direct participant in the training of academy students and accompanied their performances at more than 20 national and international competitions, where students received honorable prizes.

Yurii Kuchurivskyi, Department of Choral Conducting, Odessa National A.V. Nezhdanova Academy of Music, Odesa, Ukraine

PhD in Arts, Associate Professor at the Department of Choral Conducting, Odessa National A.V. Nezhdanova Academy of Music, 63 Novoselsky Str., Odesa, Odesa, Ukraine. He is a laureate of international competitions, choir conductor, choir master of the student choir; choir master of the Odessa National Academic Theater of Opera and Ballet; Choirmaster of the "WeArt" Creative Center. He is the author of scientific articles; participates in the work of scientific and methodological conferences, as well as pedagogical conferences and master classes. He became the author of large-scale creative projects - all-Ukrainian premieres: Bob Chilcott - "A Little Jazz Mass" for mixed choir and jazz trio (2008); John Rutter - "Gloria" cantata for mixed choir, brass band, organ and percussion (2010); Vytautas Mishkinis - "Light Mass" for mixed choir and jazz ensemble (2011). He is also the choirmaster-producer, the author of the idea and the conductor of the Great Symphonic Show "Film Legends" with the Grand Orchestra (2019).

Volodymyr Bordonyuk, Department of General and Specialized Piano, Odessa National A.V. Nezhdanova Academy of Music, Odesa, Ukraine

PhD in Arts, Associate Professor at the Department of General and Specialized Piano, Odessa National A.V. Nezhdanova Academy of Music, 63 Novoselsky Str., Odesa, Odesa, Ukraine. ORCID: 0000-0003-0634-6910. In 1989, he graduated from the Odesa Boarding School of Music named after Professor P.S. Stolyarsky in the special piano class and entered the Odessa State Conservatory named after A.V. Nezhdanova. In 1994, he graduated from A.V. Nezhdanova in the special piano class. In 2008, he defended his candidate's thesis on the topic: "Stylistics of symbolism in the modification of piano genres of prelude and etude in the 19th - early 20th centuries".


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