Double interpretation

Interpretation has a tendency to happen in the background of rehearsing the musical score, as an unconscious decision making, reflecting tradition, aesthetic preference, musical and technical skills, leaving no room for any overall decisions on the interpretation (Rastogi 2017). The interpretation becomes the answer to “how can I play it”, instead of “how will I play it” (what can I make out of it) or “how should I play it” (e.g. to make it relevant)”.

Double interpretation is to prepare two distinctly different interpretations, and thereby engage with questions like: How to make different interpretations meaningful in a given piece, and what creates coherence in an interpretation? Double interpretation increases the understanding of interpretation as decisions and can even be used in the concert hall – pushing the audience’s appreciation of interpretation. 

Double interpretation, used in a single performance, switching between two distinctly different interpretations, not accepting the unwritten general rule that an interpretation should display one overall coherence, demands a lot of awareness by the musician.  

As a pedagogical tool, double interpretation is a fast and very direct way to make the student engage in interpretation.

Listen to an example of no less than ten different versions of Bach’s prelude in e minor here.