Chilean music magazine


Musical performance

When we speak of musical interpretation, we refer to a process that has taken hold in Western culture in recent centuries. It consists of a specialized musician decoding a music text from a score and making it audible on one or more musical instruments.Musical theatre is a form of theatrical performance that combines songs, spoken dialogue, acting and dance.In its origins this practice could well go back to the Middle Ages or the Renaissance. It was not a specialty and it was inherent to the composer. But it is also true that from the beginning there were performers of works created by others: composers. This is easy to understand from the practice of the chant that today we call Gregorian, in the Catholic Church.

As time passed, the need to have specialist musicians to “perform” the music, without having composed it, became an increasing requirement. It is also widely known that interpreters have abused the writing of composers, making “contributions” of their own initiative, many times beyond what is strictly recommended. Emblematic cases can be cited such as those of Couperin, Beethoven and Stravinsky, who complained of these abusive practices, which altered their music without apparent justification. If you want to go in a performance, get your seat booked for rock concerts near me

The appearance of the nineteenth-century soloist is also a palpable example of, on the one hand, the importance of their contribution, as well as the abuses they committed.In the twentieth century, interpreters gradually began to respect the musical text more and more and make a contribution that did not violate what was written by a composer. The truth is that the musical interpreter settled in Western culture to stay. His trade and his creation around the written musical work are to this day indissoluble from the musical work. 

The influence of electronic music

The influence of electronic and concrete music in the postwar period threatened to render the performer obsolete. However, as often happens, it was only a threat, since the different music and its different formats coexisted amicably until today.Another aspect that makes the performer a necessary musician is having also installed, many years ago, the collective need to listen to works from the past, in the hands or voices of performers of the present. In the old days, the music that was played and listened to was essentially what was being composed at the time. Today the current music is listened to together with that of antiquity. A parallel in this regard can be found in the theater, where we can attend a performance of playwrights from the past and present.


Only by examining the modern symphony orchestra is it possible to know how many specialists already exist. Added to them are the so-called purely solo instruments, such as the piano, guitar and singing, among others.The orchestral musician deserves a very special mention because his work is tremendously important. Each member of an orchestra is a musician who must properly participate in the coordinated performance of many dozens of other musicians under the staging of the musical imprint guided by a conductor.

The soloist also has a special role, since he is solely responsible for the idea and the version of a musical work. Here a dedication, poise and absolute constancy are required in the study and the concretion of what has been studied.Conductors of orchestras, choir, band and chamber ensembles are also specialists who must deeply understand not only the sound, technique and many other aspects of each instrument or each singer, but, most importantly, they must have the clarity to capture in each group the music that is beyond each note, each phrase and each work.

chamber musician

We also have the so-called chamber musician, who is one who delves into the intimate relationship, sound and texture that involves a small group of musicians. This long tradition of Western music, which includes all kinds of duets, trios and quartets to major ensembles, is what we could define as a subspecialty in musical performance.The so-called accompanying pianist or co-repeater also has a great variety of subspecialties if the repertoire they address is singing or instrumental music (in the usual reductions of concerts for soloist and orchestra) or dance. Only in singing there are already specializations in the Lied or the Chanson (traditional European song) separated from the arias of operas and oratorios.

Finally, I think it is essential to mention opera, a great manifestation that transcends and crosses music and merges with many other arts. Both the orchestral musicians and the singers, the conductor, the registrar, the librettist and the co-repeater, must penetrate a complex world, with the highest demands. live concerts are musicals work and instrument which  performance  of music 


Formalizing the studies of an interpreter, such as those of a composer and also any music professional, gradually also remained in the hands of specialized institutions known throughout the world as conservatories.The Chilean case is tremendously exceptional, as music is studied from its initial levels at the University. 

This has often caused controversy even within our own school. However, it is a fact of enormous importance, since it allows a continuum in the study, perhaps unparalleled in other areas of knowledge. Likewise, the presence of the arts and artistic creation in the University is relevant, since they have been left at the same level as research in the sciences, with regard to the generation of knowledge. 

In this way, composers and performers, actors, designers, playwrights, painters, sculptors and dancers, among others, are considered creators of new knowledge, in this case artistic knowledge.The training of an interpreter has different levels. However, strictly speaking, it is a longer and more arduous training than that of any professional, since many times it must begin early in life, sometimes even from the age of five or six in cases such as the piano and the violin. 

Here there is a dichotomy between “university” and “pre-university”. Notwithstanding that, training from its beginnings at an early age to a mature musical interpretation degree has a logic that has allowed our University to accept this exception as something absolutely necessary and irreplaceable in the training of the arts.

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An interpreter

An interpreter must start with the understanding and full use of a new written language: musical, which comprises a large number of parameters (pulse, height, duration, intensity, color, transients, etc.), all of them applied to highly complex use. of a musical instrument. All this technical “training” goes hand in hand with other aspects that are studied in parallel to shape a reading and performance of musical works, ranging from the simplest to the most intricate and complex.

The interpretation must be impregnated with a thorough knowledge of the composition in its structure, which allows the musician to capture “life” to the written musical notes that always goes far beyond the merely textual. Thus, a simple musical phrase requires the student to have very precise knowledge of the historical surroundings, the style of each period and each region or country, as well as other relevant historical aspects for the understanding of music in its most authentic state. 

It is also necessary in most cases to understand texts associated with music, which implies having a great openness towards other areas of knowledge.Another aspect of enormous importance that must be considered is the use of the agogic call , that is, the different ways of altering the pulse and rhythm, which through a clear and limited flexibility according to the aesthetic and historical parameters of each work and composer, can be applied in each case. Only this aspect constitutes a whole world within musical performance.