Following in the tradition of publications such as, “Tone Development Through Interpretation” by Marcel Moyse and in the tradition of musical treatises that have included chapters on expression, “Interpretation and Expression: a Workbook for Musicians” is intended for readers interested in further exploring what it means to be “musical,” how to further develop their expressive skills, and it includes over one hundred pages of vocal and instrumental melodic material.
The Preface and Introduction from the workbook follow below:
There is an absence of workbooks about expression and interpretation. While there are many reasons for this, at the core of this absence lies the Western belief that music “talent” is considered to be an innate ability that only needs to be encouraged or “guided” in order to be further developed. In fact, it is often said that a “gifted” musician can be “ruined” by meddling with too much formalized learning. It is a common belief that learning something which is most valued for its innate or “intuitive” qualities diminishes its effect and/or “naturalness”.
Another reason for the lack of musicianship workbooks is that any single method can never be considered wholly “valid” since 1) what music is has not been completely defined, and 2) how music “works” or “came to be” is not totally understood.
Be that as it may, the “Interpretation and Musicianship: A Workbook for Musicians” offers a cogent, integrated and compelling method for developing the expressive understanding and abilities of anyone interested in music.
Interpretation and Expression: A Workbook for Musicians is based on an approach to music expression that relates changes in sounds that occur in our environment to changes in sound that occur in music. Using this approach, and recognizing how sounds change and how we respond to those changes forms the foundation for developing an understanding of expression in music.
The workbook is divided into three parts. The first part, chapters one through three, outline an expressive methodology. The second part, chapter four, includes seventeen sound change exercises based on the methodology established in part one. The third part includes a broad collection of melodic material that is divided into sections titled Music With Words, Music Without Words, and Rhythmic Studies for Two Flutes. The workbook closes with two addenda concerned with what music notation does and does not represent and with ideas about how to “decipher” expressive content.