Am I thinking of the right words, Musical intent? Maybe phrasing might be a better way to describe this. More to the point – what do I mean by musical intent? Have you ever listened to a performance and could picture in your mind’s eye the exact rhythms and melody – as if you were following along with the sheet music in front of you? To me, that is the definition of musical intent. The ability to not only play correct rhythms and notes, but also to play with such discrimination that there is no question to what is being played. How does one achieve musical intent? Honestly, I’m not even sure.
So many times performances fall into this mediocre realm where all the notes are right, all the rhythms are right, but it is not engaging for the audience. Uninspiring performances can happen even when the performer knows everything on the page (notes, rhythms, dynamics etc). A performance becomes engaging when there is more to the music than just what is on the page. What I’m trying to say is, have more engaging performances! Don’t just read the notes on the page, perform the music – it will be more entertaining for the audience and it will be a better learning experience for you as a musician.