Why a page on interpretation? Why pay attention to such a complicated concept, especially in relation to music? The reason is more simple than the task I put before myself. In the explanatory notes on Die Kunst einer Fuge, Zacher consistently speaks about 'his ten interpretations' of 'Contrapunctus I'. Still, I believe that his project goes beyond the 'normal' meanings of the concept of 'interpretation'.
 Many analytical philosophers distinguish between the use of the concept of interpretation in a linguistic (philosophical) discourse and in a music(ologic)al discourse, although it is difficult to base this distinction on exact characteristics (see, for example, Hermerén in Krausz, p.17-20). When applied to discursive texts, interpretation commonly functions as an explicative or an elucidating explanation of a (written or spoken) text. It facilitates understanding. Interpretation: the act or process of explaining, the power of elucidation. Philosophical interpretations of a text include reconstruction of the chain of arguments, identification of gaps and missing premises, exposure of hidden assumptions, discussion of different ways to deal with or eliminate contradictions in the text, etc. An attentive interpretation may disclose an orderly (limited) series of meanings that are inherent a priori in the text itself. One thing is clear: the original text is not clear enough; it needs further explanation.
 What does interpretation mean in the realm of music? In The Interpretation of Music - nineteen essays on the aesthetic, cultural, and historical aspects of musical interpretation -, analytical philosophers of music find it very difficult to formulate an adequate answer to this and they certainly do not succeed in delivering any univocal answer. Most of the contributions in the book start from the premise that interpretation is synonymous with performance, the act of bringing a musical composition to sound. However, Michael Krausz and Jerrold Levinson distinguish between interpretation and performance. With that, we arrive at the triplet, work-interpretation-performance. According to Krausz, numerous performances may embody a single interpretation, understood as the explanatory analysis that precedes a performance (cf. Krausz, p.76). Levinson elaborates this point by arguing that a performance is never a fully transparent reproduction of an interpretation. Furthermore, he observes that the reverse may also be true. One performance may lead to several interpretations; performances may trigger the formulation of interpretations. Levinson states that interpretations aim to explain (or elucidate) the meaning or structure of a work, while performances at best highlight these (cf. Levinson in Krausz, p.38). So what both authors advocate is that several singular events may converge, connect, and concentrate at the same point of departure. (This point then becomes the same and an other at the same time.)
 Would Zacher's project be an interpretation or a performance? One thing to consider is its neutral nature (cf. Levinson). One can hardly say that Die Kunst einer Fuge serves only to transmit; Zacher certainly does not intend to create the most neutral intermediary for Bach's work. The ten different versions of 'Contrapunctus I' are also ten analyses of the composition. Every time, a different aspect of the work is elucidated; every time, a different angle presents a new thesis; every time, the work encounters other works. These analyses, however, do not precede the played versions. Rather, interpretation and performance coincide.
 A discursive text can be understood in several ways. It can be supplemented in various ways. Certain ideas can be connected, others disconnected. The focus of interest can be placed in various areas; one may look for different levels of meaning behind the literal meanings, etc. Similarly, a score leaves a great deal of freedom to the interpreter. We are accustomed to having several interpretations of one musical text. In music, it seems difficult to speak of the one correct explanation or interpretation that would reveal the 'true meaning' of the score.
 Die Kunst einer Fuge is not an interpretation in the traditional sense of the word. The difference is that Zacher is not interpreting in one direction in order to establish the one true interpretation of 'Contrapunctus I'. Nor does he intend to expose an (original) meaning that would reside outside of Bach's text. Zacher does not intend to reproduce a polysemic web. His interpretations are not an explanation or a hermeneutic quest for the deeper layers in Bach's composition that would lead to a fundamentally finite gamut of possibilities; neither do they intend to determine understanding (Verstehen) or meaning. Rather, there is dispersion and multiplicity (due to numerous connotations) in Die Kunst einer Fuge; there are multiple readings, attention to material properties (cf. for example, the fifth interpretation, entitled 'Timbres-durées', where the length of the notes determines the composition, and also the whole idea of intermusicality that is active in Die Kunst einer Fuge) and undecidability. Dissemination. No 'vouloir-dire', not a quest for the meaning, the intention or the truth of a text. Zacher makes the multiphony of the text audible. His readings are snapshots in time, a temporary fixation in an ongoing process of structuralization, never the last word. Die Kunst einer Fuge not only offers a critique of the interpretation cult (of authenticity) within Western culture, but implicitly sets up an encounter between this culture and alternative views.
 Although a single correct performance of a musical work may perhaps be an unrealizable ideal, some philosophers in The Interpretation of Music do specify a number of preconditions that need be satisfied in order for a performance to be 'true'. What are the appropriate (ethical) constraints of the performer's freedom? Levinson is guided, for the most part, by the question of 'how various prescriptions of rhythm, tempo, dynamics, and so on should be precisely realized within their permissible ranges' (Levinson in Krausz, p.35). According to Robert Martin, performances may vary within the constraints of the composer's instructions and the rules and conventions of the performance practices that change over the years (cf. Martin in Krausz, p.123). Both considerations raise as many questions as they try to answer. What are 'permissible ranges'? Where and when are they exceeded? And who decides on that? Levinson, for example, does not want to engage in interpretations in which the performer blatantly and knowingly departs from a work as it has been constituted in an effort to comment on the work in some way, since the permissible ranges then become even more vague. (He mentions rhetorical pauses, interpolated bits, sudden improvisations, excisions, reorchestrations, reharmonizations.) Pertaining more specifically to Die Kunst einer Fuge is Hermerén's question of 'how far one should go in the attempts to find new ways of performing the music of the old masters' (Hermerén in Krausz, p.25). He finds himself unable to answer this. Perhaps, J.O. Urmson's remark in the same book may serve as a conclusion, 'Where the limits of legitimate interpretation lie will, no doubt, never be agreed ... but there are limits' (Urmson in Krausz, p.161). According to the above, the coordinates of these limits can be set by the score, the composer's intentions, and the conventions; the score and the intentions seemingly being the most stable. But, how fundamental is the score? Levinson cites the example of pianist Paul Jacobs, who felt the need to correct a couple of supposed mistakes in Arnold Schönberg's Drei Klavierstücke, Opus 11. A certain fidelity to the instructions in the score has thus been overruled here. There is strong suspicion that the composer has made some mistakes (cf. Levinson in Krausz, p.35). What is the performer's obligation to the composer? Urmson provides us with some possible answers that, again, only seem to add to the problem. 'It is his duty', he states, 'to interpret it in the way in which he believes the score sounds best in accordance with the understanding of musical notation current at the time of composition; it is his duty to interpret it in the way in which he believes it sounds best, even if this involves some departures from the instructions contained in the score; it is his duty to interpret it according to the known views of the composer on interpretation at the time of composition; it is his duty to interpret it in a way that would be approved by the composer if he heard the performance, however surprising to him' (Urmson in Krausz, p.162).
 It is not clear whether Levinson and Martin would consider Die Kunst einer Fuge as a series of interpretations within 'permissible ranges'. Zacher seems not to be seeking the most adequate, correct, or best interpretation of 'Contrapunctus I'. He seems much more focused on (intrigued by) the infinite multiplicity of Bach's text, on opening unknown listening perspectives, on the confrontation between this and other texts or methods of composition. In doing so, he exceeds the accepted conventions of the interpretation praxis. But then, the ten versions of Die Kunst einer Fuge are not a deliberate deviation from 'Contrapunctus I'. Zacher does not change a single note in the score. No reharmonizations, no excisions, no interpolations. (He adds something without adding something!) Despite his taking advantage of the absence of detail and specifications regarding instrumentation, dynamic markings, etc., his work cannot be understood as a play between the incompleteness of the score and the resulting possible multiplicity of interpretation practices. This can sooner be heard when various performances, for example, performances for string quartet or harpsichord, are compared. Neither can we say that Zacher's project consists of several arrangements or adaptations of 'Contrapunctus I'. Again, none of the notes have been altered. Die Kunst einer Fuge involves an exploration of the limits and supplements to Bach's composition. However, it not only delimits, it also introduces the possiblity of opening new areas of listening experience. To deconstruct 'Contrapunctus I' is to search for the inaudible within the audible. Zacher deconstructs when examining musical traces, marks, and differences as they occur during composition and as they are inscribed on the musical text. Although Zacher speaks about 'this series of interpretations' of 'Contrapunctus I', it is important to note that the idea of interpretation can no longer be viewed in the traditional sense. Perhaps, in this respect it would be better to speak of encounters, invitations, play.
 One reason for the possibility of deconstruction, the possibility of dissemination, is that the author can no longer guard his or her works once they are made public. Texts then become independent in a certain sense and the original author's intent may lose pertinence; it may even be ignored. Texts do not coincide with the author; they are traces left behind in passing. Still, many authors clearly leave their marks in their texts.