What is Retrospective Contexualization?

  • Retrospective Contextualization occurs when a musician or actor adapts their performance in order to make a prior mistake seem correct. In music, this can be as simple as cutting off a wrong note early, or adding a series of additional neighbor tones to make it seem as if the wrong note was part of an intentional sequence.
  • In theater, retrospective contextualization could be adding lines or movement to make a mistake seem relevant or purposeful.