I have a question for all of you Classical music experts as I am a newbie trying to educate myself and explore this massive area of music that I have essentially ignored most of my life. I have read so much about the different interpretations of any given piece of music recorded by various conductors and performers. I am sorry if the following question is elementary and silly but I have no technical background or understanding of music from any academic or performance standpoint. I am just a guy with a pair of ears who has loved listening to music his whole life. My understanding is that a given piece of "Classical" music is written down or transcribed in musical notation. I have always assumed, perhaps wrongly, that this written information included all of the relevant data: the notes played, which instruments play which parts of the music and when, tempo or rhythm, dynamics and areas of emphasis, etc. Where is there room for a conductor or performer to interpret this written data? Does he or she ignore part of what is written and take personal liberties with the music or is there enough ambiguity or missing info in what is written than interpretation is a necessary and inherent part of performing an written piece of music? I am very curious about this.