A system for interpreting the requests and performance of an instrumental soloist, stated in the parlance of the musician and within the context of a specific published edition of music the soloist is using, to control the performance of a digitized musical accompaniment. Sound events and their associated attributes are extracted from the soloist performance and are numerically encoded. The pitch, duration and event type of the encoded sound events are then compared to a desired sequence of the performance score to determine if a match exists between the soloist performance and the performance score. If a match exists between the soloist performance and the performance score, the system instructs a music synthesizer module to provide an audible accompaniment for the soloist. The system provides a method for editing a tempo map associated with the performance score to indicate the tempo of the accompaniment at a location within the performance score. The system further provides a method for creating a custom pause associated with the performance score to indicate a pause in the accompaniment at a location within the performance score. The accompaniment is resumed when the soloist either plays a note or taps a foot pedal or key on a keyboard.