Music was a significant cultural component in nineteenth-century Parisian society. The informal clothes and the warm sunlight suggest that this is a rehearsal. The artist captures a moment when the musicians are interrupted and the woman turns as if searching for the source of the disturbance. The identities of the sitters are not known but the artist differentiates their characters very succinctly. The loosely drawn and frothily painted woman conveys the impression of surprise and slight apprehension, while the more solidly drawn man is oblivious, immersed in the tuning of his instrument.