The word "interlude" directly translates to "between play" meaning, it is a break from the flow of a piece (whether music, a story, or a play).
A musical interlude, for example, which can also be referred to as a "bridge" is a part of the song that seems to deviate from the main melody and chorus. Interludes are particularly common in modern day pop songs and are typically placed just before the final verse and refrain.
The word "interlude" in literature almost always refers to drama. In a play, an interlude can refer to a scene which seems to come out of nowhere. (By definition, interludes do not come at the very beginning or very end of the story, but between scenes.) Different things can be accomplished through the use of an interlude. Perhaps new characters are introduced or a completely different storyline seems to be taking place. In this way, the interlude may be foreshadowing something or providing background information though not in chronological order. Often, interludes are meant to be humorous. In this way, they are meant to break up the tone of an otherwise serious play and give the audience a an emotional break.
1. An intervening episode, feature, or period of time:
"Kerensky has a place in history, of a brief interlude between despotisms" (William Safire).
a. A short farcical entertainment performed between the acts of a medieval mystery or morality play.
b. A 16th-century genre of comedy derived from this.
c. An entertainment between the acts of a play.
3. Music A short piece inserted between the parts of a longer composition.
interlude - an intervening period or episode
entr'acte - the interlude between two acts of a play
interlude - a brief show (music or dance etc) inserted between the sections of a longer performance
show - the act of publicly exhibiting or entertaining; "a remarkable show of skill"
music - an artistic form of auditory communication incorporating instrumental or vocal tones in a structured and continuous manner
interlude - perform an interlude; "The guitar player interluded with a beautiful improvisation"
music - musical activity (singing or whistling etc.); "his music was his central interest"
perform - give a performance (of something); "Horowitz is performing at Carnegie Hall tonight"; "We performed a popular Gilbert and Sullivan opera"