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#2078667 - 05/07/13 06:08 AM What are they muttering?
albynism Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/29/10
Posts: 325
I noticed pianists like Argerich and Wang sometimes mutter something to themselves when they play.. What are they muttering? And no it's not humming the tune like Gould does, they are actually saying something. Are they muttering the chord names/modulations to help them remember or something. I wanna know because I have memory issues, if it helps them then I wanna try that LOL

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#2078714 - 05/07/13 08:42 AM Re: What are they muttering? [Re: albynism]
Piano*Dad Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10761
Loc: Williamsburg, VA
Well, in Argerich's case I think she is whispering, "faster, faster, gotta go faster!!" grin
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#2078738 - 05/07/13 09:41 AM Re: What are they muttering? [Re: albynism]
gooddog Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/08/08
Posts: 5364
Loc: Seattle area, WA
When I mutter I'm saying %$#&@
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#2078760 - 05/07/13 10:41 AM Re: What are they muttering? [Re: albynism]
erichlof Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/26/10
Posts: 430
They're counting of course!




I love Groucho's heckling - classic!

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#2078815 - 05/07/13 12:38 PM Re: What are they muttering? [Re: albynism]
bennevis Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 8393
I'm not muttering - I'm chewing cud (a la Alfred Brendel).
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"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

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#2078819 - 05/07/13 12:54 PM Re: What are they muttering? [Re: albynism]
Ralph Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/01
Posts: 1555
Loc: Delaware (slower/lower)
....or gum like Pogorelich
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Do or do not. There is no try.

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#2078828 - 05/07/13 01:27 PM Re: What are they muttering? [Re: albynism]
BruceD Offline

Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 19918
Loc: Victoria, BC
albynism :

Some I know, but not necessarily those to whom you refer - are not muttering anything; they have developed the habit of keeping time with tongue movements that often show their lips moving as well. Others bob their heads; some tap their foot.

Even if you knew what they were muttering - if, indeed they were muttering anything - how would that help you?

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
closing in on 20,000!
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Estonia 190

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#2078974 - 05/07/13 07:10 PM Re: What are they muttering? [Re: albynism]
albynism Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/29/10
Posts: 325
BruceD: I'm just curious and want to try every technique in the book if that can make me a better pianist.

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#2078976 - 05/07/13 07:15 PM Re: What are they muttering? [Re: albynism]
albynism Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/29/10
Posts: 325
Also I count by tapping my foot (a habit) something my teacher frowns upon. Maybe I'll try keeping time by saying it, least it would free my foot to use the soft pedal.

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#2079031 - 05/07/13 09:47 PM Re: What are they muttering? [Re: albynism]
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5446
Loc: Philadelphia
Originally Posted By: albynism
BruceD: I'm just curious and want to try every technique in the book if that can make me a better pianist.

I understand what you mean, but I would concern myself more with what my fingers are doing than what someone else's mouth is doing. wink

Regarding foot tapping-- you can best anticipate rhythms if you can internalize the beat while playing. Also, you may need to put that foot on a pedal sometime, and if you're tapping the beat, you may find that difficult to accomplish. smile
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Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.

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#2079032 - 05/07/13 09:51 PM Re: What are they muttering? [Re: albynism]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 21046
Loc: New York
I agree that they're usually not really "muttering."

But when they are, it could be this: grin


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#2079788 - 05/09/13 10:41 AM Re: What are they muttering? [Re: albynism]
mermilylumpkin Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/08/13
Posts: 121
I love this thread! I was going to post one like it the other day. I had noticed in Youtube videos of Helene Grimaud and Martha Argerich (and some others as well) it is like they are whispering tiny jibber-jabbers.

My personal opinion on this is that they are subvocalizing very quietly, as I think a lot of virtuoso performance involves projecting a very specific mental image. I think they're doing the same as what Glenn Gould used to do, but just much much more quietly.

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