Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2.5 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Gifts and supplies for the musician

the Forums & Piano World

Trying Something New with Search
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad) Pianoteq
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
Piano Buyer Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyers Guide
Who's Online
99 registered (accordeur, AndrewJCW, 36251, 29 invisible), 1752 Guests and 7 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Pianos
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano & Music Accessories
*Live Piano Venues
*Music School Listings
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
Topic Options
#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

Piano & Music Gifts & Accessories (570)
Piano accessories and music gift items
#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: 10736
Loc: Williamsburg, VA
Well, in Argerich's case I think she is whispering, "faster, faster, gotta go faster!!" grin

#2078738 - 05/07/13 09:41 AM Re: What are they muttering? [Re: albynism]
gooddog Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/08/08
Posts: 5320
Loc: Seattle area, WA
When I mutter I'm saying %$#&@
Best regards,


#2078760 - 05/07/13 10:41 AM Re: What are they muttering? [Re: albynism]
erichlof Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/26/10
Posts: 426
They're counting of course!

I love Groucho's heckling - classic!

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

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 8092
I'm not muttering - I'm chewing cud (a la Alfred Brendel).
"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."

#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: 1551
Loc: Delaware (slower/lower)
....or gum like Pogorelich
Do or do not. There is no try.

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

Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 19772
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?

- - - - -
Estonia 190

#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.

#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.

#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
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.

#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: 20964
Loc: New York
I agree that they're usually not really "muttering."

But when they are, it could be this: grin

#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.


Moderator:  Brendan, Kreisler 
What's Hot!!
Italy Members - Please Check In
Posting Pictures on the Forums
Forums Rules & Help
on Piano World

Piano Classified Ads
Calculator Looks Like Piano Keyboard
Calculator that looks like a piano keyboard
Piano Keyboard Calculator

New in the Piano World online store (PianoSupplies.com) now.
Pianist Magazine
Pianist Magazine - Helping you become a better player
Teaching Children Music
Teaching Music to Children
Wessell Nickel & Gross
Piano Acc. & Gift Items in
Piano World's Online Store
In PianoSupplies.com ,(a division of Piano World) our online store for piano and music gifts and accessories, party goods, tuning equipment, piano moving equipment, benches, lamps Caster Cups and more.

Free Shipping on Jansen Artist Piano Benches
New Topics - Multiple Forums
So after testing, is the Kawai ES 8 the best for its price?
by pchardwaregeek
Today at 05:07 PM
Vibration on pedals and bass section of the keyboard
by Rguroo
Today at 02:52 PM
Yamaha G2: what do you think?
by Bellicapelli
Today at 01:38 PM
Difference between Roland S2 and Lx-7 or Lx-17
by augustm
Today at 01:36 PM
Pop music methods - any good ones?
by Morodiene
Today at 12:42 PM
Forum Stats
84,794 Registered Members
44 Forums
174,787 Topics
2,550,921 Posts

Most users ever online: 15,252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |

copyright 1997 - 2016 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission