Miming in instrumental performance

Miming in instrumental performance is the act of musicians pretending to play their instruments in a live show, audiovisual recording or broadcast. Miming instrument playing is the musical instrument equivalent of lip-syncing in singing performances, the action of pretending to sing while a prerecorded track of the singing is sounding over a PA system or on a TV broadcast or in a movie. In some cases, instrumentalists will mime playing their instruments, but the singing will be live. In some cases, the instrumentalists are miming playing their instruments and the singers are lip-synching while a backing track plays. As with lip-synching, miming instrument playing has been criticized by some music industry professionals and it is a controversial practice.

Not all miming is criticized; when a band appears in a music video, there are often no microphones on the stage and the guitars are not plugged in. With music videos, it is generally accepted that the audience is not seeing the band playing live (the exception is live concert videos).

Miming instrument playing is mostly associated with popular music and rock music performances in huge venues, TV broadcasts, music videos and films. However, there are cases where classical chamber music groups (e.g. A string quartet) or orchestras have mimed playing their instruments while a prerecorded track of the music sounds over a PA system or on a TV broadcast or film.

The miming of the playing of a musical instrument, also called "finger-synching", is the equivalent of lip-synching.

A notable example of miming includes John Williams' piece at US President Obama's inauguration, which was a recording made two days earlier, then played back over speakers and mimed by musicians Yo-Yo Ma (cello) and Itzhak Perlman (violin). The musicians wore earpieces to hear the playback.

On February 10, 2006, Luciano Pavarotti appeared during a performance of the opera aria "Nessun Dorma" at the 2006 Winter Olympics opening ceremony in Turin, Italy, at his final performance. In the last act of the opening ceremony, his performance received the longest and loudest ovation of the night from the international crowd. Leone Magiera, the conductor who directed the performance, revealed in his 2008 memoirs, Pavarotti Visto da Vicino, that the performance was prerecorded weeks earlier. As the recording played during the broadcast, "he orchestra pretended to play for the audience, I pretended to conduct and Luciano pretended to sing. The effect was wonderful," he wrote. Pavarotti's manager, Terri Robson, said that the tenor had turned the Winter Olympic Committee's invitation down several times because it would have been impossible to sing late at night in the sub-zero conditions of Turin in February. The committee eventually persuaded him to take part by pre-recording the song and miming during the broadcast.

This page was last edited on 5 April 2018, at 15:49.
Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miming_in_instrumental_performance under CC BY-SA license.

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