I know what this symbol means, but I would like to know if I have to press the pedal as soon as I see the symbol and keep pressing it until I see the another "Ped", and then repeat.

I don't know if that's clear, I hope so. I'm trying to learn how to read music sheets.

Three measures of "Ped." with no release sign

  • 4
    It's not "Led", it's "Ped." - short for "pedal".
    – Divizna
    Commented Jul 6, 2023 at 21:52
  • @Divizna You could have left this as an answer I think! Commented Jul 6, 2023 at 21:53
  • 7
    @BobBroadley Not really, it isn't what the question is about. The question is about what to do if there's no "end of pedal" sign and instead there's a repeated Ped. sign in the next bar. My guess would be release just before that next Ped. and press again, but I'm not quite so sure as to claim it confidently.
    – Divizna
    Commented Jul 6, 2023 at 22:00
  • 4
    Also see Why does the pedal sign look like “Leo”?
    – phoog
    Commented Jul 6, 2023 at 22:06

2 Answers 2


The main point of using a pedal in piano playing is to sustain certain notes which fit together, and can't all be held down simultaneously. Mainly due to the span between them all. That's the case here, too.

The first arpeggio is a B♭ with an added 9th note - B♭add9. That chord works all the way through the first bar, and then there's another 'Ped' sign. It makes sense that in order to re-apply the pedal for the next bar, that first hold must be released in order for that to happen. So, in reality, there's no need to tell when that will happen - it's a given.

Press the damper pedal as the 1st note, 1st bar is played, and as the 1st note of the next bar is played, release and re-press. as the 2nd bar is a different arpeggio, which wouldn't sound good mixed with the previous.

Sometimes, as you suspect, it is necessary to indicate where/when the pedal gets changed - it's not always intuitive, but here, it's the only option that makes any sense.

  • Thanks a lot for the detailed answer, it is more clear now !
    – maexe
    Commented Jul 7, 2023 at 11:19
  • 1
    I think it's a matter of interpretation. Perhaps release the pedal after the first quarter-note so the next two notes "lead in" to the next arpeggio. I confirm your answer, @Tim; it's how you want it to sound.
    – Wastrel
    Commented Jul 7, 2023 at 14:54
  • 1
    It's not a straightforward sustain though. Piano is a very percussive instrument. Pedalling works because the clean attack of each new note dominates over the smudged sustain of all the notes. Compare what would happen if you pedalled a whole phrase using an organ sound. A complete mess.
    – Laurence
    Commented Jul 9, 2023 at 12:39
  • @Laurence - maybe that's why there's no sustain pedal on organs? But this isn't organ, it's piano, and if pedalled properly, will sound good, as I suggest. As long as the notes from one chord are pedalled, not those from a whole phrase. Why do that, with different chords for different bars during that phrase? Yes, occasionally, I do pedal organ (by mistake), and yes, it sounds pretty awful!
    – Tim
    Commented Jul 9, 2023 at 14:55

The pedal release is implied. A pedal change (release and re-press) occurs at each pedal symbol.


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