In another part of the composition mentioned here, I want to use the sostenuto pedal:

sustain pedal

How can I notate this?

2 Answers 2


If this is an American made piano, the notation S.P. is possible (Sostenuto Pedal).

On some Eurpoean pianos, this effect is achieved by a half-pedal technique. One depresses the notes to be held and then depresses the right (damper) pedal halfway down.

  • This is an American pedal. Perfect! : )
    – Nobody
    Mar 28, 2017 at 23:46
  • 3
    It doesn't matter whether the instrument has a sostenuto pedal or not - the notation is to show the effect required, not the method of playing it.
    – user19146
    Mar 29, 2017 at 2:43
  • 2
    You can still write S.P. A player who finds himself at a piano lacking the Sostenuto pedal will recognise the intention and produce the effect as best he can.
    – Laurence
    Dec 2, 2018 at 14:21
  • @LaurencePayne - can't think of an effective way in which to achieve the 'sos' - half pedal on sustain isn't really the same. How would you do it?
    – Tim
    Dec 2, 2018 at 14:35
  • 1
    I have no better suggestion than the one @ttw mentions in his reply.
    – Laurence
    Dec 2, 2018 at 20:26

The symbol for the sostenuto pedal is "Sost. Ped.".

The "S" should be aligned directly below the first moment that it is applied (usually just after the note it is acting on is played, and obviously not before it has finished).
Its extent should be marked with a horizontal line, and its release should be shown by terminating the horizontal line with a short vertical upward line.

example of sostenuto pedal marking

NB: Using "S.P." is not a good idea because it could easily be misunderstood as standing for sustain pedal.


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