The piano at my home has three pedals, and the one at the right is brighter and shinier than the other two. What has happened? Is it normal?

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Obviously a grand piano, with sostenuto in the middle. Since the damper pedal is the most used on just about every piano (practice pedal on some gets used a lot but will be locked down), it appears that this damper pedal is a replacement for the original, which may have been damaged in transit rather than 'worn out'.

It's not, unfortunately, a good match to the others, but I think we can rule out lots of use, as that would only cause part of the pedal to be different. We don't slide our sole over the whole pedal. As long as it works, it's not a problem - although adjustment on damper pedals on some grands can be a nightmare - balancing the no-damper position with the damper on position. If the piano is worth a fair bit, I'd be inclined to find a matching pedal.


Typical reasons for a different appearance of the pedal:

  1. It has been replaced.
  2. It has been restored.
  3. It has worn differently - the damper pedal is used the most.

3 is ruled out by the uniformly different appearance including areas of the pedal that aren't in contact with the foot, leaving 1 or 2.

The other pedals are in a shocking way. Presumably this piano has suffered a long period of disuse.

  • A long period of disuse or perhaps a long period of use by a player who never or rarely used those two pedals.
    – phoog
    Mar 18 '19 at 3:27
  • 6
    All true, except it's a bit exaggerated to say that the other pedals are in a "shocking way". It's a matter of taste if you polish your pedals or not- doesn't affect function. Mar 18 '19 at 8:48
  • Wear cannot be the cause of this, because the differences are uniform in appearance. Wear is usually only seen in certain places that come in contact with other things.
    – Ian
    Mar 18 '19 at 11:29
  • 1
    Perhaps wear is indirectly responsible — maybe the pedal had worn down enough (or broken) requiring replacement?
    – gidds
    Mar 18 '19 at 14:10
  • @Ian you seem to be restating the first paragraph after the numbered list. Am I missing the point of your comment?
    – phoog
    Mar 18 '19 at 14:20

Your piano technician should be able to buff the discolored pedals to match the shiny repaired/replaced damper pedal. Why he or she didn't do that while repairing/replacing the pedal is puzzling.

  • The other pedals are not discolored. They appear to be mother-of-pearl and were no doubt intended to look that way. Mar 18 '19 at 16:38
  • 3
    @DavidConrad That honestly looks more like crystal grains like you frequently see in galvanized ductwork.
    – Tristan
    Mar 18 '19 at 17:03
  • 1
    Really doubt they'd polish up to look the same.
    – Tim
    Mar 18 '19 at 19:30
  • @Tristan That might be. Mar 18 '19 at 20:12

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