According to Fazioli's website, the F308 concert grand has a 4th pedal...

It is endowed with a fourth pedal invented by Fazioli. Located to the left of the three traditional pedals, it reduces the hammer-blow distance THUS reducing the volume without modifying the timbre, at the same time facilitating the performance of glissandos, pianissimos, rapid passages and legatos.

This sounds exactly like the type of "soft" pedal that is commonly found on upright pianos that moves the hammers closer to the strings. I thought the typical upright "soft" pedal was commonly regarded as useless aside from being a practice stand-in for the a real una corda on a grand. So it seems peculiar that such a high end and expensive piano would offer such a feature. Is this really something of interest and use to someone playing on a concert grand?

1 Answer 1


Una corda on a grand moves the whole mechanism across so that the hammers hit fewer strings - one instead of two or three. Thus the name. In doing so, the volume is greatly reduced, at the expense of some sound quality.

The soft pedal on uprights does as you say, and brings the hammers closer to the strings, so they don't have so much of a swing before sounding the notes. A much cheaper and easier way to quieten the playing, but at the same time, still hitting all available strings.

The recovery time after a note has been played on a grand is less than that on an upright, so I'm guessing that because the hammers are even closer, that recovery time may be even shorter for the grand.

I really don't think there would be a necessity for a 'quiet practice' pedal on a grand, although the 4th pedal could be used as such. Mainly it'll be so that no quality of sound is lost, as all strings are still used, compared with pressing the una corda pedal. Or, if you like, there will be a subtle difference between the sounds of the soft and una corda pedals being used. And - imagine using both!

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    "no quality of sound is lost" - i.e., what is already said in the description given in the question: "reducing the volume without modifying the timbre." An una chorda pedal distinctly modifies the tone/timbre of the instrument. It's not a loss of "quality" -- it's a different (and often, though not always, desirable) sound change. This pedal would not do that.
    – Athanasius
    Aug 12, 2020 at 13:18

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