Questions tagged [keyboard-pedals]

For questions pertaining to the use and history of keyboard pedals, including but not limited to the sustain pedal, the sostenuto pedal, and the piano pedal. Please do not use the pedal tag.

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25
votes
8answers
5k views

How to use Piano pedals without using the foot?

I have a piano and am disabled -- wheelchair kind of disabled: I can move my feet but not use the pedals. That task is kind of complicated. I've considered buying some kind of a car hand-control like ...
23
votes
3answers
49k views

With regards to piano sheet music, when are you supposed to press the pedal(s)?

I've been playing piano for about 8 months. I have a digital weighted 88-key piano with only one pedal. My friend, who used to play piano, taught me to hold the pedal down when there is an arc in ...
23
votes
3answers
5k views

What do the pedals on grand pianos do?

I have been playing the piano for some time now, and have recently switched from the electric piano to the grand piano. My grand piano has three pedals. What does each of the three pedals do?
20
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3answers
5k views

On the piano, how should you play staccato with the pedal?

In some pieces, there is a pedal designation along with staccato. How should this be played?
15
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4answers
4k views

On a piano, are the effects of holding notes and the sustain pedal the same for a single chord?

Building from this question, I learned that it is possible to notate a tie that is held by the pedal and not the hands. To me that's a bit strange - if the pedal were not held down in that passage, ...
15
votes
7answers
8k views

How often is the Sostenuto pedal used in classical and modern Piano Music?

In most of the pianos that we see today, the Sostenuto pedal does not exist. Only the pianissimo (una corda) and the sustain (damper) pedals can be seen. Throughout the time that I've been studying ...
12
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5answers
46k views

Is it important to have three pedals on a digital piano?

My son (7 y/o) is learning piano. Currently, he is using my crappy keyboard I bought over 20 years ago. I am looking at buying him a digital piano with proper key weightings and key velocity (...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

What is this piano pedaling symbol?

In the score of Enescu's 3rd piano suite (Op. 18), there are circles next to usual pedal symbols ('Ped.' and 'release' symbols). What do they mean? This is an example from the end of the 6th movement:...
11
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2answers
1k views

What is proper pedal posture?

I'd like to learn a song that requires extensive use of the middle pedal, but I have no experience using it. I think I'll just practice until it comes naturally, but I'd like to make sure I'm not ...
10
votes
1answer
2k views

How to test all three piano pedals

How to demonstrate easily and clearly that all three pedals on a piano are working as expected? It is a digital piano but probably the pedal action should be identical or similar. I am new with ...
10
votes
2answers
723 views

Piano Pedal Notation P, Pw, with and without *

I'm transcribing a piano reduction of Suppé's Light Cavalry into MuseScore. This particular score has pedal notation P. *, Pw. *, and then some parts where there's no *. I'm assuming (perhaps ...
10
votes
3answers
292 views

Is there a name or common usage of this piano damper pedal effect?

I've noticed an effect that I use when playing acoustic piano. Play a note or chord staccato, and quite quickly after playing it, press the damper pedal. The effect is rather like an echo which ...
9
votes
3answers
3k views

Is stomping on the soft pedal of an upright piano bad for the piano?

If you stomp with a bit of force, the hammers of keys all across the keyboard strike the strings and make a silly noise. Children love to do it, and in my experience, are then scolded because "it's ...
8
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6answers
5k views

Is it orthodox to use the pedal when playing Bach on the piano?

It is my understanding that Bach's keyboard works were written for the harpsichord, and thus no (damper) pedal is used while playing Bach on the harpsichord. On the piano however, I have heard ...
8
votes
1answer
878 views

How often is the soft pedal used in piano scores?

I've been playing the piano for a long time, but I don't ever recall seeing any piece of music call explicitly for the soft pedal. Some digital pianos and keyboards don't even have one. I know there ...
8
votes
2answers
750 views

Is there any repertoire that makes explicit use of the Sostenuto pedal?

Often when I've used the sostenuto pedal (in fact, whenever I've used it thus far) it's as a "helping hand" to sustain various notes individually that would be much more difficult to hold otherwise. ...
8
votes
2answers
238 views

Representing the snapping of the damper pedal to create an ambient tone in sheet music

The other day I was sitting down at my piano while composing when I encountered something that I had noticed a few times in the past. Here is what happened: I pressed the down the damper pedal ...
7
votes
4answers
6k views

Should pedals be used when playing Classical-era piano music?

I recently did some reading on the historical evolution of the piano. From my understanding, classical-era pianos did not have foot pedals. By classical-era I refer to the narrower meaning of ...
7
votes
2answers
183 views

What do shorter-than-thirty-two-note MIDI pedalboards bar you from playing?

There have been questions before about what utility can be derived from a two-octave keyboard in terms of learning any keyboard idioms. Well, two five-octave MIDI controllers and a volume pedal seem ...
7
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3answers
1k views

How accurate are the pedal indications of Bach - Busoni, solo piano works?

In the massive edition of Bach's solo piano works by Ferruccio Busoni with the complete name of Busoni-Ausgabe (Klavierwerke) in 25 volumes (Joh. Seb. Bach. Klavierwerke unter Mitwirkung von Egon ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Where do I release the soft pedal in Ravel's Jeux d'Eau?

I've been working on Ravel's Jeux d'Eau, and the intended use of the soft pedal in the piece is not always clear to me. There are several spots where he indicates to use the soft pedal, but there isn'...
6
votes
3answers
16k views

Piano sustains when the pedal is not pressed

I noticed this on a piano I played recently - a small amount of sustain with no pedal and much more with it pressed. It wasn't unpleasant, actually, but is it likely to be: A feature of the piano A ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Piano music - should I truly not use the sustain pedal in places not marked so?

This is especially rampant in romantic piano music and later. There are places that pedals are marked, and places where they are not marked. I understand if it's a predominantly staccato passage when ...
6
votes
3answers
4k views

Is using the practice pedal frequently damaging to the piano?

To practice at night, I used the practice pedal to mute the piano. Does practicing the piano with the mute pedal damage the piano in the long run? Would it affect the hammer or the string in a ...
6
votes
3answers
7k views

Pedaling in Satie's Gymnopedie #1

I'm an adult piano novice learning Satie's Gymnopedie No. 1. The edition I'm working with has no pedal markings. You can see the score here: http://javanese.imslp.info/files/imglnks/usimg/3/38/...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

How much pedal should be used in practice?

Often my teacher tells me to avoid practicing with pedaling so that my melodies/slurred passages will truly be legato. When I perform for him though, he asks me to use the pedal, which I'm usually ...
5
votes
1answer
419 views

Whose idea was it to put three pedals on a piano?

Whoever decided to put foot pedals on a piano? Do we know who did it, or do we only know the general period that this happened? I would like to know who did this and when did it happen?
5
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6answers
1k views

Practicing pedalling without pedals, or maximizing real practice efficiency

I only get about an hour-and-a-half's access per week to practice on a 'real' organ. Needless to say, my progress at pedalling is painfully slow. Are there any ways to practice pedalling without ...
4
votes
2answers
926 views

How do you play the middle D and F in this passage?

This is from a piano song called "Jane's Song" by Christopher Norton. There are two whole notes that are held for the entire measure, but the left hand is also holding a note way into the bass and ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Right piano pedal is bright

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?
4
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2answers
1k views

Pedaling in La fille aux cheveux de lin

Throughout this piece, Debussy writes that certain notes are to be extended from measure to measure, e.g., but there's a problem here. Note that I'm a beginner on piano. My hands aren't insanely ...
4
votes
2answers
353 views

What does this pedal notation mean for the piano?

I've never seen this pedal notation used before and would appreciate it if someone could help me understand what it means?
4
votes
4answers
941 views

Should I connect the top melody of the “Moonlight” Sonata 1st mvmt using my fingers?

I'm a beginner piano player and have started learning the 1st movement of Beethoven's "Moonlight" Sonata. I've read many suggestions, and almost all recommend connecting the top melody (ta ...
4
votes
2answers
465 views

Meaning of the words “Recitativo” and “tutte le corde” in music?

I am trying to understand Romantic music. I came across this extract from Beethoven's Piano Sonata op.110 from the Allegro man non troppo part. I want to understand what the words "Recitativo" and "...
4
votes
2answers
678 views

Should I use the sustain pedal when playing Bach fugues?

I'm Practicing Bach Prelude & Fugue in D . There is no pedal markings since it from Baroque eras , but i found in Youtube many Concert pianist Performing Fugue with Sustain Pedals. Am working for ...
4
votes
2answers
6k views

How long does pedal simile last?

In this extract from the “Ent’racte” (sic) from John Crook’s score to Peter Pan, how far does the pedal pattern indicated by “simile” last? Looking at the score I can imagine any of these ...
4
votes
4answers
229 views

The proper way to mark sustain pedal for MuseScore playback and live performer?

Thanks in advance for your help here. I am very new to music theory and notation. As such, I may struggle with your reply if it has a lot of musical vocab. I'm using a great free music notation ...
4
votes
1answer
9k views

How can I adjust the sensitivity of my keyboard sustain pedal?

The pedal comes by itself without instructions. When I play, the pedal is quite abrupt. As soon as I'm done holding sustain and want to release, it releases abruptly which doesn't sound great. I'd ...
4
votes
1answer
11k views

Why do some acoustic upright pianos have 2 pedals, but not 3?

I'm not certain whether it's just certain piano manufacturers, who had decided to have some upright pianos to have two pedals (without sostenuto). Some Zender acoustic pianos, for instance have two ...
4
votes
0answers
88 views

Computer doesn't receive proper sustain pedal MIDI signals from digital piano?

When I connect my piano to my computer and press the sustain pedal, it just plays a C note. (Garageband, and Musescore.) I have an Arius YDP-161 digital piano and a MIDI to USB converter. I use a ...
3
votes
4answers
213 views

When do you end a pedal sustain on a row change?

I am learning the proper way to notate a pedal sustain in music notation, but am not sure about how to mark a transition from one line of music to another. In this hypothetical only example ... ... ...
3
votes
4answers
2k views

How to play “Moonlight” sonata with pedal

Here is tact #20 of "Moonlight" Sonata: My right hand position (B + B - C# - G#): The hand is definitely overstressed. Plus I am inadvertently pressing the G key in order to press G#. I ...
3
votes
1answer
46 views

Can a stustain pedal be modified for alternative uses?

Is it possible to modify a MIDI sustain pedal to for example, a guitar pedal? If so, would this be practical at all? If not, what could be an alternative use of such pedal?
3
votes
1answer
98 views

How do you learn pedals?

I'd like to learn Prokofiev's "Montagues and Capulets", but the bass needs some pretty advanced pedaling, and I have not experience with that. I know what the pedals do, but I'm no good at ...
3
votes
3answers
228 views

Piano pedaling notation

I have been playing piano for several years, but I never got a particular lesson on pedaling. I know the basics: for most romantic pieces, the point is to clean the pedal (with "clean", I ...
3
votes
2answers
3k views

Is it better to play the keyboard standing or sitting?

I recently purchased a Yamaha FC7 foot pedal. I plan to use it for overall volume control, emphasizing breaks and solos. This poses a challenge, though, as I normally stand when playing the keyboard. ...
3
votes
3answers
109 views

Exact timing of piano pedal re-engagement

In this example, do I release pedal BEFORE beat 1 of the second measure, or ON beat 1 of the second measure?
3
votes
2answers
76 views

“il basso una corda” (in Nevin's Narcissus)

This passage from Ethelbert Nevin's Narcissus for piano has the instruction "il basso una corda". I think this is the 1891 Schirmer edition; the passage shown is bars 16-18. What does the ...
3
votes
1answer
96 views

Pedaling in Prokofiev's “Montagues and Capulets”

I was trying to learn "Montagues and Capulets" and I saw this video of someone playing it. Whats she doing with the base? I think she must be using the pedals, but I ...
3
votes
0answers
53 views

Uneven sustain in upright piano

I have a upright piano and its sustain pedal did not work for a long time (you have to press very hard to get a bit of sustain), and the cause is found to be three loose screws that fix the pedal in ...