29 votes
Accepted

What do the pedals on grand pianos do?

On just about every piano, studio (upright) or grand, the right hand pedal (?!) moves the felt dampers away from all the strings. This allows all strings to vibrate in sympathy when a note relating to ...
  • 178k
29 votes
Accepted

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

Playing a chord lifts the dampers from just the strings of the notes played. Depressing the pedal lifts the dampers from ALL the strings. A lot more resonance. I'm amazed that you can't hear the ...
  • 81.2k
16 votes

How to use Piano pedals without using the foot?

Can't use feet well, but if you could move a knee to one side, it would be a simple lever attachment to the pedal, maybe from your wheelchair. Look at knee levers that pedal steel players use. You ...
  • 178k
16 votes
Accepted

What does a straight line followed by a sharp point mean in a piano score when under notes?

This symbol indicates that you lift the pedal on the note indicated above it. The pedal is depressed (just milliseconds) after playing the note. So when you encounter the thing you boxed in orange: ...
  • 516
15 votes
Accepted

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

You rarely need it, but when you do, it's indispensable! A few examples come to mind: Claude Debussy: Clair de Lune. Second page, Tempo rubato. The left hand needs to hold some low octaves, then ...
  • 1,593
14 votes

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

I would differ from Wheat Williams’ answer. The sustain pedal is essential. A variable-resistance sustain pedal, often marketed as “half-damper”, will also make a world of difference: non-variable-...
  • 817
14 votes

Piano sustains when the pedal is not pressed

The sustain (damper) pedal on a studio piano pushes a rod which connects to the lever which connects to the dampers. This is adjustable with a screw, to allow the dampers to rest on the strings (apart ...
  • 178k
14 votes
Accepted

Is a sustain pedal the same as a sustainer pedal?

No. A sustain pedal is a simple switch with a piece of cable attached that the keyboard uses to emulate the function of the sustain pedal on the piano - which basically means "let ring the notes when ...
12 votes
Accepted

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

orthodox: adherence to accepted norms Is playing Bach like Glenn Gould orthodox or not? Some will swear by what he does with Bach and probably say yes, while others will cry out loud "Nooooooo"! I ...
  • 1,903
12 votes
Accepted

What is this piano pedaling symbol?

Historically, one usage of this symbol was to indicate "rhythmic" pedaling. For example, that open circle notation is shown and described on pp. 160-162 of Pedaling the Piano: A Brief Survey ...
  • 11.1k
10 votes

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

TL;DR If I were you, I would care only about the sustain, and made sure the piano and the pedal support more than just on and off states. Surely, if your son keeps practicing there will be a time ...
  • 705
9 votes

How much pedal should be used in practice?

It really depends on the genre you are playing. I'll go through two with you. "Classical": In many books the pedal points are notated. If they are not notated then it depends on the period that the ...
  • 2,314
9 votes

What do the pedals on grand pianos do?

For almost all pianos: right pedal = sustaining or damper pedal. The dampers are disabled so all strings you hit will continue resonating until you lift your foot from that pedal. left pedal = una ...
  • 1,903
9 votes
Accepted

What does the middle pedal on the piano do?

The middle pedal, called the sostenuto pedal, keeps raised the dampers of the keys being played at the time the pedal is depressed. This is in contrast to the damper pedal, which raises all of the ...
  • 62.3k
8 votes

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

In an upright piano the left pedal (fake una corda) functions by pushing all the hammers closer to the strings. Shortening the hammer travel distance makes the notes play a bit softer. The hammers, in ...
  • 449
8 votes

What is this piano pedaling symbol?

Sorry, just randomly came across this question here, and I know the question is a year old, but the given answer is not correct in this case and I happen to know a specific answer to your question. ...
  • 81
8 votes
Accepted

Do you have to hold note or is pedal sufficient?

I think it's better to hold the note. Using a sustain pedal would also sustain the notes in the bass as well as the upper treble notes. It's difficult to sustain only the single note, even using the ...
  • 23.4k
8 votes
Accepted

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

This line refers to the pedal: You are holding the pedal down before, at the triangle you release it and hold it down again for this bar. So, you can use the pedal to hold down the notes you cannot ...
8 votes
Accepted

Piano Pedal Notation P, Pw, with and without *

Following the hint in Dekkadeci's comment, if this excerpt is from a German publisher, Pw may mean Pedal wieder or Pedal wiederdrücken "pedal again (push)," meaning to momentarily release the pedal. ...
8 votes
Accepted

What is proper pedal posture?

Use your right foot1 for the middle (sostenuto) pedal, since you wont need the damper pedal, but you might use the una corda pedal with your left foot. The primary issue is keeping your heel grounded (...
  • 62.3k
8 votes
Accepted

How to notate lack of pedal for a measure?

The first non-pedaled measure can be marked senza ped., the next measure can use either a standard pedal indication as in the question image or con ped., and then another senza ped. for the other non-...
  • 62.3k
7 votes

Piano sustains when the pedal is not pressed

This is probably caused by at least one of these things: The damper pedal is slightly out of regulation, and is holding the dampers slightly off the strings. (Easy fix) The dampers are old and tired ...
  • 449
7 votes

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

There is sometimes a middle pedal on pianos, called the sostenuto pedal. Its role is to hold only the notes played when it's operated. so here, using that sostenuto pedal, the three semibreves can be ...
  • 178k
7 votes

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

One of the most distinctive features of the piano (as opposed to e.g. the harpsichord or the clavichord) is the sympathetic resonance. Whenever you hit one string, all the strings sympathetic to that ...
  • 231
7 votes
Accepted

LilyPond: auto horizontal space for piano pedal

Solution #1: X-offset property Modify the pedal block with \override SustainPedal.X-offset = 0.5. For example: pedal = { s2 \sustainOn s2 \sustainOff \sustainOn | s4 \sustainOff \sustainOn ...
  • 62.3k
7 votes
Accepted

Pedal Notation with a cross or plus sign — is it supposed to be an asterisk?

TL;DR It's two separate symbols: the + indicates pedal release; the P means to reapply the pedal. The overall notation is to indicate a quick up-down of the pedal so that there is a "clean" ...
  • 62.3k
6 votes

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

It is "bad" for the piano in that a piano is not designed to have the una corda pedal (that's the "soft pedal") stomped on. The danger here is that by stomping, you can damage the mechanism that moves ...
  • 25.2k

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