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 ...
Tim's user avatar
  • 193k
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 ...
Laurence's user avatar
  • 92.9k
28 votes

Why does the pedal sign look like “Leo”?

As already mentioned, it's "Ped." in a funny font. Once you know it, I guess you can't unsee it. The font "French Script" has a similar small letter D: The font "Monotype C&...
Thomas Weller's user avatar
16 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 ...
200_success's user avatar
  • 1,641
15 votes

Why does the pedal sign look like “Leo”?

It's "Ped." in a funny font.
user1079505's user avatar
  • 16.7k
13 votes

How to play the "Ped" symbol when there's no corresponding release symbol

The pedal release is implied. A pedal change (release and re-press) occurs at each pedal symbol.
Aaron's user avatar
  • 88k
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 ...
jdjazz's user avatar
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9 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 ...
Adjwilley's user avatar
  • 507
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 ...
Lolo's user avatar
  • 1,911
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 ...
Aaron's user avatar
  • 88k
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. ...
Tom's user avatar
  • 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 ...
ttw's user avatar
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8 votes
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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 ...
Shevliaskovic's user avatar
8 votes
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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. ...
Camille Goudeseune's user avatar
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 (...
Aaron's user avatar
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8 votes
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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-...
Aaron's user avatar
  • 88k
8 votes
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Which two pedals to use for the marking "due pedale"?

You are correct. Keep in mind that the sostenuto pedal was invented in France around mid 19th century, and did take a long time to establish itself (even today usually being an optional feature, with ...
Lazy's user avatar
  • 20.4k
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 ...
Adjwilley's user avatar
  • 507
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 ...
Tim's user avatar
  • 193k
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 ...
Draconis's user avatar
  • 271
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 ...
Aaron's user avatar
  • 88k
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" ...
Aaron's user avatar
  • 88k
7 votes

What is the correct way to fade out the end of a piano piece with the sustain pedal?

The problem with slowly releasing the damper pedal is that it creates an undesirable "womp" sound when the damper as just touching the strings but not yet fully damping them. The better ...
Aaron's user avatar
  • 88k
7 votes
Accepted

What is the meaning of 8va combined with the bracket?

There are two separate symbols. The 8va plus dotted line mean to play that passage one octave lower than written. The solid bracket under the final note is a (damper) pedal indication. You press down ...
Aaron's user avatar
  • 88k
6 votes
Accepted

Pedaling in La fille aux cheveux de lin

This is one of those things that makes Debussy really hard, and not really appropriate for a beginner despite the slow tempo. Debussy was an excellent pianist, and it seems that he leaned on his ...
MattPutnam's user avatar
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6 votes
Accepted

Is using the practice pedal frequently damaging to the piano?

For the mechanisms I'm aware of for quieting a pedal, no, there is no risk of damage to the hammer or strings and no reason in general to not hold the pedal down. With a true una corda pedal, the ...
Todd Wilcox's user avatar
  • 56.7k
6 votes

What should one use the left pedal for on an upright?

Sometimes when accompanying an unamplified singer I put my foot on the soft pedal and leave it there. This allows me to play with a little more verve without overwhelming the voice. In an ideal ...
Laurence's user avatar
  • 92.9k

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