Most pianos, especially your modern pianos have three foot pedals. These foot pedals are called, from the left to the right, the 'Una corda' (or Soft) Pedal, the 'Sostenuto' Pedal, and the 'Damper' Pedal. Directly above is a picture showing the three foot pedals that are on a piano with each pedal having been labeled.
GRAND PIANO PEDALS
Una corda: The pedal on the left-hand side is also referred to as the 'Soft' pedal. On a grand piano, applying the una corda pedal normally shifts the entire keyboard (sideways) slightly over to the right, so that the piano hammers can strike only one or two of the two or three strings that are assigned to each note. The effect is a softer tone being played since fewer strings are being struck.
Sostenuto: This is the middle pedal and is the least used when playing the piano. The sostenuto pedal sustains only those notes which are being held down when the foot pedal is depressed, allowing future notes that are played to be unaffected.
Damper: This pedal is also called the 'Sustain' pedal. It is the right pedal on the modern piano. When applied, this pedal raises all of the dampers off the strings allowing them to continue to vibrate and sound even after a note on the keyboard has been released.
UPRIGHT PIANO PEDALS
Most of the modern upright pianos have three foot pedals also, but in most cases, the left and the middle foot pedals do not work quite the same as they do on grand pianos.
Una corda: On the upright piano, the left pedal is not truly considered to be a una corda pedal, because it does not shift the entire keyboard sideways to the right when depressed. In upright pianos, when the pedal is pushed down with the left foot, the hammers move closer to the strings, so that there is less distance for the hammers to swing. Therefore, instead of hitting fewer strings, each piano hammer strikes either all three or two strings assigned to each note with less force. The effect is a more quiet sound being heard instead of a softer sounding tone.
Sostenuto: Even if a piano has a middle pedal, true sostenuto function is quite rare to find on an upright piano. They can, however, be found on your higher guality and more expensive upright pianos.
Damper: The Damper pedal works the same way both on your upright and grand pianos, allowing the strings to vibrate, thus producing a sustained sound even after a note being played on the piano has been released.
Greetings to Everyone and A Big Welcome to Infinity Music Studio! My name is Suzanne Brittania. I have been teaching piano and voice lessons for over 40 plus years. It is my hope that you will find all the following information, along with the music videos listed within my blog, to be very interesting, helpful and inspiring all throughout your own musical journey.
The videos listed below are of famous opera stars (that I performed with extensively all throughout my earlier musical career) especially during the 1950's and 60's.
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