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#1169439 - 03/26/09 08:19 PM Con Pedale?
Drawken Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/01/07
Posts: 6
I'm kind of embarrassed to ask this, as I should already know the answer. whistle
I have a piece that has "con pedale" written at the very beginning of the piece. This means to use the sustain pedal throughout the piece, correct? It doesn't mean the soft pedal, does it?

There aren't any lines underneath the notes to say when to lift the pedal. So, does this mean to play the piece with the pedal always down or do I lift at the measure lines?


Edited by Drawken (03/26/09 08:20 PM)

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#1169454 - 03/26/09 08:49 PM Re: Con Pedale? [Re: Drawken]
HomeInMyShoes Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/17/09
Posts: 495
"con pedale" just translates as with pedal and refers to the sustain pedal. There are other marks for the other pedals and they aren't that common to see.

More than likely not always down. When there's no indications for suggested pedaling then it really is up to you to decide when to put the pedal down and when to lift it. Generally measures work well as a first guide, or split the measures into two or look for phrasing marks in the melody to get a feel for when the piece breathes. You can also look for staccato indications for when to ease off the pedaling in places.

What style of piece is it? Composer? These things can often give hints to how to pedal based on other pieces.

Most would say I use too much pedal, but then I drive with a lead foot. smile

#1169456 - 03/26/09 08:58 PM Re: Con Pedale? [Re: HomeInMyShoes]
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
I understand con pedale to mean as you say, "with pedal". I think the purpose of such an indication is to leave the exact pedaling up to the performer. Schumann used this indication quite a bit.
Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.

#1169482 - 03/26/09 10:30 PM Re: Con Pedale? [Re: Horowitzian]
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012

Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17923
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
My default rule for pedaling when it's not indicated is to pedal with chord changes. You wouldn't want to keep the pedal down for the entire piece.
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

#1169504 - 03/26/09 11:09 PM Re: Con Pedale? [Re: Monica K.]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 13144
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Listening is always key to pedaling. As Monica indicated, you can use chord changes as a good guideline, although there is no hard-and-fast rule. The amount of pedal and how often you change it depend largely on the style period in which the piece was composed, the instruments you're playing on, and your own personal musical convictions. Once you've learned the notes sufficiently well, try adding the pedal and experiment with different ideas to see what you like best. I also recommend listening to recordings of your piece by different performers to get some ideas.
private piano/voice teacher FT


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