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#1290139 - 10/19/09 08:55 PM sostenuto pedals on a baby grand
tommytones Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/13/09
Posts: 167
Loc: Northeast America
Hello all out there in piano world!!! Just a quick question, any help would be much appreciated! Recently, I got into an argument with a colleague regarding sostenuto pedals. She claims that it is impossible to have a sostenuto pedal on a baby grand, while I maintain that as long as it's a grand style piano- baby and concert- that a sostenuto pedal on a baby grand is indeed quite possible. Who is right?
Thanks,
Tommytones
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tommytones
Mus. B., Classical Piano Performance
Kawai No. 600
Roland Digital Piano Model No. HP 147
Wurlitzer Electronic Piano Model No. 200A
Hammond M-3

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#1290146 - 10/19/09 09:13 PM Re: sostenuto pedals on a baby grand [Re: tommytones]
Kevin Glover Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/18/09
Posts: 5
You most certainly are smile

Even tiny little 5' grands have a sostenuto... Come to think of it, I don't think I've ever played a grand that doesn't.

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#1290157 - 10/19/09 09:19 PM Re: sostenuto pedals on a baby grand [Re: tommytones]
Gene Nelson Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/10/04
Posts: 1464
Loc: Old Hangtown California
What size fits your/her description of baby?
Why is it impossible? Did she give you the reason/s?
When you say sostenuto pedal I assume that you mean the entire mechanism to go along with it - rod, mounting assembly, pittman and lift levers with tabs - or are we just talking pedals?
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#1290182 - 10/19/09 09:44 PM Re: sostenuto pedals on a baby grand [Re: Gene Nelson]
tommytones Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/13/09
Posts: 167
Loc: Northeast America
Thanks for the quick replies, Gene and Kevin!
Gene- I'm thinking anything under 5'10" qualifies as her definition of a baby grand. Does this change your answer for you?
_________________________
tommytones
Mus. B., Classical Piano Performance
Kawai No. 600
Roland Digital Piano Model No. HP 147
Wurlitzer Electronic Piano Model No. 200A
Hammond M-3

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#1290202 - 10/19/09 10:10 PM Re: sostenuto pedals on a baby grand [Re: tommytones]
WeatherTheLizard Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/04/09
Posts: 142
Loc: NY, US
I have a 4'5" grand piano and it has all 3 pedals.
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Kimball 4520, Yamaha CP70-B, Yamaha PSR-150

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#1290217 - 10/19/09 10:42 PM Re: sostenuto pedals on a baby grand [Re: WeatherTheLizard]
Dave Stahl Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/06/07
Posts: 1645
3 pedals don't necessarily mean one is a sostenuto...
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#1290224 - 10/19/09 11:01 PM Re: sostenuto pedals on a baby grand [Re: Dave Stahl]
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
Originally Posted By: Dave Stahl
3 pedals don't necessarily mean one is a sostenuto...

That's true. It's possible that a grand piano, probably a low-end one, could have a middle pedal that functions like the one on a typical upright by lifting all dampers in the bass section.

Still, there's no basis at all for the OP's friend's assertion. She's wrong.

Steven
_________________________

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
—Albert Schweitzer

Chopin: Allegro de Concert Op. 46
Schumann: Toccata Op. 7
Fauré: Ballade Op. 19

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#1290227 - 10/19/09 11:08 PM Re: sostenuto pedals on a baby grand [Re: Dave Stahl]
WeatherTheLizard Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/04/09
Posts: 142
Loc: NY, US
Originally Posted By: Dave Stahl
3 pedals don't necessarily mean one is a sostenuto...


Haha... I'm not entirely sure, that's why I wrote it that way. I never use the middle pedal!
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Elizabeth
@->-->--

Kimball 4520, Yamaha CP70-B, Yamaha PSR-150

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#1290464 - 10/20/09 11:05 AM Re: sostenuto pedals on a baby grand [Re: WeatherTheLizard]
Gene Nelson Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/10/04
Posts: 1464
Loc: Old Hangtown California
For me, under 5ft is baby - interesting how this opinion varies.
It is definitely possible to have full sostenuto on the smallest grand.
I have a 8'9" Hallet&Davis 1880's that does not have sostenuto and only has two pedals - it will have full sostenuto with three pedals when I finish the restoration.
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#1290611 - 10/20/09 02:49 PM Re: sostenuto pedals on a baby grand [Re: Gene Nelson]
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4187
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada
Most modern grand pianos have a sostenuto assembly now; I would be surprised to view one that does not. The one that Gene has is an exception; it is an older piece. Everyone will see the size issue in a different way.
A very general distinction: the "concert grand" (between about 2.2 m and 3 m long) the "parlor grand" or "boudoir grand" (about 1.7 m to 2.2 m) and the smaller "baby grand".
Miniature grand =up to 5’2”
Baby grand = 5’2’ up to 5’8”
Parlour or Boudoir = 5’ 8” up to 6’6”
Semi-concert = 6’10” up to 7’ 6”
Concert grand= considered beyond that length.
And then you have the Alexander over there in New Zealand....I think it is 20ft. or 22ft. or something.....
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Dan Silverwood
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#1290625 - 10/20/09 03:13 PM Re: sostenuto pedals on a baby grand [Re: Silverwood Pianos]
Marty Flinn Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/25/06
Posts: 2604
There are many new sub-5'10" grands available today that have full working sostenuto functions. There are even a few high end uprights.

There are also many entry level grands that have a bass sustaining middle pedal function as well. The sostenuto linkage and action features are additional manufacturing costs. Believe it or not, there are many long term piano teachers who still do not know how a true sostenuto pedal functions. Very few composers who have ever written for this function.

The "names" for the sizes have been so misused and abused over the decades that there is no consensus. We always refer to specific length so as to avoid the ievitable confusion. I learned early on in my career that for some, any piano less than a concert grand was considered a "baby grand" as you can see there is a lot of room for confusion.
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#1290652 - 10/20/09 03:49 PM Re: sostenuto pedals on a baby grand [Re: Marty Flinn]
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
"Miniature grand" is a new one to me! I've always disdained the term "baby" grand, and it turns out I'm one inch away from being miniature.

But I dislike all those various names: the definitions are fuzzy, and none of them serves to distinguishing one type of piano from another in the way that a grand piano is different from a vertical piano.

Steven
_________________________

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
—Albert Schweitzer

Chopin: Allegro de Concert Op. 46
Schumann: Toccata Op. 7
Fauré: Ballade Op. 19

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#1290695 - 10/20/09 04:51 PM Re: sostenuto pedals on a baby grand [Re: sotto voce]
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
Quote:
there are many long term piano teachers who still do not know how a true sostenuto pedal functions.


I get many music teachers that get all 3 pedal names mixed up. Some of them call the sostenuto pedal the una corda pedal or visa versa. While the sustaining pedal is often called the loud pedal. sleep
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Piano Technicians Guild
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www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#1290718 - 10/20/09 05:16 PM Re: sostenuto pedals on a baby grand [Re: Jerry Groot RPT]
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4187
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada

I always make a joke out of it and call it a standard piano.... gas, brake, and clutch.
_________________________
Dan Silverwood
www.silverwoodpianos.com
http://silverwoodpianos.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/SilverwoodPianosDotCom
"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."

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#1290732 - 10/20/09 05:29 PM Re: sostenuto pedals on a baby grand [Re: Silverwood Pianos]
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
It makes sense, Dan, considering how many people have a lead foot and ride the clutch ... wherever they're seated. grin

Steven
_________________________

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
—Albert Schweitzer

Chopin: Allegro de Concert Op. 46
Schumann: Toccata Op. 7
Fauré: Ballade Op. 19

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#1290738 - 10/20/09 05:37 PM Re: sostenuto pedals on a baby grand [Re: Jerry Groot RPT]
Jim Moy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/06/07
Posts: 292
Loc: Fort Collins - Loveland, CO
Originally Posted By: Jerry Groot RPT
I get many music teachers that get all 3 pedal names mixed up. Some of them call the sostenuto pedal the una corda pedal or visa versa.

Here's me on the phone: "...are you talking about the pedal that lifts all the dampers so you can hear all the notes sounding at the same time? ... oh, no, that would be the pedal that holds the dampers up for the notes where you are already holding them up by holding the keys down ... correct, that would be the middle pedal ..." tired
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Jim Moy, RPT
Moy Piano Service, LLC
Fort Collins and Loveland, Colorado
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#1290845 - 10/20/09 08:06 PM Re: sostenuto pedals on a baby grand [Re: Marty Flinn]
tommytones Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/13/09
Posts: 167
Loc: Northeast America
[quote=Marty Flinn]Believe it or not, there are many long term piano teachers who still do not know how a true sostenuto pedal functions. Very few composers who have ever written for this function.quote]

Marty, that's me, a long term piano teacher, who has a vague understanding of the assembly of a sostenuto pedal. To be sure, I definately don't confuse the names of the pedals, though. That would be a sin! If you have a concise explanation of how it functions, I would love to hear it!
_________________________
tommytones
Mus. B., Classical Piano Performance
Kawai No. 600
Roland Digital Piano Model No. HP 147
Wurlitzer Electronic Piano Model No. 200A
Hammond M-3

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#1291000 - 10/21/09 02:48 AM Re: sostenuto pedals on a baby grand [Re: tommytones]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21286
Loc: Oakland
A sostenuto pedals holds the dampers on the notes which are depressed when the pedal is engaged, until the pedal is released.
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Semipro Tech

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#1291274 - 10/21/09 01:33 PM Re: sostenuto pedals on a baby grand [Re: BDB]
Marty Flinn Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/25/06
Posts: 2604
Right pedal (sustain) - Lifts all of the dampers, sustain the notes you play with it down as well as adding string resonance of all the rest. Often called the loud pedal.

Midde pedal (sostenuto) - BDB nailed it above. Allows for a kind of phantom third hand on the keyboard.

Left pedal (una corda) - moves the key action (hammers) over to the right a smidge so the hammers contact one less string in the two and three string unisons, offering a slightly softer tone. Often called the soft pedal.
_________________________
Co-Author of The Complete Idiot's Guide To Buying A Piano. A "must read" before you shop.
Work for west coast dealer for Yamaha, Schimmel, Bosendorfer, Wm. Knabe.

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#1291278 - 10/21/09 01:42 PM Re: sostenuto pedals on a baby grand [Re: Marty Flinn]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21286
Loc: Oakland
Quote:
Midde pedal (sostenuto) - BDB nailed it above. Allows for a kind of phantom third hand on the keyboard.

I tuned an old 2-pedal Bechstein for a concert which included a new work. The page turner had to supply the third hand.
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Semipro Tech

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#1292037 - 10/22/09 06:47 PM Re: sostenuto pedals on a baby grand [Re: BDB]
tommytones Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/13/09
Posts: 167
Loc: Northeast America
Originally Posted By: BDB
A sostenuto pedals holds the dampers on the notes which are depressed when the pedal is engaged, until the pedal is released.


I know this much!!! I was trying to get a technical explanation (mechanical action, parts used, etc.)
_________________________
tommytones
Mus. B., Classical Piano Performance
Kawai No. 600
Roland Digital Piano Model No. HP 147
Wurlitzer Electronic Piano Model No. 200A
Hammond M-3

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