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#349631 - 10/06/01 04:48 PM how do you notate sostenuto pedal
jesse Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/06/01
Posts: 3
i'm working on transcribing a piano piece that uses the sostenuto pedal, but i don't know how to indicate that. i know what to do for the sustain and una corda pedals, just not for sostenudo. if anyone knows the answer please respond or email me at jester171@hotmail.com

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#349632 - 10/06/01 11:30 PM Re: how do you notate sostenuto pedal
jgoo Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/23/01
Posts: 3974
Loc: Seattle, Washington, USA
I've often wondered how sostenuto pedaling was marked as well.
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#349633 - 10/07/01 06:58 AM Re: how do you notate sostenuto pedal
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 19045
Loc: Victoria, BC
It seems to me I've seen it simply marked as Sost..... but I can't for the moment think where I've seen that. It isn't in my Debussy Durand edition of the Preludes where I expected to find it. If I locate it, I'll let you know.

Is it really necessary to notate it? Most pianists with some training know when to use it - which is rarely. If you have a note or chord which is written to be held while there are other chromatic changes, it makes sense to use the sostenuto. I use it in the Debussy "La Cathedrale engloutie" to keep the low C fully resonant while quarter- and half-pedalling the damper to give just a little bit of clarity to the "organ" chords above it.

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#349634 - 10/07/01 12:08 PM Re: how do you notate sostenuto pedal
EricL Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/04/01
Posts: 142
Loc: Upstate NY
In the Alfred edition of Rach's Prelude in C-Sharp minor (Op.3 No.2) edited by Murray Baylor, the following notations are used:

An S inside a circle denotes the start and an asterisk denotes the end of a sostenuto.

These symbols are footnoted. So I guess there is no universal musical notation for sostenuto. You just need to identify whatever symbols you used in your score for sostenuto.


#349635 - 10/07/01 01:02 PM Re: how do you notate sostenuto pedal
MacDuff Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 560
Loc: Southeast, U.S.A.
The "Essential Dictionary of Musical Notation" (published by Alfred) says that the sostenuto pedal is indicated by the abbreviation "sos." used alone or followed by a pedal bracket (i.e. sos. replaces the left vertical line of the bracket, with the horizontal line and pedal up vertical line as normal).

sos. _________________|

I cannot recall ever seeing this in a score.

[ October 07, 2001: Message edited by: MacDuff ]

#349636 - 10/07/01 03:33 PM Re: how do you notate sostenuto pedal
jesse Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/06/01
Posts: 3
Thanks all- I'll try those ideas out and see how things go.


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