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#606499 - 08/18/01 01:46 AM What is the fourth pedal function? (iima)
RKVS1 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/01
Posts: 3192
Loc: Topeka, Kansas
I have heard of a piano having a fourth foot pedal and I am curious about its function (and history). I asked this question in the piano forum and didnt get a reply so figured you guys would know.

My baseline is:
Right pedal = "sustain"= dampers held back so all strings vibrate
Middle Pedal = "selective sustain"= dampers held back for only those strings struck just before pedal depressed
LeftPedal = "soft" = hammer travel reduced or offset for softer impact or fewer strings struck.

Fourth Pedal = ? = (your input here, please and thanks)

Any piano have MORE than four pedals?

Earliest occurance of this feature?

The reason four pedals are not more common is Price ? (hard to manufacture) or just too idiosyncratic?

Extra comment: I enjoy this website a great deal and learn a lot from it. Some of the PICTURES of the rebuilds are strikingly beautiful. (I'm obviously NOT a tuner or technician, but I hope you don't feel I'm trespassing)


[ August 18, 2001: Message edited by: RKVS1 ]

[ August 18, 2001: Message edited by: RKVS1 ]

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#606500 - 08/18/01 02:17 AM Re: What is the fourth pedal function? (iima)
jgoo Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/23/01
Posts: 3974
Loc: Seattle, Washington, USA
I don't own a piano with four pedals, but I've seen a piano with four pedals. On the piano that I saw, one pedal was for sustaining, one was for piano soft (the two normal pedals), and the two extras: one was for an automatic trill, and the other was to give the piano a harpsicord sound.
For off-topic discussion, please feel free to visit www.coffee-room.com

#606501 - 08/18/01 07:43 AM Re: What is the fourth pedal function? (iima)
Bob Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/01/01
Posts: 4010
An automatic trill triggered by a pedal??? I'm having a hard time visualizing how that would work???? Was it a player piano???

#606502 - 08/18/01 03:00 PM Re: What is the fourth pedal function? (iima)
jgoo Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/23/01
Posts: 3974
Loc: Seattle, Washington, USA
No. Not a player, and I have absolutley no idea how such a thing works.
For off-topic discussion, please feel free to visit www.coffee-room.com

#606503 - 08/21/01 09:11 PM Re: What is the fourth pedal function? (iima)
TomtheTuner Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/29/01
Posts: 806
Loc: Melbourne, Florida USA
I have seen and worked on over 20,000 pianos in my career, and I have seen one(1)
piano with 4 pedals. The forth pedal was some sort of tone altering attachment that modified the tone into a "Honkey Tonk" or harpsicord sound. Any american pianos with more than 3 pedals were made in the 19'teens
or earlier, and were probably just there to give the piano salseman something to do..
Aesthetically they were a non-starter.
Maker of the TCHAMMER


#606504 - 08/22/01 09:10 AM Re: What is the fourth pedal function? (iima)
Hank Drake Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/31/01
Posts: 1698
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
Historically, early pianos were built with differing numbers of pedals with various functions, including the insertion of parchment between the strings & hammers, and a bell device.

In the case of the Fazioli, the fourth pedal simply moves the hammers closer to the strings, like in a vertical piano.
Hank Drake

The composers want performers be imaginative, in the direction of their thinking--not just robots, who execute orders.
George Szell

#606505 - 08/24/01 01:13 PM Re: What is the fourth pedal function? (iima)
Ivars Galenieks Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/03/01
Posts: 38
Loc: Latvia
I own the "Crown" uprigt piano, 146, with four pedals.The two work like usual, third works to place moderator felts between hammers and strings,and fourth gives the "Honkey-Tonk" effect.


#606506 - 08/26/01 12:49 AM Re: What is the fourth pedal function? (iima)
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 14776
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
....and that's all that ever was to it...
....that's all folks.......keep playing...

[and don't let those damn pedals get in your
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller

#606507 - 09/07/01 07:41 PM Re: What is the fourth pedal function? (iima)
Vecke Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/07/01
Posts: 16
Loc: UK
The Australian made Stuart& Sons 9'6" grand has a fourth pedal which raises the hammers nearer the strings and reduces the touch depth. This enables the player to play very softly (and rapidly, if necessary)still
employing the full tone of the instrument.
It can be also used with the 'shift' pedal for even more effect.


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