Reading Piano Pedal Marks
There are three common pedal marks used to control the most popular piano foot pedal: The sustain (or “damper”) pedal. These commands are:
- Engage Pedal (Ped.)
Indication to use (or “depress”) the sustain pedal.
- Release Pedal (*)
Releases the sustain.
- Variable Pedal Marks (__/\_/\__)
Explains the pattern in which you depress and release the sustain pedal:
- Horizontal lines show when the sustain pedal is depressed.
- Steep diagonal lines indicate a quick, temporary release of the sustain pedal.
- Vertical lines indicate a release, or ends use of the pedal.
More On Piano Foot Pedals:
► Learn About the Three Standard Piano Pedals
How they sound, how they’re played, and how they work.
► Read How the Three Piano Pedals Came To Be
Hint: One used to be played with the knee (!)
See More Musical Symbols:
■Staff & Barlines ■Note Lengths ■Articulation Marks ■Repeat Signs
■The Grand Staff ■Dotted Notes ■Dynamics & Volume ■Segno & Coda Signs
■Time Signatures ■Accidentals ■Key Signatures ■Pedal Marks
■Tempo Commands ■Piano Chords ■Music Rests ■8va & Octave Commands