Thornton Pianos,
Unit B10, Clonlara Avenue,
Baldonnell Business Park,Dublin 22
Telephone: +353 01 466 0323, +353 01 830 5221
Mobile: +353 872 357 988
E-mail: [email protected]

What are the pedals on a piano for ?

Pedal photos for FB 003           Pedal photos for FB 002           Pedal photos for FB 004

Continuing my occasional blog postings about the structure and function of pianos I am giving a bit of information on the workings of the pedals. There are 3 pedals on most upright pianos now with them performing different functions, the right or "loud" pedal allows the piano to resonate and assists in enhancing the volume output as required in the piece of music being played. The left or "soft" pedal works when engaged by moving the hammers closer to the striking point of the strings, along with a reduction in the weight felt on the keys when depressed by lightening your touch the piano will sound a lot quieter. The middle or "practice" pedal performs an important function also in certain circumstances where when pressed down by the foot it will usually lock in place to the left. This lowers a rail with graded felt in front of the hammers and the piano can be played as usual with good sound reduction. This can be important where a student or professional player is doing regular and prolonged practice prior to an event or exam and has to become familiar with the programme or exam piece. Pedals working properly help a player develop and hone their playing technique and in cases where they don,t work or are loose and rattle they will only interfere with playing and getting enjoyment from the piano. Problems with pedals can generally be sorted out by a tuner as their function is straight forward and if not working there are only a small number of issues which can arise, so short of a rare pedal break in the metal on site repairs are quite quick to undertake.

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