How to use piano pedals? This is most detailed explanation I have ever seen.
Editor's Note:I've already sent you many articles about piano pedals, so today's article can be called most detailed and comprehensive explanation. The article is a bit long. Hope students, if you can read it patiently, if it's too late, let's assemble it first~
Pianist Anton Rubinstein once famously said, "The pedal is soul of piano." Proper and correct use of pedals will play a positive role in expressing musical subtext, making music more energetic, full of life, more glorious and touching. A bad pedal can distort music and even have unnecessary consequences.
Chopin was a true pioneer in use of pedals. He said, "Proper use of pedals is a lifelong learning experience." Pianists, piano teachers and students began to pay attention to study and use of pedals. Consensus.
First, how pedal works
And differences between grand piano and upright piano
1. Right Pedal
The right pedal is also called damper pedal, sustain pedal, forte pedal, legato pedal. The principles and effects are same for pianos and grand pianos. When you step on it, all dampers that would normally be pressed on strings are immediately released from keys, so that all strings can continue to vibrate freely, so that sound produced will continue until it naturally disappears. When you lift your foot and release pedal, all dampers immediately press down on strings to stop vibrating and sound stops immediately. The right pedal can play role of sound expansion, sound-to-sound connection, volume boost, and color boost.
2. Middle Pedal
This is name of a soft pedal on a piano that can change tone and volume by placing a thin brush between hammer and strings. The middle pedal on piano is not used in normal performance of music, it mainly plays role of attenuating volume without affecting others during practice. There is also a middle pedal of some pianos to fully adopt grand piano production principle. The middle pedal is called sustain pedal, sustain pedal, or hold pedal on a grand piano. The player plays next tone or chord and at same time presses middle pedal, tone just played will be saved, and tone played by next player will not be saved. The middle pedal only opens damper that plays while pedal is depressed, unlike right pedal which opens all dampers when pressed.
When using right pedal and middle pedal at same time, middle pedal can retain some notes while right pedal still performs its tasks according to its own rules.
3. Left Pedal
Also called soft pedal, soft pedal. On pianoafter pressing left pedal, distance between hammer and strings is reduced to reduce volume and change timbre. On a grand piano, after depressing left pedal, action moves to one side (the hammer and entire keyboard move sideways at same time), so that original three strings become two strings, or one string vibrates and sounds, achieving goal of reducing volume and changing timbre. When left pedal is depressed, it is usually marked una corda (original value - one string), and when it is released - as tre conda (original value - three strings).
Because right pedal is used most and most often, this article focuses on use of right pedal, and right pedal is referred to as "pedal" in following.
Second, pedal marks
Haydn (Franz Joseph Haydn, 1732-1809) noted pedals in several works, and Beethoven's (Ludwig van Beethoven, 1770-1827) had many pedal symbols. in works of such artists as Chopin and Liszt (Franz Liszt, 1811-1886). When it came to Impressionists, Debussy (Claude Debussy, 1862–1918) and Ravel (Maurice Ravel, 1875–1937) rarely marked pedals. Now common symbols for pedal markings on musical scores that we see are following:
3. How to use right pedal
(1) Basic elements of foot movement:
First of all, we need to place middle of forefoot on round end of pedal. too far away from piano, toe will step on pedal. The soles of feet should always be close to pedals, heels should always be on ground, and axis of activity should be ankle. The walking and releasing movements of feet should be flexible and free.
(2) According to depth of pedal, right pedal can be divided into:
Full pedal, half pedal (1/2 pedal), 1/4 pedal, 3/4 pedal or controlled gradual deepening, etc.
The right pedal also has: put it all at once, put a part (1/4, 1/2, 3/4, etc.) or slowly put it under control.
Depending on time pedal is depressed, right pedal can be divided into:
1. Simultaneous pressing is also called synchronous pedal and straight pedal.
Often used in music with an emphasis on rhythmic features. Straight pedals are sometimes used throughout a piece of music, and sometimes just to boost a certain note or a certain chord. There is always space between two straight pedals to emphasize sharp rhythmic effect of straight pedals.
2. Posttone switching, also called a split pedal.
This can help bridge legato and harmony, enhance singing of a melody, etc. It is used by raising foot while playing key with finger down when playing second note to be added and quickly stepping down before finger leaves key. Particular attention is required to fact that at this time there is a movement of arms and legs in opposite directions, that is, feet rise up, and fingers reproduce sound. It is necessary to practice up and down movements of feet in a natural and complete way, almost integrated into a single whole. Note practice of splitting pedal:
a. Hands and feet interact closely, and not as up and down.
b. Use your ears to check if audio is connected and if switch is clean.
c. The right foot is close to pedal, feeling is that foot moves up and down with pedal, and pedal is completely under control of foot. Doesn't seem to change lack of change and noise caused by loss of pedal control.
3. The pedal that is pressed before sound is called preparation pedal.
Before playing, first press pedal, let damper fully open, and then press a key that will make sound fuller. It can only be used at beginning of a piece of music, beginning of a new paragraph, or after a long rest. It is usually used to create an atmosphere. It can be said that "before melody, there is love formed". For example, before playing "Sunset Xiaogu", you can useuse prep pedal to open all shutters, meaning that performance is about to begin, so that audience is full of anticipation for music. At beginning of first movement of Beethoven's piano sonata "The Tempest", you can also use pre-note pedal.
4. Vibration pedal, also called "tremolo pedal", is a kind of continuous and fast pedal change.
It is often used in scales and chromatic scales so that volume can be preserved and sound avoided.
Straight Pedal and Split Pedal are most basic and important basic courses in pedaling. Students should first learn these two pedaling methods.
Fourth, using right pedal
1. Change pedal to match change in harmony.
The clarity of harmony is foundation of performance. Usually one pedal is used for one chord. The harmony changes and pedals change accordingly. This rule must be observed regardless of form of chord, whether it be a column chord, a broken chord, or a semi-discontinuous chord.
When multiple consecutive column chords are in motion, one chord uses one pedal, and if it's legato, you can also use a syncopated pedal for perfect legato performance.
When chords appear in legato arpeggios (especially long arpeggios), you can use pedal.
The bass line is important. In some passages where bass cannot be sustained by hand and harmony support is especially needed because bass is basis of harmony, it is necessary to use bass hold pedal to connect bass to chords.
2. Contribute to performance of rhythm and power. This pedal is also called "rhythm pedal".
In general rhythmic music such as four-time march, three-time waltz, two-time dance music, etc., or in strong rhythm harmonic accompaniment, to emphasize characteristic type of rhythm, strengthen rhythm of rhythm, make sense of rhythm more distinct and bright, and often use straight pedals. That is, step on downbeat, put downbeat (or downbeat) or pedal once on downbeat and second downbeat of four beats. For example, in Chu Wanhua's "Heaven in Liberated Area", first four measures are a strong rhythm of gongs and drums, and each measure uses a straight pedal that is depressed in first half of measure and released in second. half.
3. When music has extra forte (sf), accent (>), syncopation, and a few powerful chords, you can use straight pedals on those sounds to increase volume and resonance. This pedal is called "accent pedal".
4. Use according tosuit your needs for color effects.
Different works require different sound colors. We must study nature of pieces and sound they require in order to decide how to use pedal. For example, a number of continuous scales, or chromatic scales, in classical works do not use pedals at all or use a small number of pedals for clarity of sound; in composer's works, against background of accompaniment chords, many tones in these scales and chromatic scales are used as passing tones and must be pressed on pedal. Without pedaling, music is lost and you are left with disconnected, dry chords and scales. Similarly, for scales and chromatic scales, you can use a tremolo pedal when you want a breeze effect; when you need a fog effect, you can press pedal a little less.
The acoustics can be very different between music without pedals and music with pedals, and this effect is often used to contrast music. In right places, contrast with dry sound can refresh ear. Of course, it should be by design and just right.
5. Use pedals wisely according to running time style.
In Etudes 599, 849, 299 and 740 Czerny (Karl Czerny, 1791–1857) some pedals can be used for their intended purpose. Of course, when starting to practice a new study that can use pedals to focus more on solving finger technique, you can first practice without pedals.
Since there is polyphony in polyphonic works, it is necessary to ensure singing and clarity of each horizontal line, and use pedals sparingly and carefully. Pieces from classical period require a clean and transparent sound, with works by Haydn and Mozart, fewer pedals can be used, and pedals must be smaller, shorter and replaced more often. Beethoven's works can be used more appropriately. The period of romanticism demanded harmonic resonance, increased harmony, color effects, etc. Therefore, pedals played a very important role in work of Chopin and Liszt. Impressionist composers such as those of Debussy and Ravel must pay more attention to pedal depth and use pedals of different depths for different effects. These are very rough principles. Under guidance of a teacher, students should learn pedal use of representative pieces from Baroque, Classicism, Romanticism, Impressionism, and other periods.
6. Define pedal according to nature of music, image of music, and tone of music.
(1) Lyrical singing, slow and long melodies tend to use syncopated pedals. This can enhance singing of a melody and make it more cohesive, smooth, soft and warm without being dry.
(2) For majestic, powerful and imposing melody, you can choose a straight or split pedal.
(3) Straight pedals are usually used for lively, upbeat and rhythmic melodies.
(4) For dance melodies, straight pedals are usually used.
(5) Polyphonic melodies with fewer or no pedals.
There is often more than one musical image in a piece of music. This way you can use different pedal methods, i.e. some passages (or phrases or a certain sound) use straight pedals, and other places use split pedals.
7. Use pedals to make music cohesive.
When distance between sound and sound is greater than span of your fingers, or it is difficult for your fingers to connect, you can use pedal to connect sound to sound. A syncopated pedal makes full legato of various chords possible, especially when playing successive legato chords.
8. Decorate and beautify sound (it can be a sound, a melody or a chord).
Single Tone Enhancement: Single tone with pedal depressed sounds softer than without pedal, and volume is slightly increased. Especially when monophonic legato melodies are played at a slow or medium tempo without accompaniment, using a pedal can avoid sounding too dry. When deciding whether to use a pedal for one or more notes, velocity, velocity, and range must be considered. When range is low and tempo is slow, you can use one pedal per note. If range is not too low, dynamics level is not too strong, and monophonic melody moves faster, longer pedals should be used (one pedal for several notes).
Chord Improvement: Pedaled chords are fuller.
Melody Embellishment: When a melody needs to be embellished, changed in strength, or thickened, a pedal can be used. When a melody has harmonic accompaniment, decision to use a pedal should be made by first considering harmony factor and at same time taking into account modification of melody.
Sometimes a short touch on pedal (lightly pressing pedal) can beautify sound, make music more expressive, and sound won't be thumpy or dry.
9. Select a pedal according to your sound zone.
In middle range, especially in lowBottom line, don't overlap sounds that shouldn't overlap. In bass area, more pedals should be replaced or fewer pedals should be used. When melody is in a high register, there is no need to worry about line being fuzzy due to use of pedal. When ultra-high range is above g3, there is no damper on piano, and it doesn't matter if you press pedal or not, but at that time, using pedal can make all strings vibrate, causing sound range of finest tone on piano to become fuller.
10. By speed.
If speed is slow, change pedals frequently. The higher speed, longer you can use pedal.
11, crescendo pedal, decrescendo pedal, long climax pedal.
Crescendo Pedal, slowly lower half of crescendo so that pedal continues to deepen until end of upstroke goes to another level of force, and start using full pedal, this way helps your fingers reach crescendo and music better Emotional lifting effect moods.
A decrescendo pedal, unlike a crescendo pedal, must slowly lift pedal in second half of decrescendo, so that pedal is continually thinned to achieve decrescendo effect. These two pedals place higher demands on foot control.
Long Climax Pedal: In climax part of music, a longer pedal can sometimes be used to combine harmony sounds, their passing sounds, and auxiliary sounds to increase strength of music and form climax. music, making music more majestic. For example, you can use culmination of last 4 bars of Liszt's sixth piece "Advanced Piano Etude in G Major", great climax at end of "Dance of Tarantella", and Ravel's cadenza "Playing on Water". with long pedals...
12. Strong pedal retraction and weak pedal retraction.
Mostly used at end of a piece of music.
Pedal Boost: When music ends, pedal is quickly released to produce a very strong sound and rhythm effect.
Weak Pedal: When music ends in a quiet mood (usually last note has a long cue), release pedal slowly and gently to create an even and fading sound effect.
5. Pedal Precautions
1. The use of pedals should not cause blurring of melody and confusion of harmony.
You can practice without pedals at first, hear every sound clearly, and then add pedals. It must not be stepped on accidentally without rules. It is necessary to determine where not to use pedals, where to use pedals, which pedals to use, how long pedal will last, and where to replace eachfoot pedal, etc. according to principles of using pedals.
Some people fall into so-called "cleaner is better" misunderstanding of so-called "clean". The course of harmonic connection is lost, important base "bass line" in music is lost, harmony resonance is lost, melody is interrupted, music is fragmented. People who make this kind of mistake basically forget principle "the pedal should be replaced by a change of harmony."
2. Do not use pedals to cover up imperfections in finger technique.
You can perform a stick technique without using a pedal, and then lay foundation for playing with a pedal.
3. When using a full pedal (depress all way down, put it all clean), beginners should clearly step on and off, step on pedal to end and release pedal in time (or change pedal).
The most common mistake when using a split pedal, when changing pedal, there is only a symbolic movement, pedal is not fully raised, sound does not change at all (especially bass does not change), and then press down, resulting in sound of front and rear pedal will mix, which will make sound muddy.
4. Other mistakes beginners tend to make are caused by foot movement.
For example: sole of foot is not close to pedal, so there is space between foot and pedal, resulting in foot-pedal noise; or when pedal rises too high out of control when foot is lifted and a pedal thump is heard The sound of wood at top, or heel comes off ground, or sole of foot gradually moves off pedal and finally slides to ground.
"There are some pianists who are emotionally aroused. When you step on pedal, heel lifts off ground and entire leg and entire foot rises and falls. Beginners should not imitate this." (Weitinger)
If you do not use pedal for a long time, right foot is usually placed next to right pedal so that it is easy to move foot on pedal. Where pedals will be used, it is generally necessary to place your feet lightly on pedals a little in advance to prepare. Use pedals only for a short period of time. Only when pedal is not used for a long time, right foot is carefully removed from pedal and rested next to pedal.
5. For beginners, straight pedaling and split pedaling are two most basic pedaling methods.
You can't just push straight pedal with your hands and feet at same time, you need to practice splitting pedal more.
6. You can't just push one pedal from start to finish for a lively and imposing atmosphere.
6. traininge pedals
1. Due to varying depths of stepping on pedals and lifting and lowering pedals, sequence of use and difference in speed, high demands are placed on sensitivity, flexibility and control of feet. .
In this way, you can perform special pedaling exercises such as "quick step and quick release" (① suddenly step down, then rise sharply; ② press lightly), "quick step and slow release", " Press slowly and play fast", "Press slowly and play slowly", etc.
2. When you first come into contact with pedals, you should basically learn straight pedals and split pedals for a considerable period of time until you can use two pedals correctly and skillfully.
3. It is best to mark pedals with a pen so that students can understand where pedals are not being used, where pedals are being used (a paragraph, a sentence, or certain sounds), what pedals are being used, how long pedal lasts, where to replace pedals (or put pedals), etc. so you can immediately see when using pedals and you have a good idea.
4. When working out a new composition, it can be divided into two stages:
①Practice without pedaling at all. Overcome stick technique and lay a solid foundation for your next pedal exercise;
②Pedaling exercises. Since main melody of main melody is mainly played by right hand, you can use left hand (the harmonic part of accompaniment) and feet (the right pedal) to practice together first, and then add melody to right hand after you learn. Other forms of music can use their own brains to determine whether to practice with one hand or two hands combined with pedals.
5. Don't treat pedal as a mechanical technique, it's best to learn it in conjunction with specific pieces of music.
Seven, advanced pedal stage
After you can skillfully use straight pedal and split pedal, you can pay more attention or study pieces with richer musical expression: pedal depth (including release depth)
For example, 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, step and release speed
Crescendo Pedal, Decrescendo Pedal, Tremolo Pedal
Left pedal (can also be divided into full pedal, half pedal, 1/3, 1/4) and middle pedal (sustained tone pedal), etc. to ensure best performance of music.
From point of view of depth of right pedal, it is especially noted that when you press half pedal, it only steps up to half depth of entire pedal. For example, 27th, 28th, 35th and 36th measures of piano piece "Serenade» Ch. Gounod (1818-1893).