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danuniversal

About Sostenuto Pedal, And Scoring It And Counterpoint

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I know that there is a line that can be written, as the pedal line, but indicating it is the sostenuto pedal. But I have found other scores that seem to call -or could be played with- the sostenuto pedal, without writting the lines. And I was asking myself if that is allowed. Also, if it is allowed, what is the best way to write it. In example, I have these two scores, that have the  notes as indicating different instructions for two instruments -as in violins pentagram in an orchestral score-.

 

Mussorgsky, Bilder einer Ausstellung, Promenade:

 

mussorgsky.png

 

Bach, Praeludium I, BMV 846

 

bach.png

 

At the first one, in the G key pentagram, we can see two white notes, being played at the same time other black notes are played in the same pentagram. At the second one, at the F key pentagram, we can see again two white notes being played, and other notes played too.

 

But you can see that the first one does not have silences for the second instrument to be quiet until played, and the second one does have silences. Obviously there are not a second instrument, and this indicates something that would be played with the same hand.

 

The musescore program lets me put it or make it invisible. So I am not sure what to do here. If I am writing a score that requires the usage of the sostenuto pedal, may I write the sustained notes as if they were a second instrument, and without silences? Is it obligatory to use the pedal line? I think it looks better using the score as if there were two instruments. But I need to know if this would make my score unintelligible.

 

I think it is more elegant than a lot of ligature lines, and easier to understand than a sostenuto pedal line (as you actually show what notes you want to be sustained).

 

I was thinking in things like this:

idea.png

 

idea2.png

 

The second seems to be impossible to play without making the other not sustained not at the same time played, be sustained; or stretching a lot the fingers.

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I think I know what you're asking, and in modern piano writing, such things are usually not written in. If you would like the performer to specifically use damper pedal in a certain location, then you can notate it specifically - or you may notate "senza pedale" to specifically tell them not to. Otherwise, it would be left to performer's interpretation. For sostenuto pedal, though - I have very very very rarely seen this notated in the piano music that I play. It's almost assumed, given the context of a musical fragment, as to whether a sostenuto pedaling is required. I hope this helps!

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I think it is more elegant than a lot of ligature lines, and easier to understand than a sostenuto pedal line (as you actually show what notes you want to be sustained).

 

I was thinking in things like this:

idea.png

 

idea2.png

 

The second seems to be impossible to play without making the other not sustained not at the same time played, be sustained; or stretching a lot the fingers.

 

 

I know that there is a line that can be written, as the pedal line, but indicating it is the sostenuto pedal. But I have found other scores that seem to call -or could be played with- the sostenuto pedal, without writting the lines. And I was asking myself if that is allowed. Also, if it is allowed, what is the best way to write it. In example, I have these two scores, that have the  notes as indicating different instructions for two instruments -as in violins pentagram in an orchestral score-.

 

Mussorgsky, Bilder einer Ausstellung, Promenade:

 

mussorgsky.png

 

Bach, Praeludium I, BMV 846

 

bach.png

 

At the first one, in the G key pentagram, we can see two white notes, being played at the same time other black notes are played in the same pentagram. At the second one, at the F key pentagram, we can see again two white notes being played, and other notes played too.

 

But you can see that the first one does not have silences for the second instrument to be quiet until played, and the second one does have silences. Obviously there are not a second instrument, and this indicates something that would be played with the same hand.

 

The musescore program lets me put it or make it invisible. So I am not sure what to do here. If I am writing a score that requires the usage of the sostenuto pedal, may I write the sustained notes as if they were a second instrument, and without silences? Is it obligatory to use the pedal line? I think it looks better using the score as if there were two instruments. But I need to know if this would make my score unintelligible.

 

I think it is more elegant than a lot of ligature lines, and easier to understand than a sostenuto pedal line (as you actually show what notes you want to be sustained).

 

I was thinking in things like this:

idea.png

 

idea2.png

 

The second seems to be impossible to play without making the other not sustained not at the same time played, be sustained; or stretching a lot the fingers.

I added more information on what I am thinking at. I hope you help me with this. And tell me if in these cases it is also understood that I am requesting sostenuto pedal.Thank you.

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I'm legitimately perplexed here with terms like "pentagram" and "white notes" and "black notes" when you're not referring to the key colors themselves. So what's your point? In some cases it is appropriate to use sostenuto, in some cases it is not. If you *explicitly* want or don't want the pedal then mark it with a pedal line. Otherwise it is up to the performer to add it where they think it is necessary. It really doesn't get more complicated than that.

 

BTW, if you look at Bach fugues, there's the same deal you have in your last example where voices are held while others move. Often it is best to use *no* pedal at all since this would muddy the voices. Granted, that requires a lot of contortions to the fingers sometimes, but that's what the music calls for. 

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By white note I mean 2 times note (half note), and black note I mean 1 time note. Pentagram is "5 lines", I am referring to the score. I am sorry if you did not understand, I am a native Spanish speaker and those are the terms used in Spanish to refer to those things. 

 

But, if I have something that is very difficult -as my last example-, can I write a note at the beginning asking the pianist to have the freedom to use the sostenuto pedal when he thikns it would fit even if that causes to make another note accidentally sustained? 

 

I'm legitimately perplexed here with terms like "pentagram" and "white notes" and "black notes" when you're not referring to the key colors themselves. So what's your point? In some cases it is appropriate to use sostenuto, in some cases it is not. If you *explicitly* want or don't want the pedal then mark it with a pedal line. Otherwise it is up to the performer to add it where they think it is necessary. It really doesn't get more complicated than that.

 

BTW, if you look at Bach fugues, there's the same deal you have in your last example where voices are held while others move. Often it is best to use *no* pedal at all since this would muddy the voices. Granted, that requires a lot of contortions to the fingers sometimes, but that's what the music calls for. 

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Experienced pianists often use the sostenuto pedal in certain situations, regardless of if it's notated or not. If the pedal is required in order to effectively interpret an area of a piece, a pianist will use it (or maybe half pedal....or physically leave their finger on the note as long as practical, as is the case for some many interpretations of Bach keyboard works).

The only time I have seen the sostenuto pedal marked in the score is in contemporary works where certain notes are silently left depressed for various resonance effects (rather than to create the effect of a sustained note in a line).

In general, I'd say that marking it in the score is redundant (with the exception of the case(s) above). If you write something that needs a sostenuto pedal, a player will use it (or find some other satisfactory means of creating the same effect).

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G key pentagram: treble clef staff

F key pentagram: bass clef staff

And I highly doubt that Spanish lacks precise terms to describe note values.

You should know that how exactly a pianist would play the kind of passages you mean (where it is physically impossible to sustain notes) will depend, in part, on the performance practice the pianist was trained in (for example, the use of the sostenuto pedal is almost unheard of in Russia, and they will invariably take such passages to mean 'pedal as best you can').

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G key pentagram: treble clef staff

F key pentagram: bass clef staff

And I highly doubt that Spanish lacks precise terms to describe note values.

You should know that how exactly a pianist would play the kind of passages you mean (where it is physically impossible to sustain notes) will depend, in part, on the performance practice the pianist was trained in (for example, the use of the sostenuto pedal is almost unheard of in Russia, and they will invariably take such passages to mean 'pedal as best you can').

 Those are the terms in Spanish: 4/4 note is «redonda», 2/4 note is «blanca», 1/4 is «negra», 1/8 is «corchea», 1/16 is «semicorchea», 1/32 is «fusa», 1/64 is «semifusa»...

 

http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Figura_musical

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