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Author Topic: Syncopated pedaling  (Read 315 times)
c_minor
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« on: September 21, 2017, 04:47:16 AM »

Hi everyone,

I was recently taught how to pedal, but I'm having difficulties listening to my playing. I think it sounds muddy?

I've attached a sample of my playing. Comments and suggestions are appreciated.

* Voice 1.mp3 (571.84 KB - downloaded 21 times.)
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louispodesta
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« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2017, 11:26:06 PM »

Hi everyone,

I was recently taught how to pedal, but I'm having difficulties listening to my playing. I think it sounds muddy?

I've attached a sample of my playing. Comments and suggestions are appreciated.
Thank you for your question, and its associated performance post.  And, for the record, there is nothing wrong with your pedaling.

1)  Clara Schumann only advised her students to do only what could be described today as soft muddling pedaling.  And, most of her students also studied under Johannes Brahms.

Accordingly, I am sure you have had the unfortunate experience of playing on a modern Upright Piano piece of junk.  It is the same thing.

2)  Claude Debussy "NEVER" wrote pedal markings in his scores because he was known for his "overlapping pedal."  And, he much preferred to play on his Bechstein "Upright."  Does that sound like so-called "muddling" to me?  Yes, it does.

3)  Finally, there is a world expert on the subject of pedaling whose name is Joseph Banowetz, who a senior piano faculty member at the University of North Texas.  His teacher was Gyorgy Sandor.  His second book on the subject is (please hit "Open"):
https://www.amazon.com/Pianists-Guide-Pedaling-Midland-Book/dp/0253207320/ref=sr_1_sc_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1506121614&sr=8-1-spell&keywords=joseph+banowitz

Enjoy, and do not hesitate to holler back at me by PM.  All the best.
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keypeg
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« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2017, 12:26:54 PM »

Enjoy, and do not hesitate to holler back at me by PM.  All the best.
How can members in general learn new things, if information gets shared via PM?  That's why it's a forum.  You seem to suggest that the topic should be discussed via PM quite often.
I just this minute created 5 little recordings in regards to pedal choices for a part of Debussy that I want to go over with, with my teacher, and 4 of them are for the same two measures.  I'm sure there are other folks who are learners, or who have ideas to share.
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keypeg
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« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2017, 12:37:16 PM »

Quote
2)  Claude Debussy "NEVER" wrote pedal markings in his scores because he was known for his "overlapping pedal."
What is meant by "overlapping pedal"?
I have a feeling that it may be what I just played with.  The first time I played a given passage it was deemed "too dry".  Some pedal suggestions were given that I must have written in wrong, because now it was too blurred.  But if I fixed this, I'd be right back to my original pedaling, which had been "too dry".  One of the things I came up with was where I pedal as I had before, but I delay the pedal so that there is a slight overlap from the previous beat /note-or-chord blending into the new note, but then being cleared by the pedal.  It is in essence an overlap.  Is that what is meant by the term?
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dogperson
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« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2017, 02:14:06 PM »

What is meant by "overlapping pedal"?
I have a feeling that it may be what I just played with.  The first time I played a given passage it was deemed "too dry".  Some pedal suggestions were given that I must have written in wrong, because now it was too blurred.  But if I fixed this, I'd be right back to my original pedaling, which had been "too dry".  One of the things I came up with was where I pedal as I had before, but I delay the pedal so that there is a slight overlap from the previous beat /note-or-chord blending into the new note, but then being cleared by the pedal.  It is in essence an overlap.  Is that what is meant by the term?


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louispodesta
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« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2017, 10:28:09 PM »

What is meant by "overlapping pedal"?
I have a feeling that it may be what I just played with.  The first time I played a given passage it was deemed "too dry".  Some pedal suggestions were given that I must have written in wrong, because now it was too blurred.  But if I fixed this, I'd be right back to my original pedaling, which had been "too dry".  One of the things I came up with was where I pedal as I had before, but I delay the pedal so that there is a slight overlap from the previous beat /note-or-chord blending into the new note, but then being cleared by the pedal.  It is in essence an overlap.  Is that what is meant by the term?
Exactly, and give yourself an "A" for letting your ears guide you as far using the pedal for proper phrasing.  Most "Conservatory Method" music schools ascribe to a very dry and sterile methodology of pedaling.

However, I suggest that you always tailor (and I assume you do) your pedaling to a particular Period (Baroque, Early Classical, Classical, Pre-romantic, Romantic, Post-romantic, and early and late 20th Century).  Plus, this should be done in regards the compositional voice/style of a particular composer.
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keypeg
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« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2017, 01:37:15 AM »

Exactly, and give yourself an "A" for letting your ears guide you as far using the pedal for proper phrasing. 
I have some pretty decent guidance which starts with listening and more listening.
Quote
Most "Conservatory Method" music schools ascribe to a very dry and sterile methodology of pedaling.
I know nothing about such schools, have not experienced them.

I did ask, however, something specific - what you mean by "overlapping pedal".  I may know it by another name, or I may not know it at all.  Could you be so kind as to define what this term means?
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keypeg
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« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2017, 01:58:19 AM »

I found an answer to the question I asked:

"The delayed pedal – engaging the sustain pedal after playing a note, interval or chord, but before releasing the keys, this way catching the sound and connecting it with the next one. It allows us to connect different notes and harmonies, at the same time keeping them clear of dissonant sounds. This technique is also called indirect pedal, syncopated pedal, retarded pedal, legato pedal or overlapping pedal.
In the Russian piano school, this is the first pedaling technique we learn. By carefully listening to the rich and clear sonority that it allows us to create, we also master the needed ‘reverse’ technical coordination: the hands go down while the foot goes up."


Here is the source: http://www.pianocareer.com/piano-pedal/piano-pedals-art/

Now I know that one of the solutions I tried this morning was in fact "overlapping pedal".  It was in Debussy, which is why I was interested in the statement about Debussy.
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c_minor
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« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2017, 02:50:51 PM »

Thank you for your question, and its associated performance post.  And, for the record, there is nothing wrong with your pedaling.

1)  Clara Schumann only advised her students to do only what could be described today as soft muddling pedaling.  And, most of her students also studied under Johannes Brahms.

Accordingly, I am sure you have had the unfortunate experience of playing on a modern Upright Piano piece of junk.  It is the same thing.

2)  Claude Debussy "NEVER" wrote pedal markings in his scores because he was known for his "overlapping pedal."  And, he much preferred to play on his Bechstein "Upright."  Does that sound like so-called "muddling" to me?  Yes, it does.


Thank you for listening and commenting. I am indeed trying the "overlapping pedal" for this piece (Vandall Prelude No. 2), but I can't judge if the pedaling is right..

Reading the other replies, it seems that careful listening is required here. Does anyone have any tips on how to develop this? Or maybe examples of good and bad pedaling to compare?

Thanks again to everyone for replying
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mjames
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« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2017, 02:56:53 PM »

Exactly, and give yourself an "A" for letting your ears guide you as far using the pedal for proper phrasing.  Most "Conservatory Method" music schools ascribe to a very dry and sterile methodology of pedaling.

This is what conservatories mostly teach and most freshmen pianists know how to do this anyways. My teacher (and consequently I) often encourages me to disregard pedal markings from 19th century old editors/composers because different pianos sound different and all. "Use your ear" isn't some unknown secret pianists are unaware of, it's common practice...


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Pianism is my religion, Bach is my God, and Chopin's my prophet.
keypeg
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« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2017, 03:17:47 PM »

What I don't get is this.  Interest is expressed in something you write, Louis, and a concrete question is asked for clarification.  And you didn't answer my question.  I had to look up the term.  Being given an "A" or any other kind of praise, does not help me learn a thing. The advice to do the right pedaling for every period is too abstract and too broad to be of practical use.  How would I, as a student, possibly know at this stage what the pedal practises of every period are?  But the answer to the concrete question, "What do you mean by overlapping pedal" you would be able to answer, since if you refer to it, you know what it is, and this is a thing that a student can use.  Just a suggestion for the future. Wink
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