Are you aware that even before the electric guitar came into play, the piano was already making use of effects pedals to modify the sound quality of the music produced from the strings. For majority of modern pianos, there are two to three pedals, where each plays a significant function. For classical compositions, there are special notations used to display exactly when and how to use which pedal. With the guidance of a piano teacher, he/she would be able to elaborate further.
For the soft pedal, it tends to be situated on the left. Its role is to soften both the volume as well as the tone colour of that note that is being played. If you are looking for compositions that makes use of the soft pedal, you can check out those from Beethoven. He usually makes use of the soft pedal quite extensively.
The pedal that is located on the right is also known as the sustaining pedal. The purpose of this pedal is to lift the dampening elements off of the strings. This will enable notes to ring, resonate and blend much more easily. An effective usage of the sustaining pedal can result in harmonies and notes being played in rather interesting and emotionally evocative ways. If you are looking for compositions that makes use of the sustaining pedal, you can take a look at those dating from the Romantics of the 19th century onward. It is actually quite commonly seen during that era of compositions.
The last pedal that is placed in between the soft pedal and sustaining pedal is also known as the sostenuto pedal if found on a grand piano. The aim of the sostenuto pedal is to sustain note. However, it does so in a rather selective manner and not a generic one for every single note that is being played. Do take note that if there is a centre pedal on an upright piano, it is likely that it is a mute pedal instead and not a sostenuto pedal. Hence, do not get yourself confused and misled.
Figuring out one’s footwork along with the pedals might not always be an easy task. At Awesome Piano, our dedicated piano teachers are committed to assist you in your learning. We believe that by taking up piano lessons, one would be able to grasp concepts more effectively and produce much more satisfying results.