Does pedal override rests in piano score?

• Jun 3, 2020 - 22:45

I'm creating a score for my composition for piano, and I wonder if it is necessary to show the exact duration of each note by using tied notes, instead of using rests to simplify the notation and to make it easier to read. Obviously the pedal overrides rests in the mechanism of the piano, but I wonder if a rest will make the pianist lift the pedal to attain the duration of the note as it appears in the score. Is it safe to rely on the pedal notation to ensure notes have the intended duration, or might the pedal notation be ignored where it appears to conflict with the score?


In reply to by xavierjazz

But then, it is not uncommon to see a succession of eighth notes with the pedal indicated below the staff as depressed. If each note had to be notated exactly as it sounds, then the first eighth note in the measure should be notated as whole note, the second as an eighth note tied to a quarter note tied to a half note, and so on for all 8 eighth notes, creating a mess on the score.

In reply to by steven_brown1

Unless you've made it clear you're doing a kind of "experimental" type of piece, writing a pedal marking under a rest would most make the pianist think you don't know what you are doing.

You don't notate according to how it sounds, you notate according to how long the pianist is supposed to leave his finger down. So a succession of eighth notes is played one at a time. A long note or chord chord is sustained by the hand in addition to the pedal. The idea that you might strike a chord and then use the pedal to alleviate you from needing to leave your hand down is a definite possibility - particular for the sostenuto pedal - but the norm would still be to write out the full duration of the chord, and let the pianist figure out for themselves when to lift the hand.

In general, rests don't make things easier to read, either. But we'd need to see the specific case at hand to say if for reason it would constitute an exception to the norm.

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