Pedaling in Piano Sonata op. 49 no 1

by Diana Sabet

I have a question: and it is how should I use the pedal when I play the "piano sonata op 49-1st movement"? I don't know if I am supposed to lift the pedal after each measure.

Looking forward to your answer

Maria's Answer:

Hello Diana,

Beethovens Sonata op 49 no 1 is a lovely composition. But the pedaling in this piece is a challenge even to advanced players!

The pedal should always, of course, be used with good taste, and to enhance the music. But it needs also to fit the piece stylistically. This is an early Beethoven composition, and the pedal should be used sparingly.

Each section of the piece needs to be pedaled differently, so no one-size-fits-all I'm afraid! Here's an idea to get you started:

-In the first 3 measures, you need to change the pedal on each eight-note 3rd.

-In measure 4 keep the pedal for the measure, then lift on the 1st beat of measure 5.

-In measure 7 change on each quarter-note beat.

As you can see this is too complex to describe with words. Generally, you need to change pedal on every beat (2x per measure), but sometimes as in measure 4 where the whole measure is one broken chord; you can keep the pedal.

You have to change the pedal for each new harmony (chord or broken chord), be aware of the rests, and highlight the left hand 3rds as in the first measures, by changing the pedal on each. If this is too hard, it's usually better to avoid the pedal!

Here is a beautiful interpretation of this piece, where the pianist barely uses the pedal for a crisp and clear sound, but makes use of legato instead:

I hoped this helped!

Happy Practicing,

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