Beethoven’s Pedal Marks Revisited

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Together with the symphonies and the string quartets, the piano works build up the core of Beethoven’s output, both considering their compositional ambitiousness as well as their reception. This book reflects the state of the art for research on these topics on the occasion of the Beethoven jubilee year 2020. Beethoven’s piano works are considered along three main perspectives. The first concerns the relationship between the notated score and its performance. A key issue of performance practice studies from any epoch is the degree of information implied in the presence or absence of certain notational signs. If no contrary indication is present, the performer is supposed to resort to common standard practice. But what was precisely standard practice in the time of deep transformation in which Beethoven lived? And was the composer himself not constantly unsettling the rules and consciously working against expectations of any kind? In order to interpret the suggestions contained in the notation, the work of philology is obviously a necessary premise. Though generations of scholars have examined the sources, new insights can still be gathered from the manuscripts and the printed scores, regarding the composer’s working habits in preparing his compositions, or some peculiar traits of notation that he invented. Finally, Beethoven’s times witnessed the greatest development also in piano building. Many questions remain indeed open on the instruments he knew and played, which have wide-ranging consequences on how today’s scholar and performer should view his piano compositions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBeethoven and the Piano
Subtitle of host publicationPhilology, Context and Performance
EditorsLeonardo Miucci, Claudio Bacciagaluppi, Daniel Allenbach, Martin Skamletz
Place of PublicationSchliengen
PublisherEdition Argus
Number of pages19
ISBN (Print)9783931264963
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2023

Publication series

NameMusikforschung der Hochschule der Künste Bern


  • Beethoven
  • pedal
  • Performance practice


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