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date: 14 October 2019


  • Peter Williams


A quasi-Latin term derived from pedalis (a part ‘for the feet’) to indicate that a piece of organ music so labelled is played by both hands and feet. The word appears to have arisen as an antithesis to Manualiter and was so used by Schlick (1511). Although it does not indicate a piece played by pedals alone, it does in practice imply one with a developed pedal part. Sometimes composers used it to suggest a large-scale work in several ‘voices’ (e.g. Scheidt's ‘Benedicamus à 6 voc. pleno organo pedaliter’, 1624). However, in the third section of his Clavier-Übung Bach seems to have contrasted manualiter with a phrase such as ‘canto fermo in basso’; but pedaliter itself also appeared in music from his circle, chiefly outside the context of organ chorales and pedal melodies, as for example in the autograph manuscript of bwv535a, and in Buxtehude's C major Praeludium in the ‘Johann Andreas Bach Buch’....

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