A device on a piano that is activated by the foot of the performer. There are either two or three pedals on the modern piano.
The right pedal is a damper pedal, which, when depressed, raises the dampers and allows the sound of the piano to be sustained. This is the most used pedal. The letters "Ped" provide the directive for the performer to depress the damper pedal and the marking to indicate the release is a flowery looking asterisk symbol (More about Piano Pedal Markings). These directives should be exactly under the beat or fraction of the beat where the damper pedal should be depressed or released. It should be noted that there is a half-pedal directive that instructs the performer to depress the damper pedal fully and then release half-way before depressing fully again or releasing. The markings are similar, however there is a line between the two markings with a spike in the line where the half-pedal is to occur.