Definition and background:
A directive in piano music that indicates that the soft pedal should be released. The words " tre corda " are shown under the bass staff where the soft pedal is to be released. Tre corda is the Italian term meaning "three strings ", and is used because releasing the soft pedal shifts the entire hammer mechanism back to the right so the hammer only hits all of the three strings in the upper register of the piano and one string in the bass register. The effect is a full sound since all of the strings are being struck.
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Wikipedia - Glossary of Musical Terminology
Virginia Tech Multimedia Music Dictionary
ORB -- Medieval Music Glossary