Pedalboard is the name of a large keyboard at the base of an electronic or pipe organ console that the organist plays with her feet. Its layout is roughly the same as any organ or piano keyboard, with long pedals for the natural notes of the Western musical scale, and shorter, usually darker, pedals for the five sharps and flats. Organists usually use pedalboards to produce lower-octave notes for bass accompaniment; in pipe organ music, the pedals are usually what give the organ music its powerful foundation. By using her feet to play an independent bass line, the organist is able to play three rather than two lines, adding an additional dimension to her music; it also frees her hands for playing more intricate melody and harmony on the manuals, or hand keyboards.
Most pedalboards range in size from thirteen (one octave) to thirty-two (two and a half octaves) notes, with the most popular numbers increasing in half-octave steps (thirteen, twenty, twenty-five, and thirty-two). Boards smaller then thirty-two notes are usually found in small- to medium-size electronic organs, while thirty-two note boards are the province of pipe organs or higher-end electronic organs. The industry standard today is the AGO pedalboard, a concave, radiating thirty-two note board that places all of the pedals within easy reach.