Thoughts on composing, teaching and performing music, by Fergus Black

Stamford Music Shop

In praise of the local music shop

All over the country, and probably the world, there are sad stories of independent bookshops closing down. I suppose the same must be happening with music shops: the same pressure from online retailers, who offer the convenience of shopping at 2am on a Sunday, and who drive down prices.

Don't get me wrong, I use Amazon, and my wife thinks I buy rather too much sheet music on E-bay! But I try wherever possible to order sheet music for choirs, and pupils alike, through my local music shop.

I think it is worth having them around: perhaps it is just nostalgia, but I like browsing; I like their second-hand department; I like their occasional sales; I like staff who don't have to be told how to spell 'Mozart'. I like sending students along to look at the range of music: usually they come back with Latest Chart Hits in rather-too-easy arrangements, but it is their choice and if it inspires them to practice, I don't mind. Sometimes they buy a piano there.

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