lost to the internet

I dragged the kiddos to a music store today, hoping to pick up a couple piano method books for one of my students. For some reason, going to the music store is an errand I intensely dislike. It's sort of an inconvenient drive, they often don't have what I need, and while the staff is friendly enough, they tend to be slow. Not "slow" as in "not intelligent" but physically slow. When it should take 5 minutes to check out, it often takes more like 20 for unknown reasons. Still, I have taken my business there consistently for the past several years because I like the small business and they have given me a nominal discount because I'm a piano teacher.

Now it looks like I won't be going there anymore. When I walked in there this morning, kids in tow, the filing cabinets with piano, vocal and organ music were gone. Not empty. GONE. The one person working explained that they are just going out of the print music business completely and will be relying solely on selling guitars and guitar-related things (music, lessons, accessories) for their business. I asked why, and his answer didn't surprise me in the least: the internet. Most people buy music online now, so much so that music stores can't stay in business selling sheet music. I think there are other causes too, like publishers forcing stores to stock all their new publications, even when those publications aren't any good.

It's such a disappointment. Granted, buying music (and other things) online can be a convenient and enticing alternative to shlepping around town with two little kids and a pile of spare diapers. But I can't browse music online! I need to flip through the books to see if the music is any good, to see if the new methods have any merit, to see if what I'm about to buy is at an appropriate playing level for the student I have in mind, to see if the more expensive edition is worth the extra money or if the cheaper one will work just as well. I guess I'll just have to rely on good return policies from online retailers from here on out.


Animal said…
Yup. Tess has the same issue with buying new flute music. She tries to find new works, but as you said, it's really tough to browse online, even when retailers/publishers will display a page or two of the score.
Strangeite said…
And DRM reaches its ugly hand into another arena, making the honest consumers life more difficult.
Pam said…
Oh no! How sad! I can't believe yet another sheet music store is gone. :-(

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