• Piano Department

    December 5, 2016

    Gift of the day: How to buy a digital piano – our latest free expert guide

    Buying a digital piano is always a big decision – physically as well as financially – and not something many of us would attempt as a surprise gift. However, we still find that Christmas is a time when many people plan to purchase one, considering it to be a gift for the whole household. The next step, then, is to choose one from the vast array of options available.

    Comparing the specifications of the various models can be as daunting for the experienced pianist as it is for the beginner. This is why we always suggest you come in, talk through your requirements with our friendly expert staff, and try out some instruments for yourself.

    We have over 30 models on display and are always happy to demonstrate them for you if you’d prefer not to play yourself or would like to hear how they sound to an audience. There are no stupid questions – so if all you know is that you would like a digital piano, we will help you take it from there.

    But if you would like to have an idea of what’s out there before you visit, our specialists in the digital piano department have put together this comprehensive but user-friendly guide covering everything from key mechanisms and sound production to practical and aesthetic considerations:

    >>> Read “How to buy a digital piano”

    Find us on Deansgate in the centre of Manchester or speak to us on 0161 834 3281, extension 606.


  • Sheet Music

    December 4, 2016

    Gift of the Day: a bag of Belgian milk chocolate grand pianos

    Our Christmas Shopping Weekend continues: join us today, 11am – 5pm, for complimentary mulled wine, mince pies and live music as well as 10% off everything* in our Sheet Music and Musical Gifts Departments.

    Take advantage of this special discount to get ahead with your Christmas shopping. Our extensive ranges of music-themed accessories and gifts include:

    - greetings cards, diaries and stationery;

    - music cases and shopping bags;

    - mugs and other kitchen items from tea spoons to cake stands;

    - socks, scarves and ties;

    - jewellery such as cufflinks and earrings.

    And delicious piano-shaped chocolates – a perfect end-of-term thank-you for your teacher or stocking-filler for a student…

    BELGIAN MILK CHOCOLATE BAG OF PIANOS

    Buy them in-store today only for £3.59

    Usual price – £3.99

    Read more & buy online

    * There are a small number of exceptions such as hymn books. Unfortunately, this offer cannot be used online or in conjunction with any other offer. Our Christmas Shopping Weekend offer ends today, Sunday 4 December 2016, at 5pm.


  • Instruments

    December 3, 2016

    Gift of the Day: Stentor Student 1 violin packs

    STENTOR STUDENT 1 VIOLIN PACK

    Violin outfit (with bow and case) plus shoulder rest and music stand

    £165

    If you’re ready to buy a first violin for a child who has been borrowing one till now, or if you’ve always fancied taking up the instrument yourself but feared it might be an expensive hobby, this violin pack could be for you. It’s a great starting point for new players, especially young learners, giving you everything you need to get going immediately:

    - a Stentor Student 1 violin in any size, set up by our in-house luthier, and complete with bow and case;

    - an Everest shoulder rest;

    - and a TGI collapsible metal music stand in your choice of colour: black, silver, blue, purple, red or pink.

    In addition we offer a trade-up scheme, so if you’re buying a smaller-sized instrument for a growing player, we guarantee to take it back in part-exchange for a larger model when you need it.

    As ever, we recommend you come in, speak to the specialists in our Musical Instrument Department, and try out a few instruments before deciding which one to buy. You’ll find violins on the second floor of our city-centre store on Deansgate, Manchester. Speak to us on 0161 834 3281, extension 606.

    Read more & buy online


  • Sheet Music

    December 2, 2016

    Gift of the Day: musical cufflinks and earrings

    If you join us this weekend for Small Business Saturday UK and our Christmas Shopping Weekend, you won’t just be treated to complimentary mulled wine, mince pies and live music – we’ll also give you 10% off everything* in our Sheet Music and Musical Gifts Departments, which you’ll find on the ground floor of our city-centre Musical Instrument Department Store.

    Our extensive ranges of music-themed accessories and gifts include:

    - greetings cards, diaries and stationery;

    - music cases and shopping bags;

    - mugs and other kitchen items from tea spoons to cake stands;

    - socks, scarves and ties;

    - jewellery, including cufflinks and earrings…

    ~ ~ ~

    MICROPHONE CUFFLINKS

    £13.95

    Read more & buy online

    ~ ~ ~

    HEART OF CLEFS EARRINGS

    £23.50

    Read more & buy online

    ~ ~ ~

    * There are a small number of exceptions such as hymn books. Unfortunately, this offer cannot be used online or in conjunction with any other offer.


  • Sheet Music

    December 1, 2016

    Gift of the Day: the beautiful Faber Music Piano Anthology

    THE FABER MUSIC PIANO ANTHOLOGY

    Best-loved original repertoire for solo piano

    £21.99

    If you’re looking for a special gift for a pianist – perhaps to encourage a young learner or to celebrate their exam successes – few publications can match The Faber Music Piano Anthology for beauty, scope and, not least, value.

    This volume is a gift for life: while most collections focus on a particular repertoire or level of difficulty, this new 190-page anthology represents keyboard music from the 16th to the late 20th centuries and will be a constant companion for pianists as they progress from about Grade 2 standard all the way up to Grade 8.

    The pieces are arranged in order of increasing difficulty, not chronologically, so players are immersed in the full range of styles from the start. Works by famous names – Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Schumann, Debussy, Satie – are interspersed with contributions that will be new to many of us: ‘The Fall of the Leafe’ by Martin Peerson from the 17th-century Fitzwilliam Virginal Book; the ‘Snuffbox Waltz’ by 19th-century Russian opera composer Alexander Dargomyzhsky; ‘Honey; Humoresque’ by 20th-century Canadian Robert Nathaniel Dett; and many more.

    But what makes this collection particularly suitable as a gift is its luxurious presentation: the music is printed on thick, high-quality paper, a ribbon bookmark is included, and the handsome hardback cover reproduces Cyril Edward Power’s 1935 linocut ‘The Concerto’.

    A fine volume for any piano and any pianist!

    Read more & buy online


  • The Forsyths Blog

    December 1, 2016

    Gift ideas for Christmas Shopping Weekend: Crafter guitar packs, Jonas Kaufmann on DVD, Christmas Carol Sticker Books, piano lamps, and Mozart and Beethoven bears

    Joining us for Small Business Saturday UK and our Christmas Shopping Weekend (3-4 December 2016)? Scroll down to browse a sample of what we have to offer:

    - Usborne’s beautiful and educational Christmas Carol Sticker Book;

    - star tenor Jonas Kaufmann on DVD as Andrea Chénier at the Royal Opera House;

    - specially-designed piano lamps to spare your eyes at the keyboard;

    - discounted packs providing everything you need to get started on guitar;

    - and Mozart and Beethoven as teddy bears!

    * * *

    Guitar and Musical Instrument Department

    CRAFTER GUITAR PACKS

    – Crafter Lite guitar with gig bag, stand, tuner, strap, plectrum & spare strings

    Available with the following models:

    - Crafter Lite T/CD acoustic guitar – £260 (was £281)

    - Crafter Lite TE/CD electro-acoustic guitar – £369 (was £429)

    Like the Lani ukulele packs we featured a couple of weeks ago, our specially-assembled guitar packs are ideal for those looking for a high-spec, solid-top but affordable first guitar, or for more experienced players who want a second instrument to travel around with.

    Each pack includes everything you need to get started straight away:

    - Your choice of Crafter’s T/CD acoustic and TE/CD electro-acoustic guitars from their ‘LITE’ range (built to be comfortably light in weight), each with a solid cedar top and laminate mahogany sides for a warm tone;

    - a padded gig bag to keep the instrument safe in transit and a Stagg stand to park it on at home or on stage between sets;

    - a Korg PC-1 tuner, which sits on the headstock and is small enough to fit inside the case;

    - plus a Rotosound strap, a plectrum and a spare set of strings.

    The electro-acoustic model has a built-in pick-up for amplification and a cutaway to make it easier to play higher up the fingerboard.

    All of our packs are put together in-store by our specialists in the Musical Instrument Department and are ready to play immediately, so if you’re buying one as a gift, there’s nothing else to worry about before handing it over!

    Read more & buy online

    * * *

    Sheet Music Department

    THE USBORNE CHRISTMAS CAROLS STICKER BOOK

    £6.99

    Perfect for use at home or in the classroom, The Usborne Christmas Carols Sticker Book has been published in association with The National Gallery, London, to provide an engaging guide to the songs we sing at this time of year, often without knowing anything about them.

    Here words, music and pictures combine to tell the stories associated with 11 much-loved carols in a volume that will be equally enjoyable for parents and children.

    What sets this book apart is the interactive element: the pictures are printed faintly in the first half of the book so readers must cover them with the full-colour stickers from the second half in order to look at them more closely. In this way, children are introduced one-by-one to a wide range of great seasonal artworks by the likes of Botticelli, Bosch, Raphael, the Bruegels, Hogarth, Lear, Monet, Gauguin and Matisse.

    And alongside the images are interesting and easily digestible facts about the artworks and the words and music of the carols, including fascinating insights into their social, historical and religious contexts. In one painting by Beerstraaten we see people playing an early form of golf on a frozen river during the ‘Little Ice Age’ that gripped the UK and the Netherlands from the mid-17th century. And opposite the music to Silent Night is a reminder that this was the carol sung during the Christmas truce of 1914 – the common ground between English, French and German troops.

    The skilful piano arrangements are simple enough for a child of about grade 1-2 standard to play comfortably but full enough to provide effective accompaniment to solo or group voices. Each carol has an introduction of a few bars to help singers pitch their entries, and guitar chords are also included throughout.

    Read more & buy online

    * * *

    Piano Department

    STAGG LED PIANO LAMP

    £135 (was £150)

    When we featured the 125ET piano stool by CGM a few weeks ago, we mentioned the importance of ensuring that your seating arrangements at the piano enable you to play freely and avoid injury. The same is equally true of lighting: our eyes are as susceptible to damage as our hands and backs.

    If you find a ceiling light is not enough for you to read music by comfortably, and that standard desk-lamps cast as many shadows as they dispel, come in and try this purpose-built piano lamp by Stagg. With 10 LED lights on an extended shade, it spreads light more evenly across the page, and you can toggle between two brightness levels. Powered from the mains or by battery, the lamp is firmly anchored by a padded metal base and is available in black, chrome and gold finishes.

    Read more & buy online

    * * *

    Recorded Music Department

    GIORDANO – ANDREA CHÉNIER (DVD)

    £15.20

    Jonas Kaufmann, Eva-Maria Westbroek, Željko Lučić

    Royal Opera Chorus & Orchestra of the Royal Opera House

    Antonio Pappano (conductor) & David McVicar (director)

    Once the realm of gods and royalty, opera expanded its range towards the end of the 19th century to concern itself more closely with the real lives of men and women of the present and recent past. Mascagni’s Cavalleria rusticana of 1890 is usually considered the first such ‘verismo’ opera, and Puccini’s Tosca (1900) the most famous, but Andrea Chénier by Umberto Giordano (1867-1948) has remained popular since its premiere at La Scala, Milan, in 1896, thanks largely to its extraordinary – and demanding – leading tenor role.

    Jonas Kaufmann rises to the challenge magnificently. As The Independent reports, he “brings down the house with the sheer beauty of his singing”, while The Guardian finds “it’s hard to imagine him bettered” as André Chénier (1762-1794), the Greco-French poet who supported the ideals of the French Revolution but was ultimately executed for criticising the Jacobins’ ruthless practices.

    Meanwhile, director David McVicar’s production is a welcome return to classic Covent Garden values, one which both respects the work’s historical setting (meticulously realised) and trusts in the power of the music and musicians to communicate effectively without grafting on extraneous ideological or choreographic distractions. This newly-released DVD perfectly captures the drama of the 2015 Royal Opera House run in high definition and surround sound.

    Read more & buy online

    * * *

    Musical Gifts Department

    MOZART & BEETHOVEN BEARS

    Mozart (7 cm) – £8.90

    Beethoven (11.5 cm) – £11.90

    These soft, cuddly composer bears are popular all year round and can be found sitting on many of our customers’ (and colleagues’) pianos, but at this time of year even more of them are taken home to sit on our Christmas trees.

    But beware – you might find they have a life of their own: here we caught Mozart listening in on Beethoven composing his fifth symphony on a 3D grand piano greeting card

    Read more & buy online


  • The Forsyths Blog

    November 30, 2016

    Small Business Saturday and Christmas Shopping Weekend 3-4th December

    Small Business Saturday & Christmas shopping weekend 3rd & 4th December

    Discounts throughout the store including 10% off everything* in our Sheet Music & Musical Gifts Departments


    This year our Christmas Shopping Weekend coincides with Small Business Saturday, the national campaign to encourage all of us to get out on the high street and support the small businesses in our communities. Come and join us this weekend not only for discounts throughout the store and complimentary mulled wine, mince pies and live music, but also to enjoy the friendly service and expert advice that our customers have come to rely on.

    We are the oldest independent business in Manchester, run by the same family since 1857, and within our team we continue to have a great variety of highly qualified performers, teachers, scholars and technicians throughout our five-storey premises in the heart of the city. So if you’re just starting out in music, come and talk to someone who knows what they’re talking about – and if you’re an experienced musician, we’ll know what you’re talking about too.


    Live Music at Forsyths for Small Business Saturday and Christmas Shopping Weekend

    *There are a small number of exceptions such as hymn books. Unfortunately this offer can not be used in conjunction with any other offer.


  • The Forsyths Blog

    November 25, 2016

    Gift ideas for music lovers: your first Christmas album, Korg’s latest synthesiser, rent-to-buy pianos, composer biographies, and… socks

    As the holidays edge ever closer, parents with children just starting out in music will be particularly interested in two of our latest gift ideas. Our rent-to-buy pianos, from as little as £10 per week (plus transport costs), are ideal for families who want to encourage a beginner but who also want to wait and see how they take to it before committing to buying an instrument. And, new to our CD department, My First Christmas Album is the perfect introduction to the widest range of seasonal music for all the family.

    Our specialists’ choices also include two welcome updates to vintage favourites. Korg’s latest synthesiser, the Volca FM, is a high-spec but user-friendly version of the iconic but notoriously hard-to-use Yamaha DX7 from 1983. Meanwhile, six volumes of the classic Illustrated Lives of the Great Composers, popular with readers in the 1970s and ’80s, have been revamped for a new generation: the revised editions, which now also include recordings, are available in store and online at special reduced prices.

    Read on for information on all of these ideas, as well as our ever-popular range of music-themed accessories: this week, we bring you socks, scarves and ties

    * * *

    Recorded Music Department

    MY FIRST CHRISTMAS ALBUM

    £6

    If you have never explored classical music yourself but want to support a child who is enjoying learning an instrument, it can be hard to know where to start. Naxos’s enterprising series of “My First …” albums is designed not only to introduce children to classical music but also to help their parents navigate what might be new territory for them too.

    Following the success of My First Classical Music Album, Naxos released individual collections of music by Mozart, Beethoven and Tchaikovsky as well as others focusing on violin and piano. Each of these themed discs presents core repertoire spiced with lesser-known pieces and accompanied by an informative and beautifully-illustrated booklet.

    New this winter, My First Christmas Album offers an impressively wide range of seasonal music in its 30 tracks. Popular carols and songs like Silent Night, Jingle Bells and Winter Wonderland are interspersed with extracts from the major choral works – Handel’s Messiah, Britten’s Ceremony of Carols – and instrumental classics such as The Nutcracker by Tchaikovsky and Corelli’s Christmas Concerto.

    The accessible sleeve notes do an excellent job of revealing the unfamiliar origins of old favourites – Good King Wenceslas, for example, is the story of a Czech king sung to a melody from Finland – as well as identifying the recognisable elements of songs that will be new to many of us, such as the contributions from The Netherlands, Poland and Venezuela which round out this inspired selection.

    Read more & buy online

    * * *

    Guitar and Musical Instrument Department

    KORG VOLCA FM

    £137

    The Korg Volca FM is an easy way into FM (Frequency Modulation) synthesis.

    Inspired by the legendary Yamaha DX7, this synth packs an immense amount of sonic potential into its compact size. There are plenty of presets including fast-attack keyboards, organs and pianos, pads and strings, guitars and basses and a 16-part sequencer. The real fun lies in the amount of ways these voices can be manipulated, especially by switching between the 32 algorithms on board. A great, creative and fun tool that can get you experimenting with sounds fast!

    Read more & buy online

    * * *

    Piano Department

    RENT-TO-BUY PIANOS

    from as little as £10 per week

    (plus transport costs)

    The enthusiasm we have when we start a new instrument can be hard to maintain if we don’t have ready access to an instrument to play on at home, but committing to purchase an instrument – especially a substantial one like a piano – when we’ve only just started can be a big step.

    That’s why we offer a rent-to-buy scheme. Here’s how it works:

    – Choose any new or second-hand acoustic or digital piano with a selling price of between £495 and £4,700;

    – Pay upfront for 12 weeks’ rental plus the return transport costs;

    – Enjoy having a piano to play at home while you decide whether or not to purchase it.

    If you decide you would like to buy the same piano (or an alternative model) within six months, 100% of the rental costs to date, plus all (ground-floor) transport fees, will be deducted from the price of the instrument. Even if you need longer to decide, six months’ worth of rental and (ground-floor) transport costs will still be offset against the purchase price. We can also offer finance facilities to help spread the remaining cost of the piano.

    It’s always best to come and try out a range of instruments before deciding for yourself which one is right for you. Our friendly specialists are always happy to help guide you. Here are representative prices for some of our most popular instruments:

    Roland F20 digital piano: rental for £10 per week (purchase price £495)

    – Second-hand Yamaha U1: rental for £17 per week (purchase price £2,690)

    – Kawai K300: rental for £35 per week (purchase price £4,599).

    Return transport costs from £180 for acoustic pianos and £96 for digital ones: the exact cost, which will vary by distance and difficulty (stairs, corners, etc.), will be calculated upon enquiry.

    For more information on the full range and prices of our rent-to-buy pianos, please visit us at our showrooms on Deansgate in the heart of Manchester or call 0161 834 3281, extension 211.

    Read more online

    * * *

    Sheet Music Department

    ILLUSTRATED LIVES OF THE GREAT COMPOSERS

    Special Forsyth price – £10.95

    (RRP – £12.95)

    If you were reading about music in the 1970s and ’80s, you will almost certainly remember the enormously popular series Illustrated Lives of the Great Composers. These comprehensive but concise volumes presented both the general reader and the specialist with hugely readable biographies of the major composers, generously illuminated by high-quality reproductions of manuscripts, letters, portraits and other artworks.

    Now a new generation can benefit from these classic texts, and they are even better than they were before. Six of the volumes – on Bach, Chopin, Debussy, Liszt, Mahler and Mozart – have been reissued, fully revised and updated, and further enhanced by the addition of a specially-produced CD featuring a selection of each composer’s greatest works.

    With text, images and audio, these biographies are now the complete one-stop package: the perfect way to gain a thorough understanding of the life, times and works of these pivotal figures. And they make the perfect gift: if you enjoyed getting to know these composers through the original Illustrated Lives in the ’70s and ’80s, you can let your students, friends and relatives do the same with these new and improved editions.

    At the moment, we are offering all of these books at the special price of £10.95 each, saving you 15% off the normal retail price.

    Read more & buy online

    * * *

    Musical Gifts Department

    And finally, our ever-popular range of musical socks, scarves and ties are available for you to browse in-store and online…

    Browse SOCKS online

    Browse TIES online

    Browse SCARVES online


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