• Instruments

    January 16, 2017

    January Instruments Sale!

    So January has arrived, and with it the blues of the New Year. Rather than wallowing in the blues we encourage you to indulge in them by coming in store to take advantage of some of our fantastic sale offers. There really is something for everyone, and here is a selection! The full list of all instruments on sale can be found on our website, here: https://www.forsyths.co.uk/sale

    Digital pianos are becoming a more and more popular alternative to acoustic instruments, due to their lower cost, lack of maintenance needs and ever more realistic replication of the touch and sound of a real piano. Two of Kawai’s mid range digital pianos feature in our sale – the CN35 and CN25

    The CN25 features a fully weighted keyboard, ivory touch keys, grand feel pedals and Kawai’s fantastic piano samples; you’d be hard pressed to find a better instrument for under £1000, at £979. The CN35 carries all the features of its little brother, with the addition of hundreds of more voices and a two track recorder – a real steal at £1,119. For the player who requires the portability of a keyboard, but still needs the responsiveness of fully weighted keys and the brilliance of a Kawai piano sound we have the ES100 – for £489 you get a 15kg instrument with integrated lesson function, split keyboard functionality and an built in metronome and song recorder.

    For acoustic guitarists the highlight has to be the Guild Orpheum Jumbo, now only £1995 down from £3276. It combines a red spruce top and solid mahogany back and sides to project an incredibly full bodied tone, with power and clarity! Also featuring in our acoustic guitar sale is the Ortega 8 string classical – with a solid cedar top and included gig bag it’s a real bargain at £475.

    When it comes to electric guitars, Rickenbacker is a name that needs no introduction. Fortunately for fans of the electric guitar we have a whole host of Rickenbackers featuring in the January Sale – perhaps the choice model being 1993 Plus 12 String with over £1000 off, reduced to £2,650. There’s something for the bassists as well, with the Rickenbacker 4004 Laredo Bass. It’s a modern take on the classic Rick’ bass, and can be yours for only £1725.

    The ukulele has really enjoyed a resurgence in the past few years, with ukulele groups springing up all around the country. If you haven’t yet tried out this instrument, our January sale is the perfect time. Many of our Lani brand ukuleles are over a third off, so whatever size ukulele you’re after there’s an instrument for you. For example, our Lani LC-70MG Concert ukulele with solid spruce top and flamed maple back and sides can be had for only £83, down from £126.

    Perhaps there is an aspiring drummer in the family – if so, the KAT KT-1 electronic drum kit is the perfect treat, and down to £417 in the sale. It contains over 150 studio grade percussion, drum and cymbal samples and natural feeling rebound cymbal pads. Best of all it has a headphone socket so that practise won’t disturb the neighbours!

    Amplifiers are a vital component of any guitarists arsenal; luckily we have a few brilliant models in our January Sale! The two we most recommend are the Vox AV-30 and AV-60 - distinctly British all-valve combo amps with a twin channel design providing a normal and top boost tone. You can pick up the AV-30 for just £275, and the AV-60 for £375. On top of this the AV-60 comes with a free VFS5 foot controller worth £57!

  • Sheet Music

    December 30, 2016

    Minim Finds a French Horn

    We at Forsyth are most excited to stock the enchanting ‘tail’ of Minim Finds a French Horn by Jacqui Blore and beautifully illustrated by Mar Van de Kaa.

    Minim Mouse has a wonderful adventure in the story where she meets all the instruments of the orchestra and helps to tidy up all the biscuit crumbs after the tea break.

    Minim Mouse is on Facebook, so you can keep up with her adventures by adding her as a friend and follow her on twitter

    The book is available here.

  • Sheet Music Department

    December 20, 2016

    Give them an orchestra for Christmas! – Music Minus One

    Nothing beats playing with other live musicians, whether it’s bashing through a new piece with friends either side of a meal or rehearsing more seriously for a performance. But for many of us it’s not possible to meet up as regularly as we would like with a pianist, let alone a band or orchestra.

    The Music Minus One (MMO) series enables us to sing or play jazz standards or classical songs, sonatas and concertos with professional musicians whenever we want. MMO publications provide:

    - a printed solo part,

    - a recorded accompaniment,

    - and most also include a demonstration recording, complete with a distinguished soloist,

    - as well as useful liner notes on the music and performance issues.

    For musicians who are professionals themselves, or training to be, it is an invaluable rehearsal tool, a convenient way to build confidence ahead of a recital or competition. For those who play recreationally, it provides experiences that might otherwise present themselves rarely if at all.

    Forsyth has one of the largest selections of Music Minus One editions available in-store, by phone and online.

    Browse all of our Music Minus One titles

    Here’s just a sample of the many possibilities awaiting you…

    * * *


    in E minor, Op. 85 (2-CD set)


    One of the most recognisable and best-loved concertos for any instrument, popularised in the ’60s by the late Jacqueline du Pré, the Elgar Cello Concerto is a work every cellist, professional or amateur, wants to play. As well as the usual features of MMO publications, this edition includes an additional recording without soloist performed 20% slower to assist players even at the earliest stages of learning this iconic work.

    Read more & buy online

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    This is one of our best-selling jazz titles in the MMO series, perfect not only for trumpeters but also for players of any other instrument in B flat such as clarinet or tenor saxophone. Here, the printed solo part provides not only the basic melodies for 10 popular standards – including Fly Me to the Moon and When You’re Smiling – but also a note-for-note transcription of the embellished versions performed on the demonstration recordings by Bob Zottola.

    This is a wonderful resource if you want to try out someone else’s improvisations before developing your own – all with the support of an accomplished big band.

    Read more & buy online

    * * *



    If you’re preparing arias from the great oratorios – whether for an appearance with an orchestra or in concert with a pianist – who better to work with than a specialist accompanist who has given recitals with Pavarotti at the Metropolitan Opera and Maria Callas at Carnegie Hall?

    In this, one of our most popular vocal volumes from MMO, John Wustman provides masterful backing for 10 arias, including:

    - ‘The Trumpet Shall Sound’ from Handel’s Messiah;

    - ‘Now Shines the Brightest Glory’ from Haydn’s The Creation;

    - ‘Lord God of Abraham’ from Mendelssohn’s Elijah.

    Read more & buy online

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  • Piano Department

    December 19, 2016

    A digital piano for the smallest spaces - even a corridor


    SALE PRICE £665 (normally £719)

    As we say in our guide on How to buy a digital piano, any such instrument can offer you certain practical advantages: it will be relatively inexpensive and need no tuning or regulation, you will be able to play through headphones without disturbing the rest of the household or neighbours, and it will take up less room than a standard upright piano.

    But here is an instrument that will take up even less room. Occupying only 113.5cm of wall space, and with a depth of just 26cm (less than a Billy bookcase from IKEA), the Korg LP-380 73-note digital piano is little bigger than a classic 73-key electric keyboard on a stand. And yet it has the same essential functionality as the full-length 88-key Korg LP-380 digital piano:

    - it replicates both the sound and the fully weighted hammer action of a real piano;

    - includes a full 3-pedal system;

    - and, despite its small size, has the power to produce the full range of dynamics.

    This means you can fit a high-quality digital piano into the smallest spaces: a bedroom in university halls, the corner of an office, even a corridor. It is an ideal solution for the casual player or learner, for whom the omission of a few keys at either end is unlikely to be an issue since the repertoire they will be exploring tends to avoid such extreme highs and lows.

    This stylish instrument comes in three colour combinations – cream-black, orange-black and silver-black – all of which are in stock. Look out for the cream one in our window at 126 Deansgate, come in and try one on the second floor, or speak to us on 0161 834 3281, extension 606.

    Read more & buy online

  • Recorded Music Department

    December 15, 2016

    Barenboim’s “champagne spirit” - a vintage Viennese New Year


    Daniel Barenboim

    Vienna Philharmonic


    Every year hundreds of thousands of people apply to attend the Vienna Philharmonic’s New Year’s Concert – but only a few hundred are successful, spending between €35 and €1,090 per ticket. The live broadcasts attract millions of viewers around the world, who return year after year for the traditional mixture of works by the Strauss dynasty, particularly the two concluding numbers: Johann Strauss II’s The Blue Danube waltz and Johann Strauss I’s Radetzky March.

    But the concerts are not the same every year: 2014 was of course the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War I and the orchestra specially invited Daniel Barenboim back because of his work towards peace and reconciliation, most prominently with the West–Eastern Divan Orchestra, which brings together musicians from Israeli, Arab and Iranian territories. The theme of rapprochement permeates the first half of the concert with works such as Josef Strauss’s Palms of Peace waltz and Johann Strauss I’s Caroline Galop, named after the bridge over the river dividing inner and outer Vienna during the Biedermeier period.

    These two works are among nine pieces in the programme which have never previously been performed at the New Year’s Concerts. Notable among the other premieres are the ‘Moonlight Interlude’ from Capriccio by Richard Strauss – no relation of the Viennese Strausses but an honorary member of the Viennese Philharmonic – and the Pizzicati by Delibes (best known for the ‘Flower Duet’ from his opera Lakmé), inspired by the famous Pizzicato Polka by Johann Strauss II and his brother Josef.

    And as ever, there are ballet sequences performed by the Vienna State Ballet, this time in fantastic costumes by Vivienne Westwood.

    Don’t forget to tune in for the next concert on 1 January 2017 at 11:15am on BBC2, and if you want to try your luck in the ballot for tickets to 2018’s concert, you can register between 2 January and 28 February 2017 via the Vienna Philharmonic’s website.

    But if you want to enjoy the magic of the Strauss family and friends on any other day of the year, 2014 is an excellent vintage: as The Sunday Times put it, “Recent New Year’s Day concerts have been flat affairs, but the champagne spirit flows freely in Daniel Barenboim’s second stint on the podium.”

    Read more & buy online

  • Piano Department

    December 10, 2016

    Casio GP300: the digital piano that feels and sounds like a Bechstein grand



    Bechstein and Casio, leading firms in traditional and digital pianos respectively, have combined their expertise to create the GP300, a hybrid instrument with all the advantages of a digital model – being relatively inexpensive and compact, playable with headphones, and needing no tuning or regulation – but with the wooden keys, the keybed and therefore the feel of a Bechstein grand piano.

    As well as feeling like a Bechstein grand, it also sounds like one: under the supervision of Bechstein’s Service Director and Master Piano Maker, Casio developed the ‘Berlin Grand’ voice to emulate what they describe as the “clear, balanced and elegant sound” of the D282, “Bechstein’s ultimate masterpiece”. Among the other 25 built-in tones, the ‘Hamburg’ and ‘Vienna’ voices are similarly based on grand pianos that originate in these cities: given that Berlin is Bechstein’s home town, we can only assume that the models for the Hamburg and Vienna voices are the equally celebrated instruments by Steinway and Bösendorfer.

    Although this level of sophistication is not new to the digital market, it is unique within this price range. The GP300 gives you the sound of three of the most recognisable and respected grand pianos in the world in a low-maintenance instrument smaller than an upright piano – all for only £2,199.

    The full specifications are detailed on our website, and the GP300 itself is in-stock and available for you to try alongside the other models recommended in our free guide on how to buy a digital piano, as well as the Celviano series’ flagship model, the GP500, which has just won the prestigious Music Industries Association 2016 piano award.

    Read more & buy online

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

  • The Forsyths Blog

    December 7, 2016

    Gift of the day: Forsyth gift vouchers featuring artwork by Stephen Campbell


    – redeemable in-store, by phone and online

    It can be difficult to know what to buy for a musician, especially if you are a non-musician or play a different instrument or genre. Our gift vouchers are perfect if you want to give a musician the opportunity to stock up on essentials or enjoy browsing for something new.

    Available in any value* and valid for 10 years, Forsyth vouchers make a highly presentable gift. Each one features a full-colour reproduction of this oil painting of our city-centre shop window by up-and-coming local artist Stephen Campbell.

    Read more & buy online

    * Available in any value in-store and by phone. Available in the following denominations online: £5, £10, £15, £20, £25, £50, £75 and £100.

    Stephen Campbell (June 2015): Forsyth. Now the oldest shop in Manchester. See if you can tell what’s in the shop and what’s reflected. What a challenge this was. See Clark Art Ltd for further information.

    Stephen Campbell (June 2015): "Forsyth. Now the oldest shop in Manchester. See if you can tell what’s in the shop and what’s reflected. What a challenge this was." See Clark Art Ltd for further information.

  • 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.

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