• Recorded Music Department

    April 22, 2017

    Record Store Day discounts! | Hallé & NMC Recordings prize draw!

    It’s Record Store Day!

    Join us in celebrating the UK’s independent record shops:

    - enjoy our in-store only discount, valid today only, of 10% off everything in our Recorded Music Department!

    - enter our prize draw for passes to a special reception celebrating the Hallé’s recording partnership with NMC Recordings!

    With over 6,000 titles in stock, Forsyth’s Recorded Music Department is a rare sight on the high street: a treasure trove of classical and jazz on CD, opera and ballet on DVD and even jazz on vinyl. As well as core repertoire and the latest releases, we are able to display a wide selection of unusual offerings. We are always happy to play any CD before you buy and will endeavour to track down anything you cannot find.

    See our Recommended Recordings at the end of this post for a sample of our range of Hallé and NMC recordings, including our special price on Tarik O’Regan’s latest release, A Celestial Map of the Sky.

    * * *


    In anticipation of the Hallé’s performance of Bruckner’s magnificent Symphony No. 9 at the Bridgewater Hall on 4 May, we’re excited to be teaming up with NMC Recordings to offer Forsyth customers the chance to attend a special reception celebrating their recording partnership with the orchestra.

    The evening will begin with pre-concert drinks and speeches in the Barbirolli Room overlooking the canal, and after the concert guests will be joined by the conductor Ryan Wigglesworth.

    And you could be there! We have two pairs of passes to the reception to give away, and attendees will also be entitled to a discount on tickets to the evening’s concert. Here are all the details:

    Thursday 4 May 2017

    The Barbirolli Room, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester

    Arrival drinks – 6.30pm | Speeches – 7pm | Concert – 7.30pm

    Hallé, Hallé Choir, Ryan Wigglesworth (conductor)

    Purcell, Funeral Sentences for Queen Mary

    Ryan Wigglesworth, Locke’s Theatre (2013)

    Bruckner, Symphony No. 9

    Post-concert drinks with Ryan Wigglesworth

    Two winners will each receive:

    - a pair of free passes to the pre-concert reception and post-concert drinks;

    - and a promotional code providing a 25% discount on a pair of tickets for the concert in the top four price tiers (£24, £29, £34, £39) booked online at www.halle.co.uk.

    To enter, all you need to do is email “NMC” and your name to sheetmusic@forsyths.co.uk by 11.59pm on Sunday 30 April 2017

    We will randomly select and notify the two winners the following morning!

    * * *


    Here is a sample of our range of Hallé and NMC recordings. In honour of Record Store Day, you can get 10% off these and everything else in our Recorded Music Department when you shop in-store today only!

    - - -


    – A Celestial Map of the Sky

    OUR PRICE: £10.85 (RRP £13.60)


    Hallé Youth Choir

    The Manchester Grammar School Choir

    Sir Mark Elder & Jamie Phillips

    NMC Recordings NMC D220

    NMC Recordings is an award-winning record label with charitable status. Founded in 1989 by composer Colin Matthews, it is devoted to the promotion of contemporary classical music from the British Isles. With a catalogue of more than 250 titles, encompassing major established figures and new voices, its award-winning recordings are of the highest quality and feature major international artists. In 2015 NMC became the first organisation to receive the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Leslie Boosey Award for “its outstanding contribution to the furthering of contemporary music in Britain”.

    “The other star player on this recording is the Hallé Orchestra itself, illuminating with passion and precision the bright colours of O’Regan’s immensely enjoyable and refreshing sound world.”

    – Gramophone Magazine

    Read more & buy online

    - - -


    – Symphony No. 9 in D minor



    Cristian Mandeal

    Hallé CD HLL 7524

    “… supremely well executed by the Hallé, in even finer form than we have learned to expect in the last few years. The playing is of fierce precision and immense power.”

    – BBC Music Magazine

    Read more & buy online

  • Sheet Music Department

    April 19, 2017

    “Let’s Play The Piano!” comes to Forsyth on Saturday 29 April!



    with Ben Richards

    * * *

    Hosted by Forsyth

    Saturday 29 April 2017

    11.30am – 1.30pm

    * * *

    We are delighted to be welcoming Ben Richards and his Meetup group Let’s Play The Piano! to Forsyth for the next in their popular series of events, which provide invaluable opportunities for adult pianists to perform – and for music-lovers to hear – a wide variety of music in a friendly, supportive environment.

    This will be the group’s first session at Forsyth but they are set to be regular guests with events here every couple of months. If you would like to be involved now or in the future, whether as a performer or a member of the audience, you can read more about the group and this event on our Events page.

  • The Forsyths Blog

    April 12, 2017

    Bank Holiday Opening times 2017

    Just a quick reminder of our opening times for the up coming Bank Holidays.
    On Bank Holidays we open ‘Sunday hours’ ie 11am - 5pm. - so that’s Monday 1st and 29th May and Monday 28th August.

    Otherwise we’re open Monday - Saturday 9am - 5.30pm and Sundays 11am-5pm.

  • Sheet Music Department

    March 21, 2017

    Mike Jackson has us playing ukulele in 40 minutes!

    We were excited to welcome Mike Jackson - author of the Uke’n Play Ukulele series and one of the most popular Australian children’s entertainers and music educators - for a very special free ukulele workshop on Sunday 19 March, in which he had an enthusiastic capacity crowd of all ages from 4 to ‘mature’ playing along with him in only 40 minutes!

    If you missed it but would like to join us for future events, please contact us on 0161 834 3281 or info@forsyths.co.uk to sign up to our mailing list.

  • The Forsyths Blog

    March 12, 2017

    Emily is shaving her hair off for the MND Association!

    Over the past 6 months, I have been fundraising for Marie Curie and the Motor Neurone Disease Association. In this time, myself, my friends and my colleagues have managed to raise over £2000 for the two charities. Through selling cakes in our staff kitchen, doing a sponsered Grade-one-athon (or in my case, Grade-three-athon!) and organising a charity concert, we managed to raise this much for two great charities.

    Motor Neurone disease is a dreadful illness, which my family has experienced the effects of first hand. The Motor Neurone Disease Association is the only national charity in England, Wales and Northern Ireland focused on MND care, research and campaigning. Much more needs to be known about this illness and hopefully, one day, a cure will be found. In the last few years, MND has had more public interest, due to the film, The Theory of Everything and the ALS Bucket challenge. Both helped to raise the profile of the disease, but research still needs to be done to help the patients deal with the day to day struggles and to look for a cure.

    All of the fundraising has been done in memory of my mum, Bernadette, who passed away last year, after battling with Motor Neurone Disease.

    To celebrate my mum’s birthday, I announced that I would be shaving my hair off to raise money for the MND Association. We reached the fundraising goal which I set in under 24 hours, which was such a great achievement. I’m still overwhelmed by the support of my family and friends. The head shave will definitely be happening next Saturday, the 18th March at 4pm, in the shop. Where in the shop depends on how much we raise between now and then! If we reach the £750 target on my Justgiving page, it will be done in our shop window!

    My hair is being donated to the Little Princess Trust, who make  wigs for children suffering with an illness which causes hair loss.


    Thanks for reading


  • Guitar Department

    March 11, 2017

    A Short History Of Eastman Guitars

    A few weeks ago we shared news that Forsyths are once again stockists of these fabulous instruments, and with the arrival of new stock we thought it might be worth giving them a fuller introduction.

    Eastman Strings was founded in 1992 by Qian Ni, a student at Boston College of Music who initially set up Eastman as an importer of Chinese made violins, violas and cellos into the US. Whilst China was well established as a source of cheap instruments, Ni believed that for China to have a long term future in musical instrument making it would have to demonstrate an ability to make high quality instruments that were comparable to those being produced in the US and Europe: from the start Ni looked for violin makers who were Western trained in making professional grade instruments.

    By 1994 Ni’s business was doing well enough to provide full time employment to a team of experienced makers and to set up a workshop based in Beijing dedicated to making Eastman violins. Critical to the success of the brand was Ni’s determination to produce instruments using traditional violin making techniques rather than relying on modern technology, and Eastman violins were made on workbenches using knives, chisels, gouges and rasps rather than routers and machine tools: to this day band-saws are the only modern devices to be used extensively within the workshops. By the end of the decade Eastman had expanded to include a bow making shop and a case factory in addition to ever increasing violin production.

    With Eastman making waves in the classical world, Ni turned his attention to his passion for classic jazz guitar designers such as John Monteleone, Bob Bennedetto, John D’Angelico, James D’Aquisto and Claudio Pagelli. Having a team of luthiers experienced in carved top instruments and considerable buying power with timber suppliers with access to the high quality Spruce and Maple required for high end string instruments, Ni realised his company was ideally placed to produce a range of high quality yet affordable carved top jazz instruments and in 2002 Eastman showed a pair of unlabelled prototype arch top guitars in amongst the violins at that year’s NAMM show. Encouraged by the feedback they began to work on the project in earnest, studying a series of vintage arch-tops and enlisting US guitar makers Mark Lacey and Otto D’Ambrosio (the latter of whom initially licensed the design of the El Rey series of Eastman guitars and currently bears the title of master luthier for the Eastman custom division) to collaborate on the designs In 2004 the first production runs of Eastman guitars were produced and were an instant success.

    Following a first wave of traditional arch tops, Eastman also released a range of mandolins based on the early 20th Century Gibson oval and f hole designs and using the same high quality and hand carved tone woods as the arch-tops, and a range of flat top acoustics based on pre-WWII Martin and Gibson construction techniques and with exceptional quality Sitka and Adirondack tops. The arch top range was also expanded to include a series of laminated construction electric guitars based on the popular Gibson ES-175 and ES-335.

    By the 10th anniversary of Eastman guitars in 2014 the company had expanded to include a workforce of 250 people split between two workshops producing guitars, mandolins and violin family instruments. Whilst this represents a huge increase on the original set up, Eastman continues to operate on a strictly traditional basis with mostly hand tools used in production of all instruments: Contrary to common beliefs about Chinese manufacture Eastman also operate with employment conditions in line with Europe and the US. Its workforce is split evenly between men and women and employees are able to choose the hours they work. Also in keeping with US practices, each employee is trained to be specifically skilled in a particular job within the production process, ensuring that at each stage of the process each guitar receives the highest attention to detail from the person best equipped for that specific job. The only elements of Eastman guitars not handled in-house are the Gotoh hardware and the pickups, which are either from Kent Armstrong or Seymour Duncan depending on the model.

    Although most Eastman models are finished in a traditional nitrocellulose lacquer, in 2016 Eastman introduced a unique new finish option on four of their models based on the antique varnish process specially adapted for the guitars by varnish shop manager Li Hua Rong: this process involves a traditional technique of hand varnishing the instrument in first a golden ground colour, then a further coat with a red dye that gives a beautiful three dimensional depth to the varnish and finally a shellac top coat that can be rubbed to a soft gloss finish. In addition to this the top coat is gently distressed to  these instruments to create an aged patina that should mature gracefully as the guitar ages – a very sophisticated and elegant take on the popular relic fashion.

    Eastman’s current range of electric guitars consists of the AR series of traditional carved and laminated top jazz guitars, the T series based on the Gibson ES-335 family of centre-blocked arch-tops, a more esoteric range of designer arch-tops such as the El Rey and Pisano, a Gretsch style arch-top named the T58, and the SB series of solid body Les Paul style guitars.

    You can view our stock of Eastman guitars here and mandolins here.

    Eastman guitars factory photos

    Eastman guitars factory photos

    Eastman guitars factory photos

    Eastman guitars factory photos

    Eastman guitars factory photos

    Eastman guitars factory photos

  • Sheet Music Department

    March 7, 2017

    Elena Cobb and Andrew Higgins inspire us to improvise at our latest workshop

    We are very grateful to Elena Cobb and Andrew Higgins for spending the day with us on Sunday and inspiring so many of our customers to shed their inhibitions and start improvising!

    Two of the UK’s finest practitioners in this field, Elena and Andrew are both pianists, teachers, composers and publishers who believe that improvisation is not a specialist activity for a few advanced musicians but an essential part of everyone’s musical development from the outset.

    If you were unable to attend these wonderful workshops, you can discover their insights in their books, both of which are among our most popular titles:

    – Andrew Higgins - So You Want to Learn to Improvise?

    – Elena Cobb - Improv Exercises for Classically Trained Beginners

    And if you would like to receive updates about our upcoming events by email, please contact us on 0161 834 3281 or info@forsyths.co.uk to sign up to our mailing list.

  • The Forsyths Blog

    March 3, 2017

    Uke’n Play Ukulele Workshop - Coming to Forsyth!

    Uken Play Ukulele Workshop at Forsyth

    Attention ukulele lovers and wannabe uke-ists! We’re excited to be welcoming Mike Jackson for a very special free ukulele workshop on Sunday 19 March at 1pm. Mike is a real ukulele hero and one of the most popular Australian children’s entertainers and music educators. His face will be familiar to anyone who regularly browses our ukulele sheet music section, as the author of the hugely popular Uke’n Play Ukulele series.

    At his workshops Mike promises to have children playing the ukulele in just forty minutes, plus there will be plenty of advice available for kids (and adults) who already play. Mike’s books will be in plentiful supply and those attending will be able to purchase them at discounted prices.

    Places are strictly limited: as we expect healthy demand, please either email sheetmusic@forsyths.co.uk or call the Sheet Music Department on 0161-834-3281 extension 204 if you’d like you and your child to take part. If you already own a uke, please bring it along! We will supply extras for those who don’t, or you can browse the wonderful selection of ukes for sale in our shop.

    For more information, see our Events page.



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