• The Forsyths Blog

    April 1, 2021

    We RE-OPEN to the public on Monday 12 April!

    We RE-OPEN to the public on Monday 12 April!

    Monday – Saturday: 10am – 5.30pm

    In line with Government guidance, we are planning to reopen our doors to customers on Monday 12th April 2021*. We will be operating a similar system to previously to enable us to continue to operate in a Covid-19 secure way. We will be open Monday to Saturday 10am to 5.30pm. Some exclusive appointments for viewing acoustic pianos will also be available on Sundays.

    We are operating an appointment system for the Acoustic Piano Department and the Instrument Department. It may be possible to come and browse without an appointment but always wise to check availability as our capacity is limited.

    Acoustic Pianos

    To book your exclusive appointment to view acoustic pianos and discuss what you would like to view please contact our piano sales staff on  0161 834 3281 ext3 or email [email protected]

    The shop will be open 6 days a week Monday to Saturday, however we will also be offering appointments on Sundays which need to be booked/agreed by prior arrangement to ensure a member of staff is available. We understand choosing a piano can take many hours of trying and comparing instruments so want to enable our customers to have the most opportunities in an unpressured welcoming environment. Please call to discuss when would best suit you to visit.

    Instruments (guitars, orchestral and folk instruments, digital pianos)

    To book an appointment for any other instruments to ensure you will have access and the attentions of a dedicated member of staff please call 0161 834 3281 ext4 or email [email protected]

    Sheet music, Recordings and accessories

    For Sheet Music and Recordings you are welcome to come in during our opening hours Monday to Saturday without an appointment. There may be a short wait if we are at capacity. If you would like assistance over the phone with selecting/finding music you are welcome to phone and we can post items out: 0161 834 3281, ext. 1

    Piano tuning and Repair service

    Our piano tuning and repair service in customer’s homes/premises has resumed (since 8 March 2021) so please don’t hesitate to ring  0161 834 3281, ext. 5, and book in if you would like an appointment or email [email protected]

    Guitar and other instrument repair and servicing

    We are continuing to repair and service customers instruments throughout lockdown. Please phone to book in with the Instrument Department 0161 834 3281 ext 4.

    *Our reopening date is determined by Government Directives and therefore subject to change if the Government alters the dates for ‘non-essential’ retail re-opening.


    If you are visiting the store, please help us all stay safe, by observing these precautions when visiting:


    Please wait at the new front desk for a member of staff to call you forward


    Please use the sanitiser provided on arrival


    You must wear the mask provided or your own


    Please shop alone if possible and supervise children at all times


    Please stay 2 metres apart to maintain social distance


    Please pay by card or contactless methods if possible



    Piano & Instrument Departments

    Appointment bookings now available: 0161 834 3281 or in person at the front desk

    You may shop without an appointment but it may be necessary to wait to enter

    *** PLEASE DO NOT TOUCH ANY ITEM IN THE PIANO AND INSTRUMENT DEPARTMENTS WITHOUT PERMISSION ***

    If you would like to try an instrument or handle any other item please ask a member of staff who will be happy to assist you.

    This will help us to keep track of which items need to be cleaned or quarantined after handling.


    Printed Music, Recorded Music & Musical Gifts Department

    All customers must use either the sanitiser or the gloves provided while browsing throughout the ground floor

    No appointment necessary but it may be necessary to wait to enter


    In addition to the above precautions, we have introduced further procedures to protect customers and staff:

    More frequent cleaning of high-contact areas


    Staff enabled to work from home where possible


    Staff temperature checks every morning


    Staff provided with personal protective equipment



  • The Forsyths Blog

    April 1, 2021

    Spring Releases!

    Faber Contemporary

    Refresh your repertoire with new music by Taylor Swift, Ian Higginson and Nikki Iles, plus an invaluable resource for diploma candidates, and a stunning contemporary music collection from Faber!

    Nikki Iles & Friends: Jazz Pieces for PianoBook 1 – £12.95 | Book 2 – £13.95

    Out today! The popular and award-winning pianist and composer Nikki Iles commissioned this wide-ranging collection of new compositions and arrangements of classic songs to “reflect the breadth of jazz from its African American roots, through fusions with folk, classical and world music”. Book 1 is ideal for pianists of about Grades 4-6 standard, and Book 2 for those at Grades 6-8.

    The Faber Music Contemporary Piano Anthology – £20

    As beautifully-presented as the preceding collections in Faber’s series of piano anthologies, this excellent value 192-page collection offers 52 pieces, many of them never published before, including music from Aphex Twin, Einaudi, Enya, Philip Glass, Imogen Heap, Jóhann Jóhansson, Max Richter, Yann Tiersen and Nobuo Uematsu – all bound inside a striking reproduction of a Jackson Pollock!

    A Recital Anthology (ATCL) – £28

    Following the format of the Grade 8 Piano Anthology released every two years by Edition Peters for the ABRSM syllabus, Trinity have for the first time produced an anthology of 21 pieces selected from their ATCL diploma syllabus, edited with performance notes by acclaimed pianist Steven Osborne. Candidates can create a programme from this volume alone, and non-candidates too will enjoy both the stylistic scope and Osborne’s expert insights.

    Taylor Swift Evermore

    Taylor Swift: Folklore & Evermore £16.99 - £19.99

    Awarded Album of the Year at the 2021 Grammy Awards, Folklore was the first of Swift’s two surprise releases of 2020, both written and recorded since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic and both reaching No. 1 in the US and UK. Now Folklore and its “sister record” Evermore are available in attractive sheet music albums, in versions for piano, voice and guitar, and for easy piano.

    Ian Higginson: Piano Sound Colours, Vol. 1 – £15

    Forsyth is delighted to distribute the music of British composer Ian Higginson, whose extensive catalogue of choral music – “expertly crafted, imaginative, practical”, according to John Rutter – is already popular with choirs around the world. This is his first album of solo piano pieces, largely written during lockdown, and one of them has already been featured in the January/February issue of International Piano magazine!

    To discuss these or any other publications speak to our Sheet Music specialists on 0161 834 3281, option 1


  • The Forsyths Blog

    March 8, 2021

    Operating during National Lockdown #3



    We contine to staff our premises with a ’skeleton’ staff 6 days a week (Monday - Saturday) during the National Lockdown #3 and several staff working from home. This in affect is therefore a continuation of the  Tier 4 restrictions from Thursday 31st December 2020.

    We are closed to customers, We will, however, remain open to help you and provide our services ‘mail-order’ over the phone, email and via our website.

    We are planning to reopen as soon as Covid-19 National Lockdown restrictions are lifted - which is currently scheduled for Monday 12th April.

    To read more on how we will operate click here.

    Initially in lockdown #3 we decided to suspend our piano tuning service given the continued rise in infection rates across the region. We had not been required to do so, but felt this is in the best interests and  safety of our staff and customers. Now that infection levels have decreased significantly and we have had many enquiries from customers about when we will resume our service we have restarted tuning in customers homes (from 8th March 2021). If you would like to book in or have any queries about piano tuning and repair please contact Natalie on 0161 834 3281 ext 5.

    Our guitar tech Danny will continue to work during this period as will Pete our woodwind and brass repairer so please phone to book in a service/repair (0161 834 3281 ext 4)

    Our opening hours for help over the phone or ‘click and collect’ will be Monday to Saturday 10am -5.30pm. We will remain closed on Sundays.

    During these hours, you can talk to our friendly staff by phone and email, collect your orders and/or drop off and collect your guitar repairs:

    0161 834 3281

    1 for printed music and musical gifts | [email protected]

    2 for recorded music | [email protected]

    3 for acoustic pianos | [email protected]

    4 for guitars, digital pianos, and all other instruments and accessories | [email protected]

    5 for piano tuning and repairs | [email protected]

    6 for all other enquiries | [email protected]



  • Piano Department

    March 6, 2021

    Beautifully restored pianos to last another 100 years

    Here at Forsyths we pride ourselves in having a wide selection of pianos available from a range of makers offering something a little different and special as well as the tried and tested modern day ‘best sellers’. We always like to have some fully rebuilt pianos on offer that are both a beautiful piece of furniture as well as a superb musical instrument. We are in the final stages of restoring one such fine piano - this Steinway Model A in rosewood dating from 1898.

    Steinway Model A in hand French polished rosewood - elephant leg casing

    Steinway Model A in hand French polished rosewood - elephant leg casing

    Our French polisher has been painstakingly restoring the casework to its former glory.

    In the second picture you can see the piano pre-restoration. We have had to rebuild the bottom of the ‘elephant’ legs to how Steinway originally intended with the castors hidden beneath. The faded rosewood has been returned to its true glory.

    Steinway Model A pre-restoration at Forsyth music shop

    Steinway Model A pre-restoration at Forsyth music shop

    Please do get in contact if you are interested in this piano or something similar - we often have pianos waiting to be restored that may not yet have made it to our website. We can also help source appropriate pianos if you have a specific make or style in mind. You can see a selection of our antique restored pianos here. Otherwise please do give us a call to discuss your needs on 0161 519 1996.


  • The Forsyths Blog

    December 29, 2020

    Forsyth face masks

    MasksBy popular demand, our own music-themed face masks and snoods are now available to buy.

    Forsyth Face Masks & Snoods | Masks – £7.95 | Snoods – £23

    Here at Forsyths we’ve designed a range of musically themed face masks and snoods. Initially, these were for our staff to wear, but due to popular demand we have now had further supplies made to offer for sale.

    Here, Emma is wearing one of the sheet music designs and you can see our staff modelling other designs in store, all to stay in line with our COVID-19 protocols.

    We ask that all staff and customers wear masks in-store, so why not make them musical and washable!⁠

    >>> Buy Now: Masks | Snoods



  • Sheet Music Department

    December 20, 2020

    Behind the Music - Barber Violin Concerto

    The Barber Violin Concerto is a relatively short concerto with a performance time of c.22minutes for the three movement work. A young Samuel Barber was commissioned by Samuel Simeon Fels to write a piece for his ward Iso Briselli, who - like Barber - was a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music. In 2010, letters between the three parties became available for public reading and revealed quite a story for the work.

    Barber started working on the first two movements in Switzerland during the summer of 1939. He hoped to complete the concerto in the early fall to meet the October 1st deadline but his plans were interrupted due to the impending war when all Americans were warned to leave Europe. In late August, he travelled back to the USA through Paris arriving in early September. After spending a short time with his family in West Chester, PA, he went to the Pocono Mountains to continue working on the concerto. The first two movements were presented to Briselli in mid-October and they were met with great enthusiasm and ,after suggesting a substantial and virtuosic third movement, he took the unfinished work to his coach in NYC, Albert Meiff. Meiff, however, was less impressed and (with Briselli’s best interests in mind) sent as letter to Fels explaining that the work would need serious work, that the embellishments were not those of a modern violinist, and that if Briselli were to play the piece his reputation would be seriously hurt. He then claimed he was going to re-write the work to make the violin part more acceptable and that he, Briselli and Barber should meet to discuss changes. Barber obviously took Briselli’s criticism to heart and proceeded to write one of the most challenging pieces innthe violin reperatory.

    When Barber finally completed the work, Briselli was disappointed with the final movement Briselli asked Barber if he would rewrite the finale; he could premiere it at a later date to give Barber more time if needed. He suggested possible ways in which the movement could be deepened or expanded; perhaps even changing its form altogether such as a sonata-rondo; that perhaps he might expand the third movement while possibly retaining the Moto perpetuo as the middle section and giving it more clearly defined structural parameters. Briselli felt that only then would it be a complete, first-class concerto.

    Despite Briselli’s prodding, Barber was dismissive of his suggestions and declined to alter it. This was a big disappointment for Briselli, who believed that with a substantial third movement, the work could stand as a great American violin concerto. Briselli decided to hold his ground regarding the finale and chose to forego the concerto’s premiere and relinquish his claim on it. On December 14, Barber wrote Fels that, as he probably already knew, Briselli had decided the piece was “not exactly what he wanted, and has given it back to me.”

    Then ensued a debate of pay between the two parties. Fels claimed that the third movement was far too difficult and impossible to play, and Barber claimed that despite this work being difficult it was only 4 minutes and he had another violinist from Curtis to play it and check the playability and practicality, finding it was playable. It is in debate as to whether the playthrough was meant to be a “demonstration play-through”, however Barber’s letter suggest it was for his own personal reassurance. What do you think?

    Find the Sheet Music here


  • Sheet Music

    September 30, 2020

    Behind the Music - Barber Violin Concerto

    The Barber Violin Concerto is a relatively short concerto with a performance time of c.22minutes for the three movement work. A young Samuel Barber was commissioned by Samuel Simeon Fels to write a piece for his ward Iso Briselli, who - like Barber - was a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music. In 2010, letters between the three parties became available for public reading and revealed quite a story for the work.

    Barber started working on the first two movements in Switzerland during the summer of 1939. He hoped to complete the concerto in the early fall to meet the October 1st deadline but his plans were interrupted due to the impending war when all Americans were warned to leave Europe. In late August, he travelled back to the USA through Paris arriving in early September. After spending a short time with his family in West Chester, PA, he went to the Pocono Mountains to continue working on the concerto. The first two movements were presented to Briselli in mid-October and they were met with great enthusiasm and ,after suggesting a substantial and virtuosic third movement, he took the unfinished work to his coach in NYC, Albert Meiff. Meiff, however, was less impressed and (with Briselli’s best interests in mind) sent as letter to Fels explaining that the work would need serious work, that the embellishments were not those of a modern violinist, and that if Briselli were to play the piece his reputation would be seriously hurt. He then claimed he was going to re-write the work to make the violin part more acceptable and that he, Briselli and Barber should meet to discuss changes. Barber obviously took Briselli’s criticism to heart and proceeded to write one of the most challenging pieces innthe violin reperatory.

    When Barber finally completed the work, Briselli was disappointed with the final movement Briselli asked Barber if he would rewrite the finale; he could premiere it at a later date to give Barber more time if needed. He suggested possible ways in which the movement could be deepened or expanded; perhaps even changing its form altogether such as a sonata-rondo; that perhaps he might expand the third movement while possibly retaining the Moto perpetuo as the middle section and giving it more clearly defined structural parameters. Briselli felt that only then would it be a complete, first-class concerto.

    Despite Briselli’s prodding, Barber was dismissive of his suggestions and declined to alter it. This was a big disappointment for Briselli, who believed that with a substantial third movement, the work could stand as a great American violin concerto. Briselli decided to hold his ground regarding the finale and chose to forego the concerto’s premiere and relinquish his claim on it. On December 14, Barber wrote Fels that, as he probably already knew, Briselli had decided the piece was “not exactly what he wanted, and has given it back to me.”

    Then ensued a debate of pay between the two parties. Fels claimed that the third movement was far too difficult and impossible to play, and Barber claimed that despite this work being difficult it was only 4 minutes and he had another violinist from Curtis to play it and check the playability and practicality, finding it was playable. It is in debate as to whether the playthrough was meant to be a “demonstration play-through”, however Barber’s letter suggest it was for his own personal reassurance. What do you think?

    Find the Sheet Music here


  • Guitar Department

    September 1, 2020

    New Rickenbackers and an update on guitar repairs!

    RickenbackersRickenbacker 660 Electric Guitars | Mapleglo and Fireglo | £2,699

    We’re so excited to have these new Rickenbacker guitars in stock, particularly the Mapleglo, which we hand-picked ourselves from all those arriving in the UK to make sure we got the one with the most beautiful wood grain – but we also brought in the classic Fireglo too for traditionalists!

    >>> Buy Now!

    Guitar Set-Up and Repairs

    As with all our guitars, these wonderful new Rickenbackers are eligible for a free set-up within the first year. We recommend you let the instruments settle while you play them in at home for 3-4 months and then bring them in for us to take a look at for you!

    Today we’re also pleased to announce a new addition to our repair team! Danny is working in the shop on Saturdays and Wednesdays, 12 – 5pm, doing guitar set-ups and minor repairs, so if you have a guitar you need adjusting you can book an appointment to see him for an in-person assessment.

    Meanwhile, Glen is still available for more involved work which he’ll be doing from his home workshop so if you have structural repairs or major projects in mind we can accommodate them too.

    >>> Speak to our guitar specialists on 0161 834 3281, option 4