• The Forsyths Blog

    November 3, 2020

    Open for collections 7 days a week and deliveries

    Order & Collect from store 7 days a week during lockdown!

    (5th November - 2 December 2020 or until the Government lifts restrictions)

    Image may contain: one or more people and outdoor, text that says "Forsyth Forsyth Forsyth FOST Forsyth 1857 SOFA"

    Just to let you know that, as per Government guidelines, we are able to offer a ‘click and collect’ service if you need to grab anything during the lockdown period.

    You can order either online or over the phone and then come to the front door where there is a bell and we can do a socially-distanced handover.

    Just let us know when you order – and don’t forget we also deliver!

    Our piano tuning and servicing department continues to operate in customers homes. Please contact our department administrator Natalie to organise your appointments etc.

    It’s going to be a long month for all of us but rest assured we’re here to help in any way we can!

    * * *


    Monday – Saturday: 10am – 5.30pm

    Sunday: 11am – 5pm

    During these hours, you can collect your orders from our store and talk to our friendly staff by phone and email:

    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]

    * * *

    During periods customers are allowed to visit us in-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


    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 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

  • 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

  • The Forsyths Blog

    August 29, 2020

    NEW Forsyth face masks & back-to-school gift packs!

    MasksBy popular demand, our own music-themed face masks and snoods are now available to buy, and we have a new selection of money-saving gift packs for the new academic year!

    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

    Secondary gift pack

    Forsyth Gift Packs | £6.50 – £25

    The staff in our sheet music department have put together a number of money-saving gift packs that are perfect for those entering or returning to primary or secondary school or university.

    Each pack includes a pencil case and a selection of stationery, and the larger options also feature music notebooks, keyrings, lanyards, mints and even travel mugs: a perfect gift for the start of the academic year!

    >>> Buy Now!

  • The Forsyths Blog

    August 28, 2020

    Face-to-face teaching has resumed in store!

    Our teaching in-store has resumed with some new regulations in place:

    - There is a teaching room set up for lessons in which social distancing is possible and our teachers use a separate instrument for demonstrations.

    - We will leave windows open in the teaching room to aid ventilation and help minimise infection risk. We ask teachers and pupils to remain at a 2 meter distance and to talk, play and sing side-by-side wherever possible.

    - All pupils will need to wear masks in shop and wherever possible throughout their lessons and your teacher will keep their mask on unless demonstrating for wind, brass or voice.

    If you are interested in taking lessons at Forsyth, we would be delighted to offer you a free half-hour trial lesson!

    We will need the following information to help find a suitable teacher and time for you:

    - learner’s name and age (learners under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult);
    - which instrument(s) they would like to learn to play, and an indication of their level (e.g., beginner);
    - whether they would like to borrow an instrument for the trial lesson;
    - learner’s availability during our opening hours (Tues-Sat 10:00-5:30);
    - telephone number and email address of learner, parent or guardian.

    We have some brilliant teachers available to provide lessons at Forsyth on most major instruments, including:

    - Piano
    - Guitar
    - Ukulele
    - Voice
    - Recorder
    - Flute
    - Clarinet
    - Saxophone
    - Violin
    - Viola
    - Cello

    Please feel free to ask anymore questions by calling us on 0161 834 3281, ext. 204 or emailing [email protected]

  • The Forsyths Blog

    June 3, 2020

    Opening to customers in-store again from 16th June!

    New opening hours - Tuesday - Saturday 10am - 5.30pm (from 16th June 2020)

    In line with the Government directives, we are planning to reopen to the public on Tuesday 16th June. We will continue to operate on a 5 day week initially but will change to Tuesday to Saturday 10am-5.30pm. In the meantime you can still reach us by phone, email and our website to seek advice and buy items Monday to Friday 10am-5.30pm.

    We are currently drawing up our detailed risk assessment and protocol for how we will operate and will publish a guide for our customers on our website shortly. We’re also undertaking a thorough deep clean readying the instruments and showrooms for customers.

    In the piano and Instrument department, we will be operating an appointment system to come and view and select instruments. We are already beginning to book up appointments so please do get in contact if you are interested in visiting us when we reopen.

    Acoustic pianos:- 0161 834 3281 ext 3

    Digital pianos:- 0161 834 3281 ext 4

    Guitars, folk and orchestral instruments:- 0161 834 3281 ext 4

    Customers will also be able to come to the shop on an ‘ad-hoc’ basis but may have to wait depending on how many customers are already in the showroom or are prebooked for an appointment.

    For the sheet music and recorded music department on the ground floor, we will not be operating an appointment system, however, we may ask customers to wait before entering depending on the current numbers of customers in the department.

    For instrument accessories (e.g. strings, reeds, mouthpieces, mutes etc) you will be able to call in on spec, however, there may be a short wait depending on the current number of customers in the department in the Instrument department on the 2nd floor.

    Those familiar with Forsyths will know that luckily we have a recessed area in front of our shop window so customer’s queuing (at 2m intervals!) will be sheltered from any inclement weather or indeed a searing hot sun!

    Instrument repair and piano tuning services

    Our Piano Tuning, Servicing and Repair Service has resumed again as of 22nd May 2020 but with a reduced capacity. We have a backlog of customers who we have not been able to visit during lockdown that we are working our way through, but we would be delighted to try and help everyone we can and as soon as we can. Please do not hesitate to contact Natalie, our piano department administrator on 0161 834 3281 ext 5 to discuss your needs and book an appointment. We will be able to send you our detailed protocol for working in customers homes which we will need you to agree to prior to a visit.

    Our Guitar Tech Glenn will be resuming working on customer and stock instruments from next week. He will be working on instruments at home and we will, therefore, have a system/protocol for safe drop-off and collection of instruments from us in-store. Guitars can be dropped off during our working week up to and including Friday. To ensure a minimum of 72hrs for the instrument to have remained untouched, they will then be then collected by Glenn on the following Tuesday. We will use cleaning products on the cases to ensure safe handling, but to ensure the instrument is not damaged by cleaning we will not use any harsh cleaning products on the instrument itself.

    For basic set-up jobs such as a restring we will endeavor to do this in-store for you. We will, however, need to leave the instrument for 72 hours to ensure surfaces are safe for us to handle. After the work is completed we would also recommend you leave the instrument in it’s case for 72 hours before touching.

    At the moment we do not have a date for our woodwind and brass repairer restarting work. For string instrument repairs and set-up we will have limited capacity in-house and hope to be able to offer a more extensive service shortly.

    For all instrument repair and set-up enquiries please contact the Instrument Department on 0161 834 3281 ext 4

    (last updated 04/06/2020)

  • Digital Pianos

    May 22, 2020

    Digital pianos - ex-display for local delivery!

    Whilst our showrooms are closed due to the Covid-19 crisis lockdown, we’re offering our display digital pianos for sale to people in the Greater Manchester area.


    Due to a glitch on our website the full list is not displaying yet, so here’s the current list of available display stock. Please phone (0161 834 3281 ext 221 )  or email ([email protected]) if you are interested and double check availability.
    Casio GP310 black - RRP £2749 Our Price £2300
    Casio GP510 black - RRP £3895 Our Price £3299
    Casio PX870 black - RRP £925 Our Price £630 SOLD
    Casio AP270 black - RRP £779 Our Price £530
    Kawai CN29 white - RRP £1288 Our Price £1165
    Kawai CN39 black - RRP £1577 Our Price £1285 SOLD
    Kawai CA48 black - RRP £1811 Our Price £1466 SOLD
    Kawai CA79 black - RRP £2877 Our Price £2590
    Kawai CA99 rosewood - RRP £3766 Our Price £3390
    Yamaha YDP-S34 black - RRP £941 Our Price £645 SOLD
    Yamaha YDP-S54 white - RRP £1121 Our Price £869
    Yamaha YDP144 rosewood - RRP £941 Our Price £699
    Yamaha CLP625 black - RRP £1517 Our Price £1029 SOLD
    Yamaha CLP635 black - RRP £1967 Our Price £1399 SOLD
    Yamaha CLP645 polished ebony - RRP £3164 Our Price £2199
    Yamaha CLP665 polished ebony baby grand RRP £4802 Our Price £3199 SOLD
    Yamaha CLP675 polished ebony - RRP £3749 Our Price £2600
    Yamaha CSP150 - RRP £2643 Our Price £1999  SOLD
    Yamaha CSP 170 - RRP £3279 Our Price £2599

    These are assembled instruments that we can drop off to your home (we’ll discuss social distancing practices for the drop off when we take the order), and several of these instruments seem to be out of stock everywhere so it’s an opportunity to get your hands on a rare one!

    The special deal on these ex display instruments will be free assembly, straightforward local delivery (within approx. 20 miles) and no bulky packaging to dispose of! The condition of most is as new but we’ll check each one before it goes out for any minor marks and let you know. The best way to order is to phone us on 0161 834 3281 ext 221 but you can also order online if you’d rather, just drop us a line to say you want the assembled one dropping off to you. If you’re outside of the Greater Manchester area drop us a line first and we’ll see what we can do.

    Kawai CN29 in White - display model available for purchase with free delivery within 20 miles of the shop

    Kawai CN29 in White - display model available for purchase with free delivery within 20 miles of the shop

  • The Forsyths Blog

    May 22, 2020

    Forsyths in Covid-19 Lockdown

    Cello by bike

    During the enforced clousure to customers in-store we can be reached by phone Monday to Friday where our helpful staff will be able to assist you in finding everything from the right book of music, guitar, ukulele, digital piano or indeed a grand piano. We are very much looking forward to being able to reopen to customers in-store, but in the meantime a much reduced staff are working Monday to Friday. We are also closed on bank holidays but of course our shop is always available on-line.

    As a reminder here are the contact details for each department

    0161 834 3281

    – option 1 for sheet music and recordings

    option 3 for acoustic pianos

    option 4 for guitars, all other instruments, including digital pianos, and accessories

    and if you can’t get hold of us immeditaely on the phone you can leave a mesage and we will rinig you back.

    But of course we are always open at www.forsyths.co.uk!

    Sheet music by post

    >>> Pianos and Instruments

    Our skeleton staff at the moment includes several members of our Pianos and Instruments Departments who are largely working from home to advise customers by phone but who are making brief occasional visits to our store to set up and pack instruments for deliveries – some of which we carry out ourselves by bike!

    >>> Printed and Recorded Music

    Since our Printed and Recorded Music Departments cannot be run from home due to the sheer quantities we stock, two of us who can safely make the journey are still coming into the shop every weekday to assist customers by phone and keep up with our online orders.

    We’ll be taking a break over the long weekend, so you won’t be able to reach us by phone but you can drop us an email at [email protected] or leave us a voicemail on 0161 834 3281, option 1, and we’ll be back in touch with you on Tuesday!

    Ukulele video>>> Time to learn the ukulele!

    Right then, you people sat at home all day need a challenge! The ukulele is a perfect first musical instrument: they’re cheap, they’re easy to make progress on and they’re bags of fun – look how happy James is in this video!

    We recommend Baton Rouge ukuleles as a first instrument and we have the UR11 featured in the video in stock, so have a look on our website or better still phone us up (we’re missing seeing our customers something rotten with the front door closed!) and we’ll be delighted to help: 0161 834 3281, option 4.

    We also have lots of fantastic tutor books to go along with them. For adults, we would recommend the Hal Leonard Ukulele Method: Book 1 and for children Alfred’s Kid’s Ukulele Course 1. For more, browse our ukulele music online, or give us a call: 0161 834 3281, option 1.

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