In the news (sort of)

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goldberg988
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In the news (sort of)

Postby goldberg988 » Mon Apr 13, 2009 10:06 pm

I recently encountered a NY times article that has been all abuzz in the twitterverse, about the imminent closing of Patelson's music house in New York City. The author seems to blame the demise of the store, at least in part, to websites such as IMSLP:

[Patelson's] is falling victim to a transfigured world, in which the power of digital retail has made places like used bookshops, record stores and sheet-music dealers little more than quaint relics.

Nowadays numerous Web sites offer sheet music for sale, either by mail or download. Publishers like G. Schirmer sell directly online. Other sites provide free downloads for works in the public domain.


(the full article is found here: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/13/arts/ ... 3pate.html)

While obviously there is no direct mention of IMSLP, we are the largest site of the kind on the Web, and therefore must receive some of the "blame" that the author is spreading around. Or must we? Of all the factors harming the success of "brick and mortar" sheet music stores (including the economy, the decline of classical music in general, and accessibility of digital replacements), in my opinion little is contributed by the existence of sites such as IMSLP. But my viewpoint may be skewed by my attachment to the printed note, and the fact that (for me) nothing beats browsing through the shelves of a well-stocked music store. I'd like to hear what you think.

Personally, I feel the closing of Patelson's is a sad story. A few months ago I was visiting the shop during my first trip to New York City, when I saw James Levine enter and start browsing through the opera scores right next to me. It is a historic place in its own way, and unfortunately much will be lost by its closing.

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Re: In the news (sort of)

Postby goldberg988 » Mon Apr 13, 2009 10:13 pm

Apparently the article is now not accessible (which it was this morning). But you can find it on page C1 of today's edition (April 13).

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Re: In the news (sort of)

Postby Lyle Neff » Tue Apr 14, 2009 11:16 am

I've been to Patelson's a few times on visits to NYC.

It should be remembered that IMSLP holds many, many, many things that Patelson's (as well as probably most other American music stores) would never have in stock or would not be able to order, because they're out of print, too obscure, hard to get, etc.
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Re: In the news (sort of)

Postby carmar1791 » Thu Apr 16, 2009 8:35 pm

This is sad. I love sheet music shops.I have the original printed parts of all music I posses.(all music that is in print).I think if you need the complete Mozart Sonatas or bach or Beethoven etc. it's more convenient you buy them because if you print a file after you have to put all pages together and at the end it's not a good work.
I think Lyle is right : on IMSLP you find things that you'll never find elsewhere.
In these days a music shop (especially sheet music) must be on web and can't wait for "physical" customers only...Not all people can go to New York to find a sheet music shop.
So i think before IMSLP, sites like amazon sheetmusicplus etc. are the cause of crisis that hit this kind of music shops.
A dealer must always be up-to-date with his times.
By the way it's sad...

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Re: In the news (sort of)

Postby daphnis » Thu Apr 16, 2009 10:23 pm

I love Patelson's myself, and yet I feel partly responsible for their (inevitable) downfall. The first time I went to NYC (in early teens) I spent HOURS there just browsing around. I ended up blowing about $150 on scores that I was overjoyed to have found. Carmar et al are right, there just aren't very many sheet music stores in non-metropolitan areas, and usually only the largest cities have stores worth their salt.

I was just there a few months ago and was looking for a few printed scores I thought they might have lurking about, maybe left-overs from bargain bin sell-offs 25 years ago. They didn't end up having them, but I engaged in a conversation with one of the attendants there about their store and ended up giving him a "business" card of IMSLP hoping it would help their customers who might be in the same situation. The guy never heard of us and was extremely impressed, said he'd mention it to others in the store.

Let's just face it, the printed sheet music business has been in a steady decline for many years as technologies become more advanced and computing faster and more reliable. I don't know how many viable printed sheet music stores can exist out there, but there is definitely still a place for the printed note and I have mountains of scores that I still purchase and use. I hope there will always be printed sheet music offered in some form.

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Re: In the news (sort of)

Postby KGill » Fri Apr 17, 2009 12:45 am

I have to agree- it's always nice to just browse through a shop (such as Presser's, which was before they closed all their stores the only nice one close to me). And Patelson's did have a fairly nice selection of Shostakovich- I got my Sikorski of the 5th and 8th Symphonies there (they didn't have DSCH NCW for those, but a bunch of other stuff- like the First Symphony). However, apart from a few things like that, they weren't really that great. For instance, they used to offer Carta 24-stave manuscript paper- a huge pack for $13. The last time I checked, either they didn't have any or it was about 6 staves or something, I can't remember. And I guess that in general, they didn't have too much modern stuff, except once (weirdly) some Khachaturian chamber piece for violin and piano or something like that. So they were only good in spots, really- a lot of their selection could easily be bought off the web, except for most of their Kalmus Conductor's Scores. I'm still sort of sad, but IMSLP wins (even if they weren't competing), as well as sites such as music44.com, which has a selection several orders of magnitude higher that that of Patelson's.
Maybe we should just build better printers- or get home binding kits or something.


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