Where do you get your bought music from?

October 31, 2019, 9:07 AM · Hello,
The question is in the title.
Where do you get your bought music from?
Personally, I use Amazon a lot to buy and have it delivered. I find it to be a lot cheaper sometimes than buying direct from the publisher. Saying that, I buy stuff that I know there is a certain edition of from the publisher when there isn't a thing of it on Amazon/Ebay.

I have also found Googling the pieces comes up with places that sell stuff a lot cheaper. For example this morning, I bought part 2 of Mozart's piano and violin rep (Barenreiter) for £17 (which is like half price compared to all the normal places).

What are yours?

Replies (28)

October 31, 2019, 9:10 AM · Wherever is cheapest and has an acceptable delivery time.

That's usually Shar, SheetMusicPlus or Amazon.

October 31, 2019, 9:13 AM · I agree with being the cheapest. But delivery time has no bearing for me really. What about buying second hand?
October 31, 2019, 9:51 AM · I regularly use Amazon, but where possible I use their second hand section. I’ve also lucked out very well with the Oxfam online shop, they’ve had a lot of viola music before, a lot of which I’ve needed as I’ve progressed etc. I much prefer to buy second hand, it’s cheaper, generally more sustainable and it means I’m not demanding on the environment for brand new paper products.
October 31, 2019, 9:54 AM · As long as the quality of the second hand is good, I don't mind. Amazon have only sent me one thing I think which I would deem not good quality (an edition of RV Williams Suite)
Edited: October 31, 2019, 10:01 AM · Cheapest, but I've found it necessary to be chary of second-hand Baerenreiters - they often come in multiple parts, and things can be missing if you buy second-hand. I had that happen with Corelli Op.5 - I got volume 1 second-hand, but only the parts came, no score. I didn't discover the error until months later when I bought a new volume 2 and got both parts and score.
October 31, 2019, 10:03 AM · I had a similar thing with a Bartok Rhapsody I think but the other way. Score but no solo part
Edited: October 31, 2019, 10:21 AM · I was comparatively lucky.
October 31, 2019, 10:32 AM · The only time I pick up music secondhand is when someone brings a giant box of giveaway music, and I grab things that I might not otherwise have chosen to pay for.
October 31, 2019, 11:00 AM · I'd prefer to support my local shop, and will do so sometimes when I am feeling more willing to waste at least an hour sitting in traffic on the way there and back, which, unfortunately, includes Saturday and Sunday. But, most of time, I order from Shar.
Edited: October 31, 2019, 11:09 AM · My local shop (South London Music) is a 35-minute walk away; and I support it whenever what I want is less than about £10, on the grounds that, with postage, Amazon will probably be dearer. But my shop charges, say, £30 for some things, and I never buy them, as I have to check if Amazon are cheaper, and also there's the second-hand option.
October 31, 2019, 11:11 AM · I like to purchase new copies of music but will shop around for best price with shipping. Places I have purchased in the past include Shar, Amazon, and Sheet Music Plus. None of the shops around here carry much in the way of intermediate/advanced literature.

However, I have also purchased used estate lots on Ebay for a lark. Be prepared for unpleasant odors, poor condition, and marked up materials. But it's fun to see what folks played before you were born and sometimes you find a real treat.

October 31, 2019, 11:18 AM · I must have had good luck with my a second hand copies of things, I’ve found them all to be in excellent condition and not smelly! I usually rub out previous markings from former owners, but some markings have been extremely helpful!
Music for exams I buy brand new, as I want to make sure I’ve got the correct editions. In this case, I buy from the ABRSM shop, to be on the safe side.
October 31, 2019, 3:12 PM · I have done that for the same reasons
October 31, 2019, 3:13 PM · Usually, MusicSheetPlus and Amazon. The last piece I bought - 4 Seasons Vivaldi Barenreiter edition, I bought from Amazon. But sometimes I will check the local music shops too.
October 31, 2019, 3:23 PM · Annoyingly, my music shop shut down earlier this year. But even then, they didn't have a lot of stuff in stock. I'd have to order it in especially.
October 31, 2019, 3:52 PM · SHAR, Amazon, Sheet Music Plus. I will always miss the time past when there were local stores that sold extensive selections of sheet music. Where I live, on the S.F. Peninsula, there was Byron Hoyt Sheet Music Service in San Francisco that was huge, but gradually got smaller over time until it disappeared altogether. There was another store in downtown Palo Alto that was small but jammed full of music, I can't remember the name, also long gone.

I feel like I'm somehow not getting my money's worth when all that's available for some particular piece is a digital download. I miss the heavy cover, graphic design, etc.

October 31, 2019, 4:10 PM · I totally agree Mark
October 31, 2019, 4:11 PM · I also believe in supporting my local shop, but 95% of the time when I call them, they don't have what I want in stock. They can order it, but that usually takes longer and is more expensive than me just buying online.
October 31, 2019, 4:43 PM · Byron Hoyt Sheet Music Service - I loved this store! Even when I'm not buying anything, I used to go there just to browse. There was also a store in Berkeley, but can't remember the name ... I do know it was near University Ave. Not sure if it's still there -- maybe not.
Edited: October 31, 2019, 11:53 PM · Ben, are you thinking of Ifshin's? They built their own store a town or two north several years ago.

BTW, that's my local shop and where I buy my technique books. It's pretty close to my viola teacher's house and I can't resist running over there when she says I should get something. I belong to virtualsheetmusic.com and get stuff from them when they have it. Most of it is free for members. The person who owns the site apparently does all his own editions. When I wanted to learn the Telemann Viola Concerto, I downloaded his viola/piano version. Later on I was forced to compare the viola solo part to whatever it is that IMSLP has, and except for the cadenzas, it is only very slightly different.

Edited: November 1, 2019, 1:31 AM · Francesca, no it was not Ifshin’s. Although I remember going to their shop in Berkeley before they moved to El Cerrito. There was a music store nearby — I believe near Telegraph or Martin Luther? I really can’t remember now. They were not as big as Byron Hoyt though.
Edited: November 1, 2019, 6:35 AM · Growing up in the Detroit area, my two brothers and I all had music lessons, and there was a steady stream of new music (studies, pieces, method books, etc.) coming into the house. Dad ordered almost all of it from Malecki Music, a store in Grand Rapids MI. It was a quaint system: He called them on the phone, and they could get pretty much anything. Malecki's was, I believe, absorbed by J.W. Pepper & Co.

Since we lived in southeastern lower Michigan, it was also natural for us to get our violin-related things from Shar. Now that my kids are doing exclusively string lessons (violin and cello), we get most of our things including music from Shar.

I remain loyal to Shar as follows. I don't price-shop, and if Shar has everything that I need in my order, then I submit my order there. But I also prefer not to split my order, so if there is any part of my order Shar doesn't have, then I try JSI or Amazon.

There is a local shop, and I would be happy to order things there even though it might take a few days and be more expensive because I value the local shop and their prices are reasonable. However, the plain fact is that the things I've asked them to order for me have taken too long to come in. Like a volume pedal for my keyboard that took over a month when I could have had it from Sweetwater in two days. One of the main points of "being local" is that you get an extra measure of service from the brick-and-mortar store, so if you don't have that then you're going to lose business.

November 1, 2019, 8:47 AM · I will buy from whoever has it, with Amazon being my last choice as previous purchases of music bought through Amazon were missing parts, not packed correctly (mangled sheet music), and so on. I check Juilliard's store first - and they are quick to order something for me if they do not have it in stock, but if I need it relatively quickly I'll order from another supplier (or directly from the publisher if possible). Sheet music is something I don't mind spending money on.
November 1, 2019, 1:46 PM · Ben David, that must have been before I started the violin. Even then, I had heard of a few places but they may not be the ones you were thinking of. Moe's Books on Telegraph may sell used sheet music--I'm sorry to say I've never stepped foot in it. I think a piano company on Dwight and San Pablo may have sold (piano?) sheet music. Other stores in Berkeley that sell new and used books sell volumes of sheet music, but that may be mostly scores or popular tunes. Actually, there was another violin store on University near Ifshin's that sort of competed--its instruments were of lower quality. They sold out to Ifshin's quite awhile ago. I never went inside but maybe they sold sheet music.
November 2, 2019, 9:51 AM · There's a shop in Oxford (UK) that sells a ton of sheet music.
November 2, 2019, 11:33 AM · I have ordered from a local shop, but since they don't carry Barenreiter, it takes months to get my order in. Lately I have been ordering from Performers Music in Chicago (Fine Arts Building); they are much faster (even when they have to special order an item). BTW if you want viola music, Performer's Music has the biggest online catalog of viola sheet music I have ever seen! Lee, the owner, plays viola and gives great help when you are not sure what you want.
November 3, 2019, 11:56 AM · Right ok. Shame its so far away
November 3, 2019, 6:21 PM · You can still support the bricks-and-mortar music store by ordering from them online! That's one difference (among many) between ordering from Shar vs. Amazon.

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