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A music store or musical instrument store is a retail business that sells musical instruments and related equipment and accessories, and may provide maintenance services for these instruments and accessories.In United States and Canada, most music stores in the 2010s sell a range of electric instruments, instrument amplifiers; electronic instruments; drum kits (including drums, cymbals and percussion instruments) and acoustic classical, concert band and jazz musical instruments. Stores may sell (and sometimes rent) the sound reinforcement system and PA system gear or sound recording equipment.
A musical instrument is an instrument created or adapted to make musical sounds. In principle, any object that produces sound can be considered a musical instrument—it is through purpose that the object becomes a musical instrument. The history of musical instruments dates to the beginnings of human culture. Early musical instruments may have been used for ritual, such as a trumpet to signal success on the hunt, or a drum in a religious ceremony. Cultures eventually developed composition and performance of melodies for entertainment. Musical instruments evolved in step with changing applications.
An instrument amplifier is an electronic device that converts the often barely audible or purely electronic signal of a musical instrument into a larger electronic signal to feed to a loudspeaker. An instrument amplifier is used with musical instruments such as an electric guitar, an electric bass, electric organ, synthesizers and drum machine to convert the signal from the pickup or other sound source into an electronic signal that has enough power, due to being routed through a power amplifier, capable of driving one or more loudspeaker that can be heard by the performers and audience.
A cymbal is a common percussion instrument. Often used in pairs, cymbals consist of thin, normally round plates of various alloys. The majority of cymbals are of indefinite pitch, although small disc-shaped cymbals based on ancient designs sound a definite note. Cymbals are used in many ensembles ranging from the orchestra, percussion ensembles, jazz bands, heavy metal bands, and marching groups. Drum kits usually incorporate at least a crash, ride, or crash/ride, and a pair of hi-hat cymbals. A player of cymbals is known as a cymbalist.
In the 2010s, music stores can be "bricks and mortar" stores (either individual small businesses or chain stores, which may be a regional or national chain); online musical instrument stores, which consist of a website describing the merchandise, various online payment systems, and shipping or delivery systems; or hybrid stores that have both real-world stores and an online store. Some physical music stores provide services for a fee, such as music lessons, musical instrument repair and guitar amplifier repair.
Small businesses are privately owned corporations, partnerships, or sole proprietorships that have fewer employees and/or less annual revenue than a regular-sized business or corporation. Businesses are defined as "small" in terms of being able to apply for government support and qualify for preferential tax policy varies depending on the country and industry. Small businesses range from fifteen employees under the Australian Fair Work Act 2009, fifty employees according to the definition used by the European Union, and fewer than five hundred employees to qualify for many U.S. Small Business Administration programs. While small businesses can also be classified according to other methods, such as annual revenues, shipments, sales, assets, or by annual gross or net revenue or net profits, the number of employees is one of the most widely used measures.
A chain store or retail chain is a retail outlet in which several locations share a brand, central management, and standardized business practices. They have come to dominate the retail and dining markets, and many service categories, in many parts of the world. A franchise retail establishment is one form of chain store. In 2004, the world's largest retail chain, Walmart, became the world's largest corporation based on gross sales.
Music lessons are a type of formal instruction in playing a musical instrument or singing. Typically, a student taking music lessons meets a music teacher for one-on-one training sessions ranging from 30 minutes to one hour in length over a period of weeks or years. For vocal lessons, teachers show students how to sit or stand and breathe, and how to position the head, chest, and mouth for good vocal tone. For instrument lessons, teachers show students how to sit or stand with the instrument, how to hold the instrument, and how to manipulate the fingers and other body parts to produce tones and sounds from the instrument. Music teachers also assign technical exercises, musical pieces, and other activities to help the students improve their musical skills. While most music lessons are one-on-one (private), some teachers also teach groups of two to four students, and, for very basic instruction, some instruments are taught in large group lessons, such as piano and acoustic guitar. Since the widespread availability of high speed. low latency Internet, private lessons can also take place through live video chat using webcams, microphones and videotelephony online.
Music stores arose to service the needs of the local community. This included not only individual amateur musicians, but schools from elementary to college level, civic bands and orchestras, churches, and entertainment ensembles that performed at events of the community and its organizations. In service of this diverse clientele, store owners might focus on some specialty or niche market (pianos, sheet music, percussion). Instruments might be purchased outright, leased or rented. Specific or non-stock items could be ordered through the store.
More commonly, music stores offered some variety, depending upon the tastes and resources of the owners and the desires of their clientele (whether actual or sought-after). This might include some mixture of fretted instruments (electric guitars, acoustic guitars, mandolins, ukuleles); brass, woodwind, and violin-family instruments; drums and percussion; pianos and organs; consumable items (strings, reeds, drum sticks); accessories (metronomes, music stands); and sheet music.
A brass instrument is a musical instrument that produces sound by sympathetic vibration of air in a tubular resonator in sympathy with the vibration of the player's lips. Brass instruments are also called labrosones, literally meaning "lip-vibrated instruments".
Woodwind instruments are a family of musical instruments within the more general category of wind instruments. There are two main types of woodwind instruments: flutes and reed instruments. What differentiates these instruments from other wind instruments is the way in which they produce their sound. All woodwinds produce sound by splitting an exhaled air stream on a sharp edge, such as a reed or a fipple. A woodwind may be made of any material, not just wood. Common examples include brass, silver, cane, as well as other metals such as gold and platinum. Occasionally woodwinds are made out of earthen materials, especially ocarinas. Common examples include flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, and saxophone.
The violin family of musical instruments was developed in Italy in the 16th century. At the time the name of this family of instruments was viole da braccio which was used to distinguish them from the viol family. The standard modern violin family consists of the violin, viola, cello, and double bass.
In more recent decades, stores began to include instrument amplifiers, guitar effects units, electronic keyboards, microphones, sound recording equipment and digital audio software. Recorded musical instruction became a niche, beginning with LPs and evolving through formats of cassette tape, VHS video, compact disk, and DVD.
An effects unit or effectspedal is an electronic or digital device that alters the sound of a musical instrument or other audio source. Common effects include distortion/overdrive, often used with electric guitar in electric blues and rock music; dynamic effects such as volume pedals and compressors, which affect loudness; filters such as wah-wah pedals and graphic equalizers, which modify frequency ranges; modulation effects, such as chorus, flangers and phasers; pitch effects such as pitch shifters; and time effects, such as reverb and delay, which create echoing sounds.
An electronic keyboard or digital keyboard is an electronic musical instrument, an electronic or digital derivative of keyboard instruments. Broadly speaking, the term electronic keyboard or just a keyboard can refer to any type of digital or electronic keyboard instrument. These include synthesizers, digital pianos, stage pianos, electronic organs and digital audio workstations. However, an electronic keyboard is more specifically a synthesizer with a built-in low-wattage power amplifier and small loudspeakers.
A microphone, colloquially nicknamed mic or mike, is a transducer that converts sound into an electrical signal.
Some music stores provided instrument maintenance and repair, music lessons, or leasing of instruments and equipment.
Larger cities may have a large enough population to support both general music stores and specialized music stores. Music stores in smaller towns tend to be general music stores, because there is not enough of a customer base to support specialized music stores. In the 2010s, general music stores have had to face competition from online music stores, which offer a huge selection of instruments and equipment.
Electric guitars started appearing in the 1930s. Mainstream electric guitars stores sell well-known brands like Gibson, Fender and Ibanez. Most guitar stores sell six-string models, bass guitars, left handed guitars and electric guitar packages for beginners, which typically include a budget-priced electric guitar, a small practice amplifier, a strap and picks.
Fender Musical Instruments Corporation is an American manufacturer of stringed instruments and amplifiers. Fender produces acoustic guitars, electric basses, bass amplifiers and public address equipment, but is best known for its solid-body electric guitars and bass guitars, particularly the Stratocaster, Telecaster, Precision Bass, and the Jazz Bass. The company was founded in Fullerton, California, by Clarence Leonidas "Leo" Fender in 1946. Its headquarters are in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Ibanez is a Japanese guitar brand owned by Hoshino Gakki. Based in Nagoya, Aichi, Japan, Hoshino Gakki were one of the first Japanese musical instrument companies to gain a significant foothold in import guitar sales in the United States and Europe, as well as the first brand of guitars to mass-produce the seven-string guitar and eight-string guitar. Ibanez manufactures effects, accessories, amps, and instruments in Japan, China, Indonesia and in the United States. As of 2017 they marketed nearly 165 models of bass guitar, 130 acoustic guitars, and more than 300 electric guitars.
Guitar World magazine states that since guitar stores require patrons to try out guitars and amplifiers in the premises, some guitar players are nervous about playing in front of the store staff and other patrons.A University Press of Kentucky book on women in music states that customers did not treat a woman who worked at a guitar store like she knew anything about guitars until she would use special guitar terms.
Acoustic Guitar sections are one of the main sections in Music Stores. Famous Acoustic guitars include C. F. Martin & Company, Taylor Guitars, Fender, Gibson, Guild, Washburn and Lowden Guitars
One common specialty store is the piano store, which typically sells a range of upright pianos and grand pianos. In the 2010s, some piano stores sell high-end digital pianos, including grand pianos equipped with a digital player piano mechanism that can play back a recorded performance by activating the hammers. Piano sales are on the decline, in part because high-quality, properly-maintained pianos can remain playable for 60 to 80 years after their original purchase. [ better source needed ]Some piano stores offer rental of new pianos; as well, some piano stores sell used pianos.
The high price of pianos is one factor that is causing the closing of piano stores: "A good grand piano from a respected name costs about as much as a luxury automobile", and as such, children (and their parents) are choosing less expensive instruments, such as electronic keyboards or stringed instruments.
Though sales of acoustic pianos and quality keyboard instruments continually declines in the United States, in China "piano sales are booming", with most instruments being intended for home use. This rise in sales is in part because the costly instruments are viewed as a status symbol in China.
Another specialty shop is the "violin shop", which, despite its name, often sells various violin family instruments (violin, viola, cello and often double bass, and the bows, strings, rosin, chinrests, and other accessories used with these instruments). Violin shops are often operated by luthiers (violinmakers) who make violin family instruments and bows for sale. Luthiers also do maintenance and repairs on violin family instruments and bows.
Sheet music stores sell printed classical music for songs, instrumental solo pieces, chamber music, and scores for major symphonies and choral works, along with instrumental method books, "etudes" (studies) and graded musical exercises. Many sheet music stores also carry printed music songs for popular music genres such as rock, pop and musical theatre including individual songs and collections of songs grouped by artist, musical, or genre. Music for guitarists or electric bass players may be in tabulature notation, which depicts where on the instrument the performer should play a line. In the 2010s, sheet music stores often sell legal, copyright-compliant jazz fake books. Sheet music stores often carry some practice accessories, such as metronomes, music stands and tuning forks.
Pro audio stores sell and in many cases, rent sound reinforcement system components, PA systems, microphones and other audio gear. Some stores also rent "backline" musical gear, such as stage pianos and bass amps.
Prior to the widespread availability of lightweight electronic clonewheel organs in the 1980s and 1990s that emulate the sound of a heavy, electromechanical Hammond organ, many cities had organ stores which sold large electric and electronic theatre organs and spinet organs made by Hammond, Lowrey and other manufacturers. These organs were sold for use in private homes and in churches; electric and electronic organs were popular for churches, because they cost significantly less than a pipe organ.
Music stores may sell used, possibly vintage or collectible instruments and sound gear.
Used-gear stores may employ or offer a consignment model, in which the store (acting as the consignee) sells the piece on behalf of the actual owner (the consignor) and takes a portion of the purchase price.
Stores that primarily sell used equipment may carry new merchandise, minimally guitar strings, patch cords and microphone cables. In the United States, nationwide chains such as Music Go Round (about 30% new gear) and Sam Ash Music carry on a steady trade of used instruments and equipment.
In the 2000s, some music stores sell their instruments and sound gear through a website that contains digital photos of the equipment, which are grouped into categories (e.g., electric guitars, amplifiers, PA gear). Each photo of a product is accompanied by the name and model number of each item, a description of each product's features and the price. The sophistication of online music stores varies. Some online music stores have a single photo of the item, the product name and price, and a few bullets about the features. On the other hand, some online music stores have interactive Web 2.0 features, such as 360-degree virtual reality-style images of the products, in which the viewer can "turn" the product around to see the back and sides, online comments sections where customers can review their purchases and additional music-related content, such as articles on musical instruments or sound gear written by store staff. Patrons pay electronically at online music stores using a credit card, PayPal or other electronic payment systems. The goods are shipped through the mail or by express delivery companies such as FedEx. Some music stores sell their products solely online. In other cases, some stores operate both a "bricks and mortar" store (or chain) and an online store.
Roland Corporation is a Japanese manufacturer of electronic musical instruments, electronic equipment and software. It was founded by Ikutaro Kakehashi in Osaka on April 18, 1972. In 2005, Roland's headquarters relocated to Hamamatsu in Shizuoka Prefecture. It has factories in Taiwan, Japan, and the USA. As of March 31, 2010, it employed 2,699 employees. In 2014, Roland was subject to a management buyout by Roland's CEO Junichi Miki, supported by Taiyo Pacific Partners.
String instruments, stringed instruments, or chordophones are musical instruments that produce sound from vibrating strings when the performer plays or sounds the strings in some manner.
A recording studio is a specialized facility for sound recording, mixing, and audio production of instrumental or vocal musical performances, spoken words, and other sounds. They range in size from a small in-home project studio large enough to record a single singer-guitarist, to a large building with space for a full orchestra of 100 or more musicians. Ideally both the recording and monitoring spaces are specially designed by an acoustician or audio engineer to achieve optimum acoustic properties.
A digital piano is a type of electronic keyboard designed to serve primarily as an alternative to the traditional piano, both in the way it feels to play and in the sound produced. It is intended to provide an accurate simulation of an acoustic piano. Some digital pianos are also designed to look like an ordinary piano, both the upright or grand piano. Digital pianos use either a synthesized emulation or samples of an actual piano, which are then amplified through an internal loudspeaker. Digital pianos incorporate weighted keys, which recreate the feel of an acoustic piano.
Korg Inc., founded as Keio Electronic Laboratories, is a Japanese multinational corporation that manufactures electronic musical instruments, audio processors and guitar pedals, recording equipment, and electronic tuners. Under the Vox brand name, they also manufacture guitar amplifiers and electric guitars.
A rhythm section is a group of musicians within a music ensemble or band who provide the underlying rhythm, harmony and pulse of the accompaniment, providing a rhythmic and harmonic reference and "beat" for the rest of the band.
An electric musical instrument is one in which the use of electric devices determines or affects the sound produced by an instrument. Electric musical instruments are an example of electric music technology. It is also known as an amplified musical instrument due to the common utilization of an electronic instrument amplifier to project the intended sound as determined by electric signals from the instrument. Two common types of instrument amplifiers are the guitar amplifier and the bass amplifier. This is not the same as an electronic musical instrument, like a synthesizer, which uses entirely electronic means to both create and control sound.
A guitar technician is a member of a music ensemble's road crew who maintains and sets up the musical equipment for one or more guitarists. Depending on the type and size of band, the guitar tech may be responsible for stringing, tuning, and adjusting electric guitars and acoustic guitars, and maintaining and setting up guitar amplifiers and other related electronic equipment such as effect pedals.
A bridge is a device that supports the strings on a stringed musical instrument and transmits the vibration of those strings to another structural component of the instrument—typically a soundboard, such as the top of a guitar or violin—which transfers the sound to the surrounding air. Depending on the instrument, the bridge may be made of carved wood, metal or other materials. The bridge supports the strings and holds them over the body of the instrument under tension.
Long & McQuade is the largest chain of musical instrument retailers in Canada.
This is a list of jazz and popular music terms that are likely to be encountered in printed popular music songbooks, fake books and vocal scores, big band scores, jazz, and rock concert reviews, and album liner notes. This glossary includes terms for musical instruments, playing or singing techniques, amplifiers, effects units, sound reinforcement equipment, and recording gear and techniques which are widely used in jazz and popular music. Most of the terms are in English, but in some cases, terms from other languages are encountered.
A keyboard amplifier is a powered electronic amplifier and loudspeaker in a wooden speaker cabinet used for amplification of electronic keyboard instruments. Keyboard amplifiers are distinct from other types of amplification systems such as guitar amplifiers due to the particular challenges associated with making keyboards sound louder on stage; namely, to provide solid low-frequency sound reproduction for the deep basslines which keyboards can play and crisp high-frequency sound for the high-register notes. Another difference between keyboard amplifiers and guitar/bass amplifiers is that keyboard amps are usually designed with a relatively flat frequency response and low distortion. In contrast, many guitar and bass amp designers purposely make their amplifiers modify the frequency response, typically to "roll off" very high frequencies, and most rock and blues guitar amps, and since the 1980s and 1990s, even many bass amps are designed to add distortion or overdrive to the instrument tone.
Vintage musical equipment is older music gear, including instruments, amplifiers and speakers, sound recording equipment and effects pedals, sought after, maintained and used by record producers, audio engineers and musicians who are interested in historical music genres. While any piece of equipment of sufficient age can be considered vintage, in the 2010s the term is typically applied to instruments and gear from the 1970s and earlier. Guitars, amps, pedals, electric keyboards, sound recording equipment from the 1950s to 1970s are particularly sought. Musical equipment from the 1940s and prior eras is often expensive, and sought out mainly by museums or collectors.
Yamaha Music London is a musical instrument and sheet music retail store owned and operated by Yamaha Music Europe GmbH's UK branch.
Electric music technology refers to musical instruments and recording devices that use electrical circuits, which are often combined with mechanical technologies. Examples of electric musical instruments include the electro-mechanical electric piano, the electric guitar, the electro-mechanical Hammond organ and the electric bass. All of these electric instruments do not produce a sound that is audible by the performer or audience in a performance setting unless they are connected to instrument amplifiers and loudspeaker cabinets, which made them sound loud enough for performers and the audience to hear. Amplifiers and loudspeakers are separate from the instrument in the case of the electric guitar, electric bass and some electric organs and most electric pianos. Some electric organs and electric pianos include the amplifier and speaker cabinet within the main housing for the instrument.
A professional audio store is a retail business that sells, and in many cases rents, sound reinforcement system equipment and PA system components used in music concerts, live shows, dance parties and speaking events. This equipment typically includes microphones, power amplifiers, electronic effects units, speaker enclosures, monitor speakers, subwoofers and audio consoles (mixers). Some professional audio stores also sell sound recording equipment, DJ equipment, lighting equipment used in nightclubs and concerts and video equipment used in events, such as video projectors and screens. Some professional audio stores rent "backline" equipment used in rock and pop shows, such as stage pianos and bass amplifiers. While professional audio stores typically focus on selling new merchandise, some stores also sell used equipment, which is often the equipment that the company has previously rented out for shows and events.
St. Louis Music (SLM) is a manufacturer and distributor of musical instruments, accessories, and equipment. SLM distributes products from over 260 music products industry brands, and is the corporate owner of Austin Guitars, Knilling String Instruments, Hamilton Stands, SIGMA Guitars USA, Dixon Drums, and Zonda Instruments & Reeds. Additionally, SLM is the exclusive worldwide distributor and producer of Alvarez and Alvarez-Yairi guitars.