SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE -- “Stores then were the only way to get your hands on sheet music and instruments,” said Cyrus Ginwala, director of San Francisco State University’s School of Music. “In our collection, we have instruments with imprints and stamps from music stores that no longer exist.”
Music stores also gave musicians a place to find work and connect with each other. “They served a small community with very specialized needs,” Ginwala said. Today, the Alliance of Independent Music Merchants, a trade group for the industry, counts 63 members in the U.S.