Buying sheet music in Paris

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Aug 17th, 2003, 06:22 PM
  #1
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Buying sheet music in Paris

Can anybody recommend a specialty sheet music store in Paris? Thanks.
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Aug 17th, 2003, 08:38 PM
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yes, I usually buy some sheet music when in Paris, for the piano. I like all of these and they have music for all instruments, plus various other good books (biographies, reference, etc):

Flute de Pan at 59, rue de Rome (9th arr, I think)
www.flutedepan.fr

Librairie Musicale at 68bis rue Reaumur (near Arts et Metiers metro, this is the one I use most often). It is owned by a company named Paul Beuscher and that name may be on it, also. There are also smaller branch stores around Paris by that company (only called Beuscher) -- one right near the La Motte-Picquet metro stop (which is pretty good), another in the Marais I've seen.

Here is a general index of such stores in Paris:

http://www.curiositel.tm.fr/musique-...ales/paris.htm



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Aug 17th, 2003, 08:50 PM
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What a sensational answer! Thanks very much Christina.
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Aug 18th, 2003, 07:42 AM
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I'm just curious - as far as I know sheet music is universal (Italian?). Then again, it's been years since I took piano lessons : ) Is there anything particular about sheet music in Paris? Thanks
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Aug 18th, 2003, 07:48 PM
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yes, I like to play piano music of French composers and there is generally a greater variety of it in Paris and it is cheaper because they need to import it to the US. Many composers' works are under copyright and only one particular published can publish them until that expires. Durand in Paris, for example, may be the only publisher of certain French composers, although a lot of that has become more in the public domain over the last ten years or so (I have French editions of some Ravel piano scores that I could not have bought in the US without them being imported from France).

Also, editions vary in terms of editing and other personal notes, and French publishers are sometimes better with that for French composers.

If you want sheet music for more contemporary works, such as French chansons or folk music, that may be the only reasonable place to get it. I do not like to buy sheet music sight unseen, although will if I'm forced to (paper quality, editing printing, etc can affect my tastes for various editions). If you custom order sheet music sight unseen, some distributors will not allow you to return it (as with books) and you may not care for it visually.

Finally, sheet music stores are actually becoming a rarity in the US and there are more in Paris where you can browse a lot. Believe it or not, but I live in Washington DC and there is not a single sheet music store still operating in the city today, they've all gone out of business--the only ones are in the suburbs and the one nearest me doesn't have anywhere near the quanity and variety of sheet music as some of the stores in Paris.
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Aug 18th, 2003, 07:56 PM
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oh, I forgot, Italian is commonly used for certain performance indications in music (tempo, dynamics, phrasing, and other things), but it is not universal -- many French composers used French terms (which I understand and they may not be translated correctly by other publishers) and many German composers, such as Schumann, used German. That isn't the reason for buying abroad, though, it's price and availability. Another example, it is much easier to get sheet music by Central and Eastern European composers (Dvorak, Suk, Barto, etc) in Prague than in the US.
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Aug 20th, 2003, 01:28 PM
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Christina, thanks for the very informative response!

Just out of curiosity, I dug up my old sheet music. All in Italian, and I learned the pronunciation from my German piano teacher! It's no wonder people look at me funny when I speak Italian now ; )
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Aug 20th, 2003, 02:30 PM
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you're welcome! I know what you mean about Italian, as those were the first Italian words I learned -- and still about the only Italian I know other than food terms.

It is fun to browse in French music stores for French songs such as those sung by Edith Piaf, etc, and French children's, folk tunes or Christmas carols, also. However, they do carry a lot of books from American publishers, such as Dover, and those are more expensive in Europe than the US, of course.
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