23/03/2020: The Government announced today that all 'non-essential shops' should be closed to the public with immediate affect to try and help reduce the spread of the Coronavirus. We have therefore closed our doors to customers but remain open as an online shop and mail-order service.
We are keen to help maintain the health of our staff and customers and are working to very strict guidelines about hygeine and social distancing.
If you have any queries about any music, instruments or accessories please do not hesitate to ring or email us and we will be pleased to help.
We are continuing to despatch items by Royal Mail, DPD, specialist piano carriers nationally and our own delivery service locally.
During the COVID-19 shut down time our opening times may vary. Our core hours when you should be able to reach us by phone will be 10am-5.30pm Monday to Friday.
In line with the Government directives, we are planning to reopen to the public on Tuesday 16th June. We will continue to operate on a 5 day week initially but will change to Tuesday to Saturday 10am-5.30pm.
We are currently drawing up our detailed risk assessment and protocol for how we will operate and will publish a guide for our customers on our website shortly.
In the piano and Instrument department, we will be operating an appointment system to come and view and select instruments. We are already beginning to book up appointments so please do get in contact if you are interested in visiting us when we reopen.
Acoustic pianos:- 0161 834 3281 ext 3
Digital pianos:- 0161 834 3281 ext 4
Guitars, folk and orchestral instruments:- 0161 834 3281 ext 4
Customers will also be able to come to the shop on an 'ad-hoc' basis but may have to wait depending on how many customers are already in the showroom or are prebooked for an appointment.
For the sheet music and recorded music department on the ground floor, we will not be operating an appointment system, however, we may ask customers to wait before entering depending on the current numbers of customers in the department.
For instrument accessories (e.g. strings, reeds, mouthpieces, mutes etc) you will be able to call in on spec, however, there may be a short wait depending on the current number of customers in the department in the Instrument department on the 2nd floor.
Those familiar with Forsyths will know that luckily we have a recessed area in front of our shop window so customer's queuing (at 2m intervals!) will be sheltered from any inclement weather or indeed a searing hot sun!
Instrument repair and piano tuning services
Our Piano Tuning, Servicing and Repair Service has resumed again as of 22nd May 2020 but with a reduced capacity. We have a backlog of customers who we have not been able to visit during lockdown that we are working our way through, but we would be delighted to try and help everyone we can and as soon as we can. Please do not hesitate to contact Natalie, our piano department administrator on 0161 834 3281 ext 5 to discuss your needs and book an appointment. We will be able to send you our detailed protocol for working in customers homes which we will need you to agree to prior to a visit.
Our Guitar Tech Glenn will be resuming working on customer and stock instruments from next week. He will be working on instruments at home and we will, therefore, have a system/protocol for safe drop-off and collection of instruments from us in-store. Guitars can be dropped off during our working week up to and including Friday. To ensure a minimum of 72hrs for the instrument to have remained untouched, they will then be then collected by Glenn on the following Tuesday. We will use cleaning products on the cases to ensure safe handling, but to ensure the instrument is not damaged by cleaning we will not use any harsh cleaning products on the instrument itself.
For basic set-up jobs such as a restring we will endeavor to do this in-store for you. We will, however, need to leave the instrument for 72 hours to ensure surfaces are safe for us to handle. After the work is completed we would also recommend you leave the instrument in it's case for 72 hours before touching.
At the moment we do not have a date for our woodwind and brass repairer restarting work. For string instrument repairs and set-up we will have limited capacity in-house and hope to be able to offer a more extensive service shortly.
For all instrument repair and set-up enquiries please contact the Instrument Department on 0161 834 3281 ext 4
(last updated 03/06/2020)
Monday – Saturday: 9am – 5.30pm
Sunday: 11am – 5pm
In 'normal' non Covid-19 times we are open 7 days a week apart from Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Years Day, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday.
On all other Bank Holidays we are open: 11am - 5pm
Apart from the above Bank Holidays the only other day we close is for our annual stock take which is normally the last Sunday in June or the 1st Sunday in July.
We are located in central Manchester on the block next to the House of Fraser store Kendals. There are many car parks close by and the free City Centre bus services (1 & 2) are at our door. All buses link us with the main railway stations. To see the route maps for all the Free Buses and information on frequency click here.
Still owned and managed by the same family since being established in 1857 Forsyth fills its 15,000sq ft (1,500sq m) building in central Manchester with musical merchandise and restoration facilities.
We have extensive Sales Departments for sheet music, classical & jazz recordings, acoustic pianos, digital pianos, guitars, orchestral instruments and all accessories. We will sometimes take instruments in part exchange - just let us know what you have. We also have piano and instrument repair services with our own tuners, technicians and luthiers.
For schools, teachers and professional musicians we offer full account facilities.
Our staff are highly experienced, both in terms of retail and musical experience generally. We are all musicians or music lovers on the staff and this passion and commitment is present in everything we do. We are fortunate to have a variety of highly qualified performers, teachers, scholars and technicians throughout the store.
In 1857 the Forsyth brothers settled in Manchester to help Charles Hallé set up the Hallé orchestra, having learned their trade with their father - the factory manager for Messrs Broadwood in Golden Square, described by Beethoven as the “prince of piano makers”. After initially specialising only in Pianos, Forsyth soon diversified into supplying sheet music and all other instruments. Forsyth is still run by the same family (4th and 5th generation) over 160 years later. During our 150th anniversary year we researched our archives and found a wealth of fascinating information about Forsyth’s history. This includes an article that was written about the firm in 1905 for the London Musical Chronicle which is available to view and read here.
We celebrated our 160th anniversary in 2017-18 with an on going refit of the store, including the recent replacement of our shop sign, which had survived since our 100th birthday in 1957. Our historic Manchester shop remains synonymous with the supply of musical merchandise, particularly pianos, while our growing online store enables us to supply customers the length and breadth of the United Kingdom and also many parts of the world.
Whatever your requirement you can trust us for advice and after sales service. In Manchester we have a large shop on five floors (three floors of showrooms) in total covering over 15,000 sq ft. We have well over 200 quality acoustic pianos and 40 digital pianos for you to choose from including Steinway, Bechstein, Bosendorfer, Ibach, Eavestaff, Boston, Schimmel, Yamaha, Kawai, Kemble, Opus, May Berlin, Vogel etc.
We have, over recent years, added automatic pianos to our list of specialties and are able to provide a variety of alternatives at exceptional prices. We stock a range of Disklaviers and a variety of other automated instruments including Pianodisc and QRS. Indeed we can automate almost any piano such that it will perform when you press play on any network enabled device!
In addition to pianos we have a comprehensive Instruments and Accessories Department with over 300 guitars, many string, woodwind, brass, and percussion instruments - plus many other instruments and accessories. We also have a very large Sheet Music Department and a classical Recorded Music Department all backed up by our efficient Mail Order service and friendly expert staff - nothing is too much trouble.
Over our 160 years in business we have made many contacts in the music business all over the world. If you have any unusual requests please don’t hesitate to ask.
Our 160th anniversary was celebrated in this I Love Manchester article on Manchester's oldest shops. Celebrations were also enlivened by a mystery pianist on the #forsythspiano street piano outside our store. Christopher Scamp's playing was captured on smart phone by a watching member of the public and subsequently went viral on Facebook and other social media, watched by millions of people all around the world. Our subsequent gift to Chris of a Kawai digital piano also went viral, and the piano can regularly be seen on his Facebook Live broadcasts.
We were featured on the BBC1 national TV series Christmas City in December 2016. The series covers all the different aspects and characters of a city as they prepare for Christmas. Forsyth is featured together with Hotel Gotham (Winner of Boutique Hotel of the Year 2016) in Episode 3.
We were selected as part of American Express's 'Small Business Saturday' campaign highlighting family businesses across the UK. Here's the YouTube video they made about us:
The Family Businesses campaign also attracted interest from the local and national press
The Telegraph ran a feature
The businessadvice.co.uk website ran an interview
The Sun featured us as the first of their top 10 family businesses
Manchester Chamber of Commerce ran a feature in its 53 Degrees Magazine, with this striking cover: