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When the music’s over.........Valletta instrument shops that are no more


There was a time when Valletta was a hub for anything you wanted to purchase, and musical instruments were not an exception.   I am not alluding to the establishments catering for the recorded type of music, thank God some of them are still standing.  What I am alluding to in this brief recollection are those shops that supplied us with musical instruments and all that was required, covering a spectrum from orchestra to metal and all in between.  My memory lane extends back to the 1980’s and my first excursions were not at all metal related, as I would haunt these shops in search of books related to musical theory and musical scores for classical piano.  Some of the shops that catered for musicians were old institutions on their own right and so were some of their keepers.

 After walking through City Gate, on your left there is an arcade.  Tucked away right behind what today is a fast-food outlet one used to find Boffa Ltd.  I used to spend as much time as possible there listening to the owner performing on one of the many electric organs in the shop.  He used to record popular tunes and sell them on cassettes.  Boffa had another outlet in Paola and a recording studio mainly used for the recording of the traditional band marches. At City Gate Arcade 1st Floor there was Audio, selling keyboards and other stuff.         

In South Street there was the well-established shop of Nani, selling all types of musical instruments, books, and related paraphernalia. For those more oriented to the classical instruments and marching bands there were E Lucia (Republic Street) and P Carabott (Merchant Street).  Carabott supplied most of the band clubs in Malta and Gozo with brass, woodwind, and percussion instruments.

My favorite haunting spot was The Music Shop at Zachary Street.  From there I purchased my first professional keyboards and have been hooked to that brand ever since.   

There might have been more that I have missed some establishments or did not have any recollection of them.  Slowly, one by one, they pulled down the shutter for the last time and became a part of history.  Nowadays shopping around for musical instruments locally, one is required to visit shops across Malta or purchase online from these shops, if that option is available. Another option, with all its cons and pros is shopping online from firms in other countries.



The memory of those shops brings back nostalgia but as Jim Morrision put it………….       

 

When the music's over

When the music's over

When the music's over

Turn out the lights

Turn out the lights

Turn out the lights

 

(When the Music’s Over – The Doors)

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