I had an odd travel incident today. I was walking through London and passed a very beautiful shop selling top quality violins. I stepped inside and had a chat with the owner, a bit older than me. I asked where I might find a good sheet music store in London. Oddly he didn't know and asked his young assistant in the next room, a 20-something woman. She said,"Look on the internet."
Of course... I know I can buy stuff on the internet.
But to browse through racks of sheet music, not looking for anything in particular while knowing you'll find something wonderful, flipping the pages and feeling their texture under your fingertips, judging how well the sheets will turn, deciphering the melodies in your head, determining whether the printing is clear and the right size... This poor young woman has no idea what it means. She has never experienced it. In her world this doesn't exist.
We're really throwing the baby out with the bath water. I wish I had the means to open a proper sheet music shop here in London while there's still hope young people might be able to learn.
Maybe these 2 were just "shop clerks" and not interested. I was surprised the owner himself seemed disconnected. Maybe violins are just things he sells. Maybe he's not a musician.