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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Get in tune with ‘the Music Shop’

“Come on in and we’ll help you the best we can. We are here for music and electronics.” Such are the welcoming words of Dave Elliott, owner of The Music Shop, Grinnell’s only music retailer.

Located on 831 Broad St., The Music Shop has a history that dates back to the 1940s. According to Elliott, the previous owners, Roy and Lena Leeper, sold him the store in 1978. Prior to running the store, Elliott worked at a local TV shop in Grinnell for three years.

Over the span of three decades, Elliott has seen a dramatic change in the music industry: from records to cassettes, cassettes to CDs and then CDs to downloadable files. According to Elliott, things now antique used to be brand new objects of envy.

“On the old vinyl albums, you pulled the vinyl out and … sit and look through the information [that came with the album.]” Elliott explained. “You would read who the musicians were … I think a lot of that is being lost in the digital [age].”

As a result of this evolution of the music industry, The Music Shop has had to work to keep up with technological changes. Not only does the business sell albums and guitar strings; Elliott also does electronics repair work. While most of the shop’s interior resembles a standard music store, the back houses an electronic service department where Elliott fixes musical instruments and electronics. Full of interesting devices, such as an oscilloscope, this area of the store is open to anyone interested in seeing the repair process firsthand.

The rest of the store is a haven for music lovers: the latest albums, along with guitars, amplifiers, harmonicas, microphones and other musical equipment. According to Elliott, he is able to place orders on music-related goods through a credible wholesaler. As a result, The Music Shop offers a wide variety of electronics and music accessories. Above all, though, one of the most interesting aspects of The Music Shop is its owner.

Having been a member of a band, Elliott has experimented with playing country music, bluegrass music, rock and much more. He is absolutely willing to talk to you at great lengths about every—and all—kinds of music. However, he is disappointed by what he perceives to be the narrowing public interest in music.

“People are going online for 99 cents. They’re buying single[s]. By just getting that hit song, if … they’re not getting the whole album, they’re not getting the whole viewpoint of an artist,” Elliott said.

In the current age, music downloads seems to be a touch away on a smart phone. But why not embrace a more traditional musical experience? Whether you would like to stop by and grab a new CD, get your instrument fixed or even just enjoy some good company and chat with the friendly owner, a visit to The Music Shop is a chance to get off campus and get in tune with a world of music.

The Music Shop is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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