Marsha Patelson, the daughter-in-law of the founder, said she planned to close the store and sell its home, an 1879 carriage house that sits a baton’s throw across 56th Street from the Carnegie Hall stage door. It is falling victim to a transfigured world, in which the power of digital retail has made places like used bookshops, record stores and sheet-music dealers little more than quaint relics.
Nowadays numerous Web sites offer sheet music for sale, either by mail or download. Publishers like G. Schirmer sell directly online. Other sites provide free downloads for works in the public domain.
Ms. Patelson said the store had been losing money for years. “I put everything into it, my heart and soul,” she said, as well as a large amount of her own money. “I feel badly, but on the other hand the reason this business is going is because people stopped buying much here.”
Ms. Patelson has no specific closing date, she said, but will shut the store by the end of April after selling off as much stock as she can. “It’s like trying to put a final date on your life,” she said.