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Are Piano Stores Heading Toward Extinction?

The number of stores dedicated to selling pianos is dwindling across the country as fewer people take up the instrument and those who do often opt for a used piano or a less expensive electronic keyboard.

The best year for new piano sales in the U.S. was 1909, when more than 364,500 were sold. But after gently falling over the years, piano sales have plunged more recently to between 30,000 and 40,000 annually.

Computer technology and youth sports have made focusing on piano lessons more difficult for children today.

Retailers and music manufacturers say new instruments with electronics and digital samples replicating harpsichord or trumpet sounds will help keep the instrument created more than 300 years ago relevant.