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Reviewed by: Les Reynolds, editor, ProQuest
Musical Merchandise Review’s very title is informative regarding content of the publication. Among other items, the magazine features industry trends, business statistics, company profiles, and industry-leader profiles for the music products sector. A key focus underlying much of this is the involvement and effects of, and efforts by, the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM).
Published by Timeless Communications Corporation, MMR is not a scholarly journal; however, it is newsworthy and indispensable to persons in the industry – from corporate executives, trade-show organizers, product distributors, musical instrument manufacturers, retail store sales personnel and others.
As an example, volume 174, issue 1 (January 2015) includes the following:
1) News items announcing the sale of harmonica maker Hohner to conglomerate KHS America, and an allegation by music product supplier Sweetwater that its intellectual property content has been plagiarized by more than 70 musical instrument retailers. Obituaries of important people in the industry, and appointments and personnel changes are also noted. The annual NAMM trade shows are also previewed and reviewed in some detail.
2) New product reviews – this month featuring several new lines of guitars from various makers.
3) Features and profiles such as an interview with Dave Lewis, Kluson’s head of sales and product development. Kluson is an instrument tuner and replacement parts supplier founded in 1925. The article notes the company’s 90th anniversary. The Pearl River Piano Group celebrates its 30th anniversary in North America in 2015. The China-based corporation’s North American division has new dealer incentives and new product lines. Also, Mary Luehrsen, the 2015 recipient of the Don Johnson Industry Service Award, talks about her career as a musician and teacher, the path which brought her to NAMM and the importance of music education.
Article length varies, and is indicative of the importance of the development or company/personnel being discussed. The writing style is straightforward and easily understood; the presentation well-organized, and the design and layout are clean and well executed.
In summary, Musical Merchandise Review provides an intelligent, informative, organized and important resource for anyone strategically involved in the industry.