Amsterdam’s oldest music store shuts after 178 years

Amsterdam’s oldest music store shuts after 178 years


norman lebrecht

May 10, 2020

Coronavirus has proved too much for the Hampe & Berkel, which has had to give up its lease after 178 years on the same spot.

There’s a closing-down sale, starting now.



  • John Borstlap says:

    All music shops have disappeared from Amsterdam, even famous Broekmans & Van Poppel which was situated next to the Concertgebouw. It is not only caused by diminishing buyers, but also by the steady rise of rent: the city is becoming an instrument of wild kapitalist exploitation of space, driven by ‘market forces’. Normal homes are being withdrawn from the market and rebuilt into student and tourist shelters to get as many people as possible paying ridiculous rents for minimal rooms. This music shop will be prey for comparable exercises.

    • Ruben Greenberg says:

      John: so sad. There used to be working class neighbourhoods in Amsterdam (by the old Heineken Brewery)), bohemian neighbourhoods. All of them gone now.

      • Edoardo Saccenti says:

        My old neighbor told me that 25 years ago you did not venture out at night in my street. Today they sell 50 square mts for half a million.

    • Olassus says:

      Christianity and Western art music are in decline, retreat even.

      Before Norman deleted his Salzburg story today, I wrote a comment there that musicians and orchestras and festivals have been getting next to no coverage in regular news media regarding Coronavirus, cf. sports, travel, restaurants, etc., even museums, as if the impact on art music just isn’t worth covering. Without SD we wouldn’t know what is going on at all.

      • John Borstlap says:

        They are declining together because they have a couple of things in common, of which the two most apparant are: psychic interiority, and cultivation of the highter ideals of the spirit. Both are laughed out of court by the increasing number of cynics. But they both cannot disappear entirely, since they are an inherent part of the human psyche.

      • Saxon Broken says:

        The idea that Christianity is in decline is, frankly, bizarre. It is going strong in large parts of the “non-western world”. Even in Europe, there is, if anything, a revival of evangelicalism (in all its forms). What is true is that “elite culture” is predominately secular rather than overtly Christian, and many people in Europe are noticing there are non-Christian religious minorities.

        • John Borstlap says:

          As soon as societies get less miserable and wealthier, Christianity declines (Europe) or degenerates into absurdity (USA) – exceptions excepted. Christianity is meant for misery and suffering.