Music is what makes our day brighter and can have a huge positive impact on a person’s life. The tones and notes of each song or instrument you hear automatically can send positive vibes to your brain, which instantly put you in a better mood. Face it, if you’re having a rough day at work the minute you get into the car and scream out song lyrics, you have forgotten about your rough day and a smile starts to form. However, some of us take the love of music to the next level by playing an instrument. The moment we gained a new appreciation for musical instruments happened last week when we were walking to work and a loud beautiful sound of a piano came pouring out of a small shop and our hearts melted. We found ourselves instantly being drawn to the store like metal to a magnet and were eager to find out more! I mean, have you ever known us to mind our own business?! To no surprise, we walked inside to find an array of instruments, music books and cassettes…surrounding a man who greeted us with a glow as bright as his shiny instruments. Welcome to Mayni Music shop.
Mr. Antoine Mayni was just as surprised to see us, as we were to find ourselves in his store! We introduced ourselves while our eyes wandered frantically from pianos to guitars, to ouds. And let us tell you something; there were pieces in the store whose beauty can be compared to a diamonds. We all know that music has been around for centuries but this little gem that we stumbled upon has been around since 1972. Their current location wasn’t always their first; the Mayni Music shop is a family business run by 3 brothers, who first opened their store in Hamra. But due to the unfortunate events in the country they were forced to close shop and re-open in their current location in Ashrafieh. Although the store was small you could tell how big of a heart was metaphorically beating on the inside.
There is a lot more to love about music but the fact that some of the instruments are so incredibly beautiful doesn’t hurt either. There were beautiful glossy black pianos, gorgeous refurbished wooden ones, and let’s not forget the oud, decked in mother of pearl, made in Egypt. Even the guitars came in all different colors and sizes. But did you know that all pianos are not created equal? You might think that there’s not much difference between one piano and another – but let us tell you, we found out that it’s the exact opposite! Pianos can range from $3,000 dollars all the way to $100,000! And the origin of it has a lot to do with the price. Antoine explained, “If you’re out shopping for a piano, you need to know the origin of it. For example you have well known brands of pianos that manufacture in both Japan and China, but of course the one made in Japan will be of superior quality – You can tell by the hollowness – they just create a more fuller sound. This is happening in all industries – Chinese products are taking over household appliances, cars, etc. and it’s no different with instruments.” To counteract the high price of new, superiorly made instruments, Antoine stated that Mayni Music purchase second-hand Japanese made pianos, which have been professionally refurbished by experts in Japan and then shipped to Beirut to be sold at reduced prices. He clarified their process by saying, “Just like with cars – if you have a German car that is second-hand, it will still be superior to a Chinese made new car in terms of quality and performance.”
While Antoine doesn’t play an instrument, his children have all learned to play and he enjoys listening to them perform for him. He is inspired everyday by the sounds of Dalida and Edith Piaf and loves the piano the most out of all the instruments. Music runs in the family’s blood; with one brother playing, the other teaching, and Antoine listening we do have a bright and hopeful future for Mayni Music. Although there may be a new home due to building renovations in the near future, Antoine’s niece is sure to take over and continue the family business. Long live Mayni Music!
Discover your musical side and visit Mayni Music on Abdel Wahhab Street, Ashrafieh or call them on 01 321 680