After 110 Years, Music Fades at Briggs and Briggs

The sign on top of the Porter Square music store reads simply: Briggs & Briggs est. 1890. Etched in small red letters, the sign is nearly camouflaged by the larger and brighter billboards of other stores.

Inside the store, it is quiet. The four-person staff is opening boxes and sorting through their eclectic selection of sheet music.

Songs from an oldies station play somewhere in the background.


"Music can give you a little lift sometimes, when it gets quiet," says Briggs & Briggs owner Fred H. Humphreys.

But it was not always this quiet.

From 1890 until just last May, Briggs & Briggs sold music from Harvard Square, situated comfortably in the storefront that now houses an Adidas sports store.

Steadily increasing rents forced the music store to move to Porter Square, a 15 minute walk down Mass. Ave.

"We didn't want to move, but they wanted more money than we could afford," Humphrey says. "It's a sign of the times down in the Square."

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