McCann’s Music is dedicated to providing professional advice and personalised service based on extensive retail and professional musical experience. Having seen contemporary music evolve over decades and explode into a diverse range of genres and a vast landscape of online possibilities we pride ourselves on extensive knowledge of musical instruments and the technology today’s musicians use in their quest for creative excellence.
Founded in 1881 as McCann’s School of Music & Musical Instrument Show by the late James R. McCann – an organist and former conductor of St. Mary’s Cathedral Choir – the McCann family carries a tradition of music retail that proudly continues to this day. Upon James’ death in 1916, the business passed on to his sons – also musicians – and enjoyed a period of significant growth – with McCann’s employing no less than 25 staff by 1932.
On the 21st May 1923, James’ son, Bernard McCann, changed the name of the business to ‘McCann Bros.’ – which was later incorporated into a company on the 10th of July 1952. The faded hand-painted signs of yesteryear advertising the original McCann Bros. Pianos & Radio store-location at 180 Elizabeth Street can be still be seen on the wall of a well known heritage-listed 19th century building as one drives into Hobart’s busy CBD along Macquarie Street. McCann’s Bros. traded during the intervening years in products such as electrical goods, furniture and floor coverings – having relocated its operations to the original Best & Co.’s general store premises at 141-143 Elizabeth Street Hobart.
The iconic ‘McCann’s Building’ has its own fascinating history, having previously been host to one of Hobart’s popular live music clubs and cinema … as well as providing a location for another early McCann family venture – 7HT – Hobart’s second commercial radio station – launched in 1937. 7HT and its older rival, 7HO, would be the only commercial radio stations in Hobart for the next 53 years – with HT eventually converting to a narrow-cast license and concentrating its efforts in the area of sports broadcasting. McCann’s currently leases space on its upper levels to The Hobart College of Music, The Green Room Recording Studio, as well as a range of private music tutors and visual artists spaces.
The current owner, Geoffrey McCann – a bassplayer and Honorary Life Member of the Musician’s Union of Australia – purchased the business outright, changing the name of the business to ‘McCann’s Music Centre Pty Ltd’ on the 27th of March 1984. Since then, the business has focused on the sale of a wide range of popular-brand musical instruments, equipment, music technology, print music and electronic media, as well as providing a range of other services to anyone with an interest in music. With Geoff’s retirement from the day-to-day operation of the business in 2011, McCann’s Music is now managed by guitarist Rob Daft – beginning a new chapter in the store’s considerable history.