Library and Information Services, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Friday, 18 April 2014

What next? A Music PhD?

In between finishing off assignments and revising for exams, music finalists may wonder what they'll do after graduation.  

There's a database listing what music postgraduates are currently researching, which might inspire or guide you: the RMA Register of Research Students' Dissertation Topics(UK and Ireland):- 

There are various other places you can look, to find out what has been, or is being researched.   Many are freely available, for example you can find completed doctoral theses that are in university libraries by checking

Try also:-

Clearing the Mind - Fresh Air and Natural Light, advises James Clear

James Clear is an entrepreneur who advises on productivity, good working practices and positive mental attitudes.  His newsletters are informative.

Today, he writes about where we find inspiration, overcome mental blocks, or indeed both,  Here's an excerpt which will make you want to head for wide open spaces or inspirational buildings with plenty of natural light:-

The Link Between Brains and Buildings

"Researchers have discovered a variety of ways that the buildings we live, work, and play in drive our behavior and our actions. The way we react and respond is often tied to the environment that we find ourselves in.

"For example, it has long been known that schools with more natural light provide a better learning environment for students and test scores often go up as a result. (Natural light and natural air are known to stimulate productivity in the workplace as well.)

"Additionally, buildings with natural elements built into them help reduce stress and calm us down (think of trees inside a mall or a garden in a lobby). Spaces with high ceilings and large rooms promote more expansive and creative thinking."
If you'd like to read more, here's the link:-   And the article itself is entitled,  Want to Stick to Good Habits and Break Your Bad Ones? Try This.

Copyright - what you can (and can't) do after 1 June 2014

There are changes to UK Copyright law which come into effect on 1 June 2014.  Here in the Whittaker Library, we are carefully reading up the details.  Impacting on several important aspects of performances, including research, education, disability, and libraries, you can understand our need to get a grasp of these changes!  Here is the introduction on the Intellectual Property Office website:-

Changes to copyright law and guidance

Changes to copyright law

"The government is making a series of small but important changes to copyright law to make it better suited for the digital age. These changes will affect how you can use content like books, music, films and photographs. They will also introduce greater freedoms in copyright law to allow third parties to use copyright works for a variety of economically and/or socially valuable purposes without the need to seek permission from copyright owners. Protections for the interests of copyright owners and creators are built in to the proposed changes.
"The government is committed to achieving strong, sustainable and balanced growth that is shared across the country and between industries. These changes are the result of extensive consultation with all interested parties. They will come into force on 1 June 2014."

(Intellectual Property Office ... Changes to copyright law and guidance - accessed 18.04.2014)
In the UK, copyright law is changed by "Statutory Instruments". The forthcoming changes are made in five such statutory instruments. They affect performances in the following areas:- 
  • Personal copies for private use
  • Quotation and parody
  • Disability
  • Research, education, libraries and archives
  • Administration
There are three IPO (Intellectual Property Office) online leaflets about educational, library and disability-related exceptions to the copyright legislation, which are very useful for us to know.  They're available in .pdf format:-

For a summary of all the changes, general readers are directed to this explanatory document.  In legal-speak, it's called an 'Explanatory Memorandum', so if anyone asks you where you read about this, then you would cite this:-

Looking after Musicians - IAML (International Association of Music Libraries)

IAML is an international organisation uniting music libraries and music librarians globally, and there are also many national branches.

The IAML international website combines serious professional discussion and general music library news.

To brighten your day, we share the 'entertainment' section at the end of today's IAML News, Friday Edition:-

Friday Fun

Feminine Post Dramatic - Cara Berger Performing Ecriture Feminine

Strategies for a Feminist Postdramatic

We found this blog from Cara Berger, a researcher at the University of Glasgow. It documents feminist drama performed at The Arches in Glasgow: Fire into Song - part of Cara's doctoral studies, in the context of practice-as-research

Here's the background to Cara's work:-

Strategies for a Feminist Postdramatic

This website contains documentation of three performances that constitute the practical element of Cara Berger’s practice-as-research PhD on ‘Écriture FĂ©minine: Strategies for a Feminist Politics of the Postdramatic’.

A video of each performance alongside excerpts which are referred to in the written section of the PhD, as well as supporting documents can be found by clicking on the names of the performances on the navigation bar at the bottom of this page.   More ...
'Whittaker' freely confesses that 'his' knowledge of feminist alternative drama is minimal, but if readers of this blog would like more postings of this nature, then please do share suggestions with us, and we'll be happy to incorporate them in our offerings to the staff, students and supporters of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland community.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Rhinegold Publishing - Festivals 2014

This listing of music festivals can be purchased from Rhinegold Publishing. However, here at the Whittaker Library, we've kept our subscription copy, catalogued and added it to Library Stock.

Here for reference by anyone who cares to visit us!  So, which festivals will you attend?

Catalogue entry HERE

Scotsman Newspaper: Gibbon's Sunset Song finally set for Big Screen

We read about this in The Scotsman:-

 Lewis Grassic Gibbon's novel is famed as one of Scotland's classic novels of the 20th century.  This film adaptation is therefore of considerable importance.

In the Whittaker Library, we have the book in its original trilogy, A Scots Quair, and Alastair Cording's 1993 dramatic adaptation.  See details HERE.

Creativity: Ten Habits of Highly Creative People

You've probably seen lists like this before, but you never know - there might be something here that just sparks a new thought, so try this:-

10 Habits of Highly Creative People, by Arianna Rebolini

Singing the Collections at St Andrew's University Library, Examining the Past at Glasgow

A Blog Choir? Why not, indeed!

This is a truly brilliant idea from St Andrews University Library Special Collections. They got old music out of their rare books collection, formed a choir, and started singing. They even used old singing instructional manuals. It's inspired - we love it!  Read the blogpost on their excellent blog, Echoes from the Vault:-

52 Weeks of Historical How-To’s, Week 24: Singing the Collections

And Singing Manuals revealing Singing History

Hunterian Associate Brianna Robertson at the University of Glasgow has been engaging with the Glasgow special collections in a very different, but equally imaginative way, looking at the vocal legacy of castrated singers.

Telling the World about Teaching Artistry

Breakfast at Fitzwilliam College!
Rising at 4 am, breakfasting at 10 - conference habits!
Teaching Artists, Teaching Librarians

Whilst Karen was at the IAML UK and Ireland* Annual Study Weekend in Cambridge last weekend, she had the dubious privilege of being the first speaker  at the academic music librarians’ seminar.  She talked about the Teaching Artist short credit-rated course at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland!   (Indeed, she'd worked away at her teaching plan and theoretical study during her annual leave, so she could talk about it at this seminar.)  Another librarian there made a Storify page about the session, so here we are for all the world to see!   

Learning to Teach, Teaching to Learn

Do academic librarians need teaching skills?  How does a chartered librarian establish a place in the community of teaching artists?  Karen's PowerPoint is here.

* The International Association of Music Libraries, UK and Ireland Branch. 

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Rikki Fulton Archival Material at the University of Glasgow

The Scottish Theatre Archive has an interesting online overview of their Rikki Fulton collection.  Find out more here.

So what do YOU consider Scottish?

So - what IS 'Scottish Music'?  It's all a question of cultural perception, isn't it?

Karen spoke at a recent RMA  Colloquium about what our perceptions of "Scottish" actually are.  Here are her slides for, "Scottish, Scotch and Caledonian".

William Lamb - article about the diffusion of the Scottish Strathspey

Grafting Culture: On the Development and Diffusion of the Strathspey in Scottish Music

You can read the pdf of William Lamb's article HERE.

Creative Scotland 10 year plan talks of Ambition and Potential

Read more here!

Conference: Celtic Revival in Scotland

Registration now open

'Whittaker' shares with you the online conference announcement, quoted from the  conference website:-


Programme online and registrations open

The programme for The Celtic Revival in Scotland (1860 - 1930) is now available on the conference website, and registration is open.

Click here to register for the conference

Click here for an overview of the conference

Call for Papers: Understanding Scotland Musically

We've received notice of a CFP for a conference:-

University of Newcastle, 21 October 2014

Read the CFP here.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Effective Use of Social Media

The recent IAML (UK and Ireland) Annual Study Weekend saw a new innovation - the "Quickfire" sessions.  Karen chaired a couple of sessions on effective social media use in music libraries, before she fled for the last Scotland-bound plane of the day.

It's fair to say Karen has embraced social media both on behalf of the Whittaker Library and in her own name, but she restricted her comments to library activities for these sessions.


This Whittaker Live blog was established in 1999 – there have been changes over the years, most notably abandoning the attempt to find weblinks on weekly lecture topics.  Students can find that for themselves these days!  

Content is drawn from various sources:- stock acquisitions, forthcoming events, links to other relevant postings eg Bibliolore, and news about competitions and summer courses.  

·       It’s possible to schedule blogposts, but we don't generally do so.


Karen tweets as @WhittakerLib by day, and @Karenmca by night.  The @Whittakerlib account is the slightly younger of the two, started because there should be separation between library-related tweets and personal ones.  This is very important, because:-
  • It also enables others to tweet.   
  • It keeps tweets library-related.
  • It enables the library to have its own persona.
  • It means non-library related chat stays outside the workplace, and anything connected with Karen's research interests doesn't clutter up the library's message.
  • Messages to the Library go to our generic email account, which anyone can access.     
When Karen is using Twitter in her own right, she “favourites” links or RTs them to @Whittakerlib, but she also makes heavy use of Diigo – social favouriting.  This means any interesting links that she finds in her spare time can be saved for use either on the blog or on Twitter next time she's in the library.


There’s a feed from Karen's own Diigo list through to the Whittakerlive blog, but the app enables her to mark as private anything that's not to be shared.  Diigo is excellent for accessing favourites from any device you’re using, and for storing content for future use.


This is a great way of scheduling tweets!


We don't use Facebook professionally; Karen has chosen to keep her account purely for a handful of family and close friends, and a select few others.  Separation of personal and private is very important indeed, to convey a professional impression.  Having said that, the library’s canvas Wheesht bags did had their own Facebook page ...!