Library and Information Services, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Women in Jazz (or not) - a Conversation

In the UK edition of the online magazine, The Conversation, there's an article which asks, "Why is there so little space for women in jazz music?"  The author is Cat Hope, from Monash University.  Read the article here...

Were You Born Before or After 1984? Why it (Might) Make a Difference

The educationalist Marc Prensky wrote an influential article in 2001, suggesting that people born after 1984 are the generation of digital natives, and their approach to learning and multitasking are different.  This has been hotly debated ever since!

Now two more educationalists, Paul A. Kirschner and Pedro De Bruyckere, are suggesting Prensky got it all wrong.

We can't access Kirschner and De Bruyckere's whole article, but a summary in gives a useful overview of the arguments.  Take a look here ...

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Discovery Layer - our Latest Library Buzzword

Twittaker at the Whittaker Library Catalogue
We have a new catalogue system in the Whittaker Library.  This one's a great advance on the old one, because you can look for online resources actually *in the catalogue*.  The software that makes this all possible is called a "discovery layer".  So we looked for a colleague's scholarly article, and lo and behold! there it was, without having to go and look on a different website.
Where's the article? Why, here it is! Ace!

Of course, this really opens up our resources for students and colleagues when they're offsite, because they can check the catalogue and discover lots of electronic resources - articles, database searches, streamed sound and more - which they can access anywhere.

We'll be posting hints and tips to help people get the most out of this very clever new system, so watch this space - and Twitter, of course!  Extra kudos for anyone who asks the staff to demonstrate our new discovery layer ...

Check out the Catalogue!

Monday, 31 July 2017

Good News for Percussionists

Something to bang the drum about!  We subscribe to the Percussion Orchestrations database, and recently got word of a new improvement ...

Percussion Orchestrations

"Percussion Orchestrations is excited to announce the launch of a brand new feature - downloadable PDFs of Timpani and Percussion parts and Full Scores for works in the public domain. We now have PDF parts and scores for over 2000 works, totalling over 25 GB of files, and will be continuing to add more over the coming months. Go to Database Navigation > PDF Parts to arrive at our main PDF parts index page, or view PDFs from the bottom of the page for the work to which they relate."
RCS readers, please note that you can only access this database on site at the Conservatoire; we regret that it isn't accessible off-site.

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

New in Library: Be Your Own Manager: a Career Handbook for Classical Musicians

We've just catalogued our first book on the new library system!  (You have no idea the fun we had getting to the point where you could see the results of our cataloguing work.)

Be your own manager a career handbook for classical musicians, by Bernhard Kerres and Bettina Mehne (London Tenaia Management Ltd, 2017)

Production Line (courtesy of Pixabay)

See it in the library catalogue, here.  Now for the next one ...

Monday, 10 July 2017

Free Research Planners and Guides from Hugh Kearns

We follow Hugh Kearns on Twitter - he offers a lot of very useful advice for PhD students and other

Today, he shared this link, offering free planners and guides.  Planning is essential to any effective research activity, so why not save the link NOW, and commit to downloading your planner this week!

Set Your Sights on Carnegie Hall (Online Competition, but HURRY!)

Pianists, Singers, String Players! 

Don't Miss This!

Today, we received an email announcing a music competition to win the opportunity of playing in Carnegie Hall. There's only one problem - the deadline is 15th July 2017.  (We're sorry - we didn't know about this competition until two minutes ago!)

So ... here are the details (click here)

Ready? Steady ... GO!

Friday, 30 June 2017

Educationalist Phil Race - Assessment, Learning and Teaching

Education students here at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland will have heard their teaching staff talk about respected educationalist Phil Race.

We thought you'd be interested to visit his website to find out what he's working on these days, so here it is ... including keynotes, workshops, free downloads and details of his publications.

Yee-Ha! new Koha Library System for the Whittaker on Wednesday


for the changeover from our old library system to a new, modern one.

The Koha system we've chosen has been well-received by many other libraries,  and will - in a jiffy - make our online resources much easier to find, too.  (Impress the staff - ask about the 'discovery layer'!)

We've been practising on a test version, but the new system will be live for borrowers from when we reopen on Thursday 6 July. 
  •  You can still use our online resources via the Library website, but you won't be able to use the old catalogue.  We'll be changing all weblinks to the new catalogue once it's live.
  • Library website

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

RefMe becomes Cite This For Me (but doesn't work for me)

Do you use bibliographic referencing ("citation") software?  We do! We've tried various brands.  Many students fell in love with RefMe as an easy tool for saving your references and inserting them into essays and assignments.  We had some reservations, but in terms of ease of use, it had a lot going for it.  So we were interested to learn that the bibliographic referencing tool, RefMe has now become CiteThisForMe

  • If you had a RefMe account, you can carry it across to CiteThisForMe.  You may or may not find that the bibliographies you transfer across, have expired.  (Mine were still there on my phone app, but not on the web version. Very strange!) 
  •  If you're making a new account, however, it's a tad more confusing.  Your registration is incomplete unless you sign up for Premium membership - with attached cost. 
  • Even more worrying - if you're a non-Premium user with a free account, your references are only saved for a week - really, not much use at all!
  • Meanwhile, if you download the app, you can't login with your newly half-created free account.  (You can if you've got a transferred-across account from RefMe. That's confusing too.)
 It might be better to give up and go for Mendeley or Zotero.  Seriously! 

Friday, 23 June 2017

The International Journal of Traditional Arts "promotes a broad-ranging understanding of the relevance of traditional arts in contemporary social life"

IJTA - new, online, free!

This is a new scholarly e-journal coming from the Music Department at Newcastle University.  Edited by Dr Simon Keegan-Phipps (University of Sheffield), RCS alumnus Dr Simon McKerrell (now a senior lecturer at Newcastle) and Dr Mairi McFadyen (University of Edinburgh), the journal's homepage describes itself thus:-

"The International Journal of Traditional Arts is an international, peer-reviewed Gold Open access journal that promotes a broad-ranging understanding of the relevance of traditional arts in contemporary social life."
 Do take a look.  If you would like to contribute, the details are all there on the website:-


Thursday, 22 June 2017

What Goes on in a Music Cataloguer's Head?

This week, the library was gifted a copy of The Scottish Orpheus edited by Adam Hamilton.  As with any donations, the first question we ask, is whether we've already got it?  We have - but not this edition.  We hadn't even heard of the editor, Adam Hamilton before! Not a problem - David Baptie's Musical Scotland dictionary usually comes up trumps, and it did again today:- 

Hamilton first published his The Scottish Orpheus around 1865 - it was published in Edinburgh by "Hamilton & Müller".  By the turn of the century (around 1897), it was being published in Edinburgh and London by Paterson - and that's the edition we've just been gifted.  It looks a competent collection.  There are no editorial notes ("paratext"), just a title-page and a contents page, and unlike some other collections of this era, there's no sol-fa, just normal music notation.

By 1922 it was published with the intention of being in in more than one volume, by J. Michael Diack - we already have Vol.1.  The contents are a little different, and Diack's edition contains a few more Scotticisms in the text.  It has also gone down from 215 to 159 pages, probably because he intended to publish a subsequent volume.

But that's not the end of the story.  There's no trace of a Scottish Orpheus vol.2, but Diack went on to publish a New Scottish Orpheus in three volumes, ca.1922-1937.   It must have been a commercially viable product - or at least, certainly worth keeping the title and updating the contents and arrangements!

Meanwhile, our new gift has been catalogued (and all the contents indexed, titles and first lines and all - phew!) and it'll go in our Special Collections.

Our catalogue system will be changing in July 2017. Until then, you can see the catalogue entry for Hamilton's Scottish Orpheus here.  (We'll post the link to the new catalogue nearer the time.)

Monday, 19 June 2017

Paul McCartney turns 75 (a tribute by German music librarian Katharina Jerusalem)

Fresh on the grapevine ... via our professional association, the International Association of Music Libraries (IAML), a tribute to Paul McCartney:-

"Paul McCartney will turn 75 tomorrow! In honor of this major birthday, Katharina Jerusalem from Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR), Cologne, has written a tribute in German and English that focuses on his post-Beatles career. As an added bonus, Hansi Dequal has translated it into Italian for us."

Friday, 16 June 2017

Can't I Just Photocopy the Part? Music Copyright Can and Can't Do's in the UK

Copyright guidelines courtesy of CILIP
So you've lost your viola part?  That could be a problem! You cannot just copy another one from the score without the publisher's permission.

Our professional association, IAML (UK and Ireland), has a very helpful web page telling you what is, and is not permissable in the British and Irish world of music copyright.  

Read all the do's and don'ts here:- UK Copyright FAQs, courtesy of IAML (UK and Ireland).

Also, do refer to the general guidelines produced by another professional organisation, CILIP:-

  • International Association of Music Libraries, UK and Ireland Branch 
  • Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals