Library and Information Services, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Monday, 4 May 2015

Phantom Wheel-Tappers, Toe-Tappers, Podium Rappers ...

Waltzing Away at St Rollox
Steam Locomotive at the Riverside Museum

 Cataloguing away merrily in the library,  we've just found a link with Glasgow's industrial past in the unlikely context of Weber's Invitation to the Waltz!

An old set of parts in our orchestral collection was gifted to us when its original owners no longer needed it.  This set first belonged to Caledonian Railway Workshops Orchestra at St Rollox, before being gifted to the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama when we were at St George's Place, Glasgow.   

Since then, St George's Place became Nelson Mandela Place, and more recently we moved to Renfrew Street in 1987, before changing our name to the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in September 2011.

An interesting history! We wonder if any of the Caledonian Railway Workshops Orchestra members are still alive, after all this time ...

A Gentle Reminder from Allan Ramsay's Gentle Shepherd

A reference query today brought three bound copies together which have long been separated on the shelves.  We have a score, a draft programme, and a script for Robert Kemp's 1949 abridged version of Allan Ramsay's pastoral comedy, which was performed at the Edinburgh International Festival in August and September that year.

The music for the adaptation was by Cedric Thorpe Davie, a musicologist who for many years was Professor of Music at the University of St Andrews.  Indeed, the University Library there has extensive holdings of Davie's output.  Nonetheless, it is nice to know that we, too, have copies of this particular work, which was an outstanding part of poet Allan Ramsay's legacy to Scottish literature.

Naxos, Digital Theatre Plus, Oxford Music all on Whittaker Library website ...


iPad, laptop, PC or phone


We've made such a loud noise about our online subscriptions recently, that most students are well aware that we've got them!
... but we are still curious to find out if students prefer any particular term to describe all these databases.
  • "Electronic" or "Digital"?
  • "Online" or "Database"?
  • "Collections" or "Resources"?
So we're doing a one-question survey to see if any particular terminology is more popular.

Would you like to know what the answer is?  Watch this space! We'll have reached a conclusion by the end of this week!

Friday, 1 May 2015

What's in a Name? Electronic, Online, Digital Resources or What?

It may only be a little thing, but we're trying to get our terminology right. We have all these subscriptions to electronic information resources, but we're not sure which words are most meaningful to the most of our readers. So, we're doing a one-question survey. Today we experimented with the iPad - behind the scenes - but watch out for next week! We'll let you what the outcome is!

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Are You a Romantic (where music is concerned)? Bruckner Online website

Bruckner Online

We thought we'd share this - a "large-scale Anton Bruckner Internet portal that includes complete digital copies of all manuscripts and first editions along with information on relevant persons and places." For anyone needing to know more about Bruckner, it sounds like a great place to start!

Bibliolore  is the acclaimed blog of RILM (Répertoire International de Littérature Musicale), which  can genuinely call itself, "the World’s Most Comprehensive Music Bibliography".  The Whittaker Library at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland is a subscriber to RILM (our students and staff can find RILM on our digital collections page), but anyone can visit Bibliolore's great blog.

Do You Come from Edinburgh? New website

 Memories of Auld Reekie

We heard about the Edinburgh Collected website though the Scottish branch our professional association, CILIPS.

If you're interested in digital heritage and have an Edinburgh connection, this may be of interest to you:-

"Edinburgh Collected is a new website featuring memories of Edinburgh and acts as a community archive for the city, past and present.  It allows individuals and groups to add content that builds on existing digital heritage collections and whilst complementing the collections Edinburgh Libraries currently hold."

Full story

Friday, 24 April 2015

Pianist? Cool Cats Won't be able to Resist

Interactive Boulez (are you cool enough for this?)

Are you Cool Enough for This?
News from overseas: our international music library colleagues drew our attention to an interactive online project called Explore the Score, designed by the Ruhr Piano Festival organisers:-
"In Explore the Score, selected works are explained and analyzed by leading performers."
Visit the website (accessible in English and German) and remember to bookmark it, because it's an ongoing project with more planned in future.  Right now, get stuck into some Boulez - his Douze Notations. 

  •  IAML (International Association of Music Librarians) Ruhr news item in full HERE
  • Full IAML Friday news HERE

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Scottish Album of the Year Longlist Announced (read about it in The Scotsman)

Noticed in the news today - the Longlist for the Scottish Album of the Year.  Read the article in The Scotsman here.  Scottish fiddler Mike Vass is amongst the contenders.  (The Whittaker Library has recordings, but we're ordering the latest right now!)

Telegraph reports Ewan MacColl to be honoured at BBC Folk Awards

Spotted in the news this week - read more here in the Telegraph.

  • Ewan MacColl materials in the Whittaker Library at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland - click here.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Come and Hear about Scottish Music in All its Different Shades!

Saturday 25th – Sunday 26th April

I thought I’d post one last reminder that the Musica Scotica conference registration form is now online! If you’re attending and you’ve already sent your form to Graham Hair, that’s great!  Otherwise, if you haven’t registered yet, you can still bring the form and remittance (cash or cheque, but we can’t accept credit/debit cards) with you to the conference on Saturday.  We regret that we don’t have online payment facilities.

Link for registration form and conference timetable (Scroll to bottom of page):-


With the best will in the world, people sometimes get missed off a mailing list, or change their email addresses. Please don’t hesitate to contact friends who might like to join us this weekend, and tell them about the Musica Scotica website. Better be told twice than not hear at all!

Monday, 20 April 2015

Need Help with Opera Libretto Pronunciation?

Royal Conservatoire of Scotland singers make heavy use of IPA Source - it's the International Phonetic Alphabet website for opera pronunciation, available within the Conservatoire. 

It's great for arias, telling you how to pronounce libretti in different languages.  Not
as comprehensive for recitatives, mind you, but the IPA Source team explain that there are other sources for this information:-
"One of the main reasons we decided not to offer this material is that it is already available in book form. Here is what I recommend on the our site:
 " "
The Leyerle series are cited - we have those - and two more useful websites are listed:-

Baroque Libretti   A few early libretti
  Libretti d'opera italiani  Dozens of Italian libretti (no translations)

Special Offer for Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Staff and Students

Students and Staff at RCS! Speak up and enter the £20 prize draw - the Whittaker Library survey is now into its final week.  Complete the survey and fill in your details for a chance to win £20 copying credit :-

(We really do value your opinion, so help us help you, and maybe help yourself to some print credit while you're at it ...)

Friday, 17 April 2015

Weekend Opening at the Whittaker Library, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Twittaker of the Whittaker
The library is open on Saturdays from 10-4, when you can email or phone us on 0141-2708268. 

Find help with sourcing materials for any outstanding music essays here!

Musical Theatre Now on Digital Plus

Digital Theatre Plus have joined forces with the not-for-profit theatre company Perfect Pitch. A new Musical Theatre Collection has been introduced starting with LIFT, created and filmed live at Soho Theatre.

The full production is joined by exclusive extra content including an interview with West End legend Michael Ball, who shares his thoughts on originating a character and supporting musical theatre, as well as backstage and rehearsal insights.  

Staff and students from the RCS can click here to access this.

You Can Access Alan Lomax's Folk Music Archive Online!

Alan Lomax, 1915-2002

Alan Lomax was one of the twentieth century's great folk-music collectors.  You can read the blogpost from NPR Music: Alan Lomax's Massive Archive Goes Online - there's an audio-clip, too.

(The Hands Up for Trad blog has just posted Elizabeth Hepburn's commentary on the story.  You can read Elizabeth's commentary here - she quoted the NPR heading:-
Alan Lomax's Massive Archive Goes Online).

Thursday, 16 April 2015

News of a Music and American Oral History Project

Our professional association, IAML, has shared this news with us.  If you're interested in American music, music at one of America's prestige universities, or indeed oral history, then this might be right up your street!

Announcing the Music at MIT Oral History Collection Website!

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has a rich history of music. The Music at MIT Oral History Collection website provides access to in-depth interviews conducted 1999-2012 with MIT faculty, staff, and former students;and accounts of the professional careers and activities of these performers, conductors, composers, musical theorists, historians, acousticians, librarians, scientists, and engineers.

Also on offer is the facility to stream audio or video with concurrent transcripts; and downloadable audio files (mp3) and written transcripts (pdf)

Contact Forrest Larson, for further information.

Determined Organists, or, How the Royal College of Organists acquired a Library

The Whittaker Library's music librarians have just been to Birmingham for the annual Annual Study Weekend of IAML (UK and Ireland), our professional assocation.  Karen was asked to author a blogpost about some of the sessions.  Here's the first, about the Royal College of Organists Library.

What connects an autographed Hindemith score with the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland?

RCS Archives & Collections Object of the Month

April’s object of the month is a copy of Paul Hindemith’s Wir Bauen eine Stadt (1930), songs
composed for children and given its world premiere in Glasgow in November 1930.  Our archive contains the score used by pianist and composer Erik Chisholm (a former student of the Conservatoire) who accompanied the Orpheus Junior Choir (now the Phoenix Choir).  The composer himself performed a number of sonatas with Chisholm earlier in the evening; his dedication in the score reads: ‘with hearty thanks for the beautiful introduction to Glasgow’ – Paul Hindemith Nov. 30 [1930]. 

RCS Archives & Collections are indebted to Director of Music Gordon Munro who found the score at the back of an old filing cabinet in the Conservatoire earlier this month.  

All of our archives and collections are available for research and consultation via appointment (