Library and Information Services, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Monday, 24 April 2017

Discuss Scottish Music Research with Musica Scotica

Did you miss Musica Scotica 2017?

You missed a great event! But you can still talk about Scottish music with fellow researchers, whether you study ancient or avant-garde music.


JiscMail offers the facility to set up discussion lists about education or research interests on a particular topic, carried out by email. Correspondents generally have some connection with higher education, but this is not compulsory. There's now a list for sharing information about education or research interests in Scottish music, and the groupname is MusicaScotica.
  • What is JiscMail? Visit 
  • How  do I subscribe? You'll find instructions at the FAQ for Subscribers page:  Basically, you either visit the JiscMail homepage and choose MusicaScotica from there, or send an email to with the following command in the subject line, substituting your own name:-  SUBSCRIBE MUSICA SCOTICA YOURFIRSTNAME YOURLASTNAME
  • Can I use institutional access? Certainly. If you're in a British HE institution, you can use institutional access (Shibboleth), as you would with most electronic resources.
  • You'll find Netiquette suggestions towards the bottom of the FAQ page. (Basically, keep it relevant, be polite, and remember this is a public list for sharing information about education or research interests in Scottish music.) 

Libraries, Digital Collections, Real Musical Instruments, REALLY Happy Singers

In the past couple of weeks, we've come across several interesting news alerts, that might interest our readers.  Here are three of them!

The Horniman Library and Museum

The Horniman Library is, not surprisingly, linked with the Horniman Museum - which contains a collection of historical musical instruments.  They are in London.  The Horniman's Library is now available on Copac, and that means more places to find books if we don't have them in our own collections!
If you're a musician, you might like to know more about the musical instrument collection too, so let's share the 'blurb' that we received in our email:-
"The Horniman Library collection contains books from the 16th century through to the present day, and covers a wide spectrum of subject areas related to the remit of the Horniman Museum, with a focus on natural history, anthropology and musical instruments. The collection, which originated with Frederick Horniman’s own book collection, has been added to by subsequent directors, curators and librarians and now amounts to some 30,000 volumes. The development of the library collections has been closely linked to object acquisition and curatorial practice in the museum and there is thus a strong connection between the book and object collections.
"Or, to browse the Horniman Library’s records, select the Main Search tab at and choose ‘Horniman Library’ from the list of libraries." 
RNCM Archives shared the next news item with us:-

New project brings major folk song collection to UK 

There's an article in the online M-Magazine which tells you more about the news.  Here's a taster:-
"The Vaughan Williams Memorial Library Digital Archive has launched a new project to incorporate a pivotal early 20th century collection of British songs into its folk music database.The digitised collection of James Madison Carpenter (pictured above), which has previously only been accessible by visiting the Library of Congress in Washington, DC, will become free to access online for the first time ..." Read the whole article here

The Neuroscience of Singing 

Okay, every so often, more research appears which proves what everyone here knows to be true - singing is good for you!  But this research is particularly authoritative, so we'd like to share it with anyone who sings or teaches or conducts singers!  It's by Cassandra Sheppard and was published on a website called Uplift Connect on Sunday 11th December 2016.  
Singing Together Brings Heartbeats Into Harmony

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Poignant Pipe Tunes: Ceol Chaluim, Now in RCS Library

Ceòl Chaluim - The Pipe tunes of Calum Campbell of Benbecula - Edited by Niall Caimbeul and Catriona Garbutt

 Tragically killed by a hurricane in the Hebrides in 2005, a lasting memorial to piper Calum Campbell can be found in his collection of pipe tunes, published by Acair Books.

We offer a traditional music degree here at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and have a number of pipers amongst our students.  Clearly, we needed to have a copy of this book.  It has just been added to stock.

Smile! It's Your Music History Essay

A couple of weeks ago, the Whittaker Library shared some helpful tips for our first and second year music students here at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.  We know you've all been assigned essays, and we're keen to ensure that students are equipped to get the most out of our e-resources - at a time where you need lots of information but may not actually be on campus.  We thought we'd share these postings again, so they're easy to find when you need them.

Musica Scotica is ONE WEEK away. Saturday 22nd April 2017, Tolbooth, Stirling

Have you booked to attend the friendliest small conference in Scotland?  Musica Scotica is next weekend - a one-day conference with a short concert at the end. It's not too late to book your place!

Musica Scotica Conference

Saturday 22 April 2017

The Tolbooth
Jail Wynd
Stirling, FK8 1DE
Scotland, UK

Twitter: @MusicaScotica

Angels aren't the Only Ones with Harps! New Book ...

In Good Hands, by S. Eydmann

New Book! Will Appeal to Traditional Musicians

There's a new authoritative history of The Clarsach Society, In Good Hands, authored by esteemed historian Stuart Eydmann.  It was launched at the Edinburgh International Harp Festival (31st March – 5th April 2017); it goes without saying that we'll get a copy for the Whittaker Library at the earliest opportunity! 

Here's the press release link (click here).

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Finding Choral and Orchestral Sets in Other UK Libraries

If you ever look for orchestral sets in other libraries, then you need to know that IAML's Encore choral and orchestral sets website is now in a new version!  Music librarians saw a demo at last weekend's UK and Ireland annual study weekend .  Take a look ....

Here's the announcement from Malcolm Jones, who masterminds the whole Encore choral and orchestral sets website:-

The new version of Encore was released tonight!
It will run in parallel with the existing Encore for 6 months or so.

Users of the new system are urged to approach it for the first time at least via the branch  website:
and to read the notes there.

Dyslexic? Need Help?

Lists of self-help resources for dyslexic people

We have found a useful list of resources for dyslexic people.  Here it is - please do share it.  Click Here.

The list comes from The Alliance - a health and social care organisation.  This is their vision:-

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Explore the wide potential of a resource for Highlands and Islands music (7 May 2017, Edinburgh)





This day-long event in association with TradFest will provide a relaxed and interactive opportunity to explore the wide potential of a resource for Highlands and Islands music, The Elizabeth Ross Manuscript: Original Highland Airs Collected at Raasay in 1812, which has been made available recently in edited form. Copies of the edition will be available on the day. New and seasoned musicians alike, across a range of instruments, are warmly welcome!

The event is sponsored by MUSICA SCOTICA, which has published the edition of the Eliza Ross Music Manuscript, the ROYAL CONSERVATOIRE OF SCOTLAND and the SCHOOL OF SCOTTISH STUDIES ARCHIVES/CELTIC & SCOTTISH STUDIES, UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH.  

The day will encourage the use of the edition by singers, instrumentalists, composers and researchers by means of a combination of introductory talks in the morning, giving
its background and context, contents and editorial history (followed by a sandwich lunch) with afternoon workshops led by specialists. A ceilidh presenting the outcomes of the workshops will take place in the early evening. All parts of the day will take place in 50 George Square and lunch is included in the ticket price.

  • 09:30         Doors open
  • 10:00         Professor Gary West, C&SS: Welcome and Introduction (Project Room)
  • 10:30         Professor Hugh Cheape, UHI: ‘Eliza Ross, her family, education and life’
  • 11:00         ‘Editing the Eliza Ross MS’: perspectives of the editors
  • 11:30         Break for coffee/tea  
  • 12:00         Mairi MacInnes, RCS: ‘Gaelic Song in the Eliza Ross MS’
  • 12:30         Dr Josh Dickson, RCS: ‘Music for the Bagpipe in the Eliza Ross MS’
  • 13:00         Lunch
  • 14:00         Workshops (4):
  •                   Gaelic Song (led by Mairi MacInnes)
  •                   Instrumental Music (led by Josh Dickson and Gary West)
  •                   Arrangement (led by James Ross)
  •                   Ethnographic Research (led by Hugh Cheape)
  • 16:00         Break for coffee/tea
  • 16:30         Summing-up session and programme for ceilidh
  • 17:00         Break for supper nearby
  • 18:30         Ceilidh preparation
  • 19:00         Ceilidh  (workshop participants, leaders and invited   guests)
  •  20:30         Departure

For tickets see or the Box Office, Scottish Storytelling Centre, 43-45 High Street, Edinburgh EH1 1SR; 0131-556-9579. For further information, including the opportunity to alert organisers to any dietary requirements for lunch and supper, please contact Margaret Mackay at or Joshua Dickson at

All rooms at 50 George Square are fully accessible.