Library and Information Services, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Friday, 20 October 2017

Happy Birthday to Rare Tunes Scottish Archive!

rareTunes - an archive of Scottish sound, is celebrating ten years as an independent internet sound archive of Scottish traditional music.

Do take a look - the website describes itself like this: "A curated audio scrapbook of recordings that range from near-studio quality to crowded and noisy house sessions, from digital media to old bits of tape, vinyl and obscure 78s."  And there are even some videos amongst the audio!

Home and Away: Other Libraries in Glasgow

We've got a great library, but sometimes circumstances might mean that you can't get to it.  You're at home for a few days?  Or (heaven forbid!), there are just too many people there for you to concentrate quietly?  Here's a posting we made earlier, just to remind you of all the other libraries in Glasgow that you can use, too.  And how to get there, and weblinks.  We think of (almost) everything.

Home and Away: Other Libraries in Glasgow

Wherever you stray, of course, we're still here for you.  Don't forget about us!  Check our own library hours, and much, much more:-

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Garcia - New Treatise on the Art of Singing, 1857 (Historically Informed Performance)

Another useful tome for students of historically-informed performance, we found Garcia's New Treatise on the Art of Singing freely available on - what a happy find!

Read it here, and yes, it's also on the RCS Library Music portal!

Joaquim Quantz - On Playing Flute (Historically Informed Performance)

What could be nicer than finding what you want is available free online?  So, here's another for our historically informed performance students. You may not be able to read the whole of Quantz's flute treatise in English online, but you can read Chapter 13, on ornamentation.  

It must be a good source, if it's also picked up by the blog, Technology for the Classical Singer!

And yes, we've saved the link on our RCS Library portal too.

Dorottya Fabian - A Musicology of Performance: Theory and Method based on Bach's Solos for Violin

Maybe not yet ready for Bach Partitas!
Checking through reading lists, we found another useful book that isn't actually on the historical performance list, but might still be of interest.  It's a free e-book through Open Book Publishers.  If you're a violinist, you'll probably find this fascinating. Read it here!

Don't worry, we've also saved it to our library portal pages for musicians, so that's another way of finding it.  

Mental Attitude (User Education as a Performance Art)

 In a discussion about user education (that's when we librarians show you, the users, how our catalogue and online resources work), librarians discussed their private reservations about standing up and sharing info that is probably not the average student's most pressing preoccupation.  We know you'd rather be playing, or composing, or acting ... 
We do try to make it interesting ...  Yes, we realise someone would kill us if we actually danced on the piano! 

Friday, 6 October 2017

Ca' Canny With Your Catalogue Searches!

You can search a library catalogue using the simple search box. You can also search our Catalogue Plus the same way,to get lots of electronic results along with the books, music and audiovisual material that we hold.

But you can get more precise results if you use the Advanced Search. It means you can pin down the author or composer's name, for example, or words that you know are in the title of a book or piece of music.  The Advanced Search function is available whether you're searching just the catalogue, or Catalogue Plus.

It's a good idea to be clear what you're looking for, especially with Catalogue Plus, which searches ALL the electronic resources available to RCS staff and students.

We searched for "Highland Piping" on Catalogue Plus. Loads of relevant hits appeared. We have a nifty little visual graphic which categorises all the results, and you can clearly see what is available.  (But look what else we found. If you're not canny with your searching, then you might - just might - find something completely different... )

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Scholarship and Performance: Vanessa Tomlinson, Percussionist

The other day, we got notification of the latest issue of the Contemporary Music Review, just published.  We notified music colleagues about it, as we often do.  This particular issue contained an article by Vanessa Tomlinson.  Research Fellow Professor Roy Howat was particularly interested to read Vanessa's article - he has performed with her!  He tells us that she is a star percussionist in Brisbane.

Better still, he was able to share a YouTube recording of their collaboration, which we are pleased to share with you today:-

Bartok's Sonata for 2 pianos & percussion

Published on Sep 27, 2012
Bartok: Sonata for 2 Pianos & Percussion
Pianos: Stephen Emmerson & Roy Howat
Percussion: Vanessa Tomlinson & Brent Miller

The article we noticed:-
On Listening: A Universe of Sound
Vanessa Tomlinson
Pages: 1-10

Monday, 2 October 2017

Musicians, If you are from Kirklees and Aged 16-25 ... a Competition

Young Musicians! Are you from the Kirklees Metropolitan Area?

2018 Contest!

We received a leaflet from The Kirklees Young Musician of the Year Contest 2018. 
It takes place in Huddersfield on Sunday 18 February 2018.  Entries must be submitted by Saturday 11 November 2017.

You must be aged 16-25, born or resident in the Kirklees area.

More info at their website:-

Monday, 25 September 2017

Welcome to the Whittaker Library ... Meet Twittaker!

After a recent library display, our library mascot Twittaker decided to take charge of the exhibits.  Here's what happened ...
Twittaker reports that his 'students' were very attentive, and learned a lot about the library.  (He showed them our shiny new library catalogue, too, but we didn't catch them searching it ...)

Attend a free conference? Research Conference: Collecting Performance by Julie Duffy

We heard about this fascinating conference via email today.  It's free, and it's in Edinburgh's Scottish National Gallery this Saturday.  

How do you archive contemporary performances? If you sign up to this conference, there's every chance you'll get plenty of inspiration, and quite a few answers!

 Eventbrite booking form

All Celts Together: Introducing the Welsh Music Archive!

Our Welsh colleagues have been sharing information about the Welsh Music Archive, so we thought we'd share this with our own readers:-

"You may be interested in our latest blog on Launching the Welsh Music Archive at the National Library of Wales.  At a special ceremony on Friday, 22 September, The National Library of Wales launched its Welsh Music Archive Programme in the presence of the folk music expert and Library benefactor, Phyllis Kinney...

"Here's a blogpost about it:-

"The National Library of Wales not only preserves  the earliest written music from Wales, but also collects  the latest compositions and performances by our contemporary musicians. It is a growing resource; material is added regularly to our musical collections. The collection includes works by internationally renowned classical Welsh composers such as Grace Williams, Daniel Jones, Alun Hoddinott and William Mathias.

Margaret Jones has also written a blogpost about the Welsh Music Archive for our professional association, the UK and Ireland branch of the International Association of Music Libraries.  You can read this here

So, that's Welsh music fairly and squarely on the map!  A very positive development.

Friday, 22 September 2017

Twittaker's Whittaker Library Update

The final day of our RCS staff Learning and Teaching Conference saw a variety of updates from different departments. Information Services took their turn after lunch. We thought we'd just share with our readers some of the library highlights.

The All-Singing,All-Dancing Catalogue

We have a shiny new catalogue! Catherine demonstrated it, and showed colleagues the magnificent capabilities of Catalogue Plus, which searches online resources as well as books, music and other resources on shelves. It has to be said that the catalogue now looks much better - but the differences may take a little getting used to, so please do ask for help if you can't find something that you were sure is in stock!

We'd also like to remind Conservatoire students and colleagues about the library's Portal pages - find us under Information Services – you'll find library guides, copyright info, referencing, effective learning guides, offsite access guides, and more.

Help with introducing suitable online resources

Whittaker Library staff do library tours (orientation), and talk to first years about catalogue and e-resources. In both cases, we can only give a quick overview, to avoid information overload. Little and often is better than one big demo and then no more. We're very happy to offer more help at point of need eg first assignment, first essay etc. Ask us! 

Pedagogically – we're happy to do demos, but we also embrace active or collaborative learning. For example, we're happy to meet classes in an IT lab, or devise paired exercises looking up learning resources on students' own mobile devices. And we’re open to suggestions for other ways of getting info across in a flipped classroom kind of way.

Referencing - The Effective Learning team is available three times a week, Tues 12-2, Weds 12-2 and Fri 4-6). The team's very useful handouts are on Portal – on the library pages. Additionally, the librarians are happy to help with referencing queries if the Effective Learning team aren’t around. We can talk about referencing to individuals or groups as required. Ask us!

Bibliographic Citation Software - A WARNING!  Have you been collecting your references on the RefMe software?  It was easy and accessible to use, so lots of people adopted it.  However, not long ago, it was absorbed into CiteThisForMe.  Now, the choice is this: pay a subscription, or you can only keep your references for one week. And then it's gone.  [Pause to let that sink in - it's a scary thought!]

Mendeley and Zotero are reliable and long-established resources, and you can use them for free.  RCS students and colleagues are welcome to speak to us if you'd like help getting started.

Subject Queries -  The library has three Performing Arts Librarians, with different specialisms. Please do get in touch directly or send a message to if you have a general query.

Manchester Percussionist Jan Bradley Launches Website

The Whittaker Library has just received notification of a new percussion website, launched by Jan Bradley. The website contains information about all his music for percussion (and other instruments).  He tells us that,

"The launch of this website coincides with the publishing of a number of works, some which I wrote for my percussion quartet 4-MALITY, which have not been available before now."
Why not take a look?  An easy website address to remember,

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Learning and Teaching Conference - Keep the Inspiration Flowing!

Colleagues at our RCS Learning and Teaching Conference - now you're inspired and fired up to go, why not borrow some of our learning and teaching resources from the library?  Here's what comes up in our catalogue under "Teaching AND Learning" (click here).

And here are a couple of podcasts by the inspirational "Real David Cameron":- 


See JSTOR? You need a MyJSTOR account too! Here's how ...

The Whittaker Library subscribes to the Music package of JSTOR. Sometimes you need to read other articles, though. How to access them, when we don't subscribe to them?  

NOT a problem!  With a free MyJSTOR account, you can read items online.  You can’t download pdfs (but you can make screenshots and save them to a document!).

This is a VERY quick YouTube telling people how to set up a MyJSTOR account.  


Monday, 18 September 2017

Music at Boarding School? We have unique insights!

Karen wrote a blogpost for the Eighteenth-Century Arts Research Network (EAERN) website, about the music borrowed from St Andrews University LIbrary by one particular borrower and her daughters in the early nineteenth century. You've read Vanity Fair?  Now read about the musical habits of real people in a small university town!

Mrs Bertram's Music Borrowing: Reading Between the Lines

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Our New Library Catalogue - Test Your Knowledge!

Welcome to our new library catalogue. We hope you'll enjoy exploring it! Here's a chance to test your knowledge ...

Some of the following statements are correct, but not all of them. Which are which?

  • The catalogue has all music, recordings, books and e-books
  • Catalogue Plus finds all electronic journal articles, database entries (eg Oxford Music), and streamed music (eg Naxos)
  • All books in the library have been digitised and the catalogue will find anything inside them.
  • Someone else in the department collates all our reading lists.
  • RCS teachers can give their reading lists to the librarians, to be uploaded on the library system.
  • My fairy godmother deals with my reading lists.
Clue:- There are three truths, and three untruths!

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

RCS Alumnus Simon McKerrell edits collection of essays on Music as Multimodal Discourse

Simon McKerrell studied for his PhD here at RCS some years ago, so we were delighted to see he is rapidly building up an admirable series of publications.

The Whittaker Library has just ordered one of his recent books!  You can read the opening chapter of Music as Multimodal Discourse on his blog, here:-

It won't be long before our staff and students can read the whole thing - keep an eye on our library catalogue's new books display, here:- (scroll down)