Library and Information Services, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Honouring one of the greatest Human Rights Proponents - Martin Luther King

Fifty Years after Martin Luther King was Assassinated

We've recently received an email from Drama Online promoting a powerful play imagining what could have happened in the room where Martin Luther King was assassinated.    Maybe you'd be interested to listen to it?  If you're a student or member of staff at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, then you're in luck - we're subscribers!

"Katori Hall's powerful play The Mountaintop imagines what could have transpired inside room 306 of the now-famous Lorraine Motel, where Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated after delivering his final, prophetic "Mountaintop" speech."

"This month, we're honoring the 50th anniversary of Dr. King's death by making The Mountaintop free to read and listen to."

Remember, off-site access requires you to use the Shibboleth process – identify RCS from a list of institutions BEFORE attempting to use your own login.

Monday, 18 June 2018

Veera Lapinski wins Elaine Campbell Gullan Poetry Competition

Theme: Blue Planet

Last Friday evening, the Whittaker Library hosted the 2018 Elaine Campbell Gullan Poetry Competition. Here is the winner, Veera Lapinski, with the judge, Iain Lowson. Vera not only performed but also wrote her winning poem.  Many congratulations, Veera!

Thursday, 14 June 2018

Early Spanish Sound Recordings: Cultural attitudes to the Phonograph

A new blogpost on the Claimed From Stationers' Hall website considers legal deposit of sound recordings in Spain. Read it here:-

The Wonders of the Spanish Legal Deposit, by Glasgow University music lecturer, Dr Eva Moreda Rodriguez.

Bantock's letters to Scottish composer William Francis Stuart Wallace - a talk at NLS

Attend a talk by Professor Michael Allis, from the University of Leeds.  The National Library of Scotland at Kelvin Hall presents Granville Bantock’s Letters to Wallace, 1893-1900.

Thursday, 28 June 2018 at National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh, Scotland.
Eventbrite - National Library of Scotland 

Thursday, 7 June 2018

2nd Berliner International Music Competition

We received another email about a competition that will interest our performers.  But you'll have to be quick!  This is your final reminder!

Deadline: 15th of June

Recitals at Berlin Philharmonie, 

Berliner Online Music Competition

2nd Berliner International Music Competition
Piano - Strings - Voice - Winds - Brass

Online Competition (No travelling)
Recitals at Berlin Philharmonie
Over 25,000€ in prizes
Audio and video recording

VIDEO SELECTION - Travelling is not required to apply

Sunday, 3 June 2018

Piano Pedagogy - Learn Like Emily Bronte

Did you know that you can look at historical piano teaching materials in the libraries that hold legal deposit collections?  Nowadays, there are a handful of big national and university libraries in the UK that still receive one copy of everything published, under statutory legislation.  But there are other libraries - especially in Scotland - that also received this material, until the beginning of Queen Victoria's reign.

Theodore Latour was pianist to King George IV - Victoria's uncle.  He taught, played and composed, and also wrote some piano tutor books.  See a quick 90-second videoclip about him, here.

It's possible to find copies of some of Latour's works online via Google Books, IMSLP or, so if you're interested, we could help you source them.

And yes, Emily Bronte had music by Latour in her collection.  How do we know?  There's a book by Robert K. Wallace that tells us so!  (Emily Bronte and Beethoven: Romantic Equilibrium in Fiction and Music).  We don't have this book, but could get it on inter library loan if any of our readers were interested.

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Enter the 2nd Berlin International Music Festival

We received an email about this music festival today.  You have three weeks to the deadline. Better get busy with that application!

2nd Berliner International Music Competition

  • Piano - Strings - Voice - Winds - Brass
  • Online Competition (No travelling)
  • Recitals at Berlin Philharmonie
  • Over 25,000€ in prizes
  • Audio and video recording
  • Deadline: June 15
VIDEO SELECTION – Traveling is not required to apply

The 2nd Berliner International Music Competition

is open until June 15 (DEADLINE).

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

IAM Music Festival for Organists

Today, we received a leaflet about the Incorporated Association of Organists' Music Festival.  For further details, please visit the website:-

29 July - 2 August 2018

Dr Lenny Henry - PhD on Diversity in Screenwriting

Breaking News ...
Image from Wikipedia

Did you know that Lenny Henry has been awarded a PhD for his thesis on diversity in screenwriting?  We saw a tweet about him yesterday, and had to find out more! He studied at Goldsmiths, University of London.

Does the Coach have to be Black? The Sports Film, Screenwriting and Diversity: a Practice-Based Enquiry

Friday, 11 May 2018

Napoleonic Era and beyond - Military and Social Tunes 1790-1840 in a vast online resource

We recently found a fascinating website for anyone interested in military and social tunes from the Georgian and early Victorian era. Extending from the time of the French Revolutionary Wars to the early years of Victoria's reign, the website profiles an absolutely enormous collection of tunes, some with "harmonies".  It began life in England, but is now in Canada, soon to be in the City of Toronto Archives.

Military / Social Tunes 1790-1840 : the John Buttrey Manuscript

Thursday, 10 May 2018

State of play: David Hare and James Graham talk drama and politics

(Click link below)

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Search Tips for Your RCS Literature Search

At a recent workshop with BEdMus students, we explored different ways of fine-tuning your search techniques to retrieve better results in the catalogue and using Catalogue Plus.

Our catalogue offers access to all physical resources in the library (books, music, recordings etc) and also to individual e-book titles.  Meanwhile, Catalogue Plus offers access to all electronic resources - journal articles, databases, sound recordings, etc.
Here's a PowerPoint summary of what we talked about.

Extra free tip!

Don't forget the power of the synonym.  If one word doesn't retrieve what you expect, try another word that means the same thing. 
  1. For example, nowadays we talk about "high ability" pupils, but earlier authors wrote about "gifted children".  Or prodigies! 
  2. Similarly, sometimes you can get better results with a different version of the word.  If you want to write about Smetana or Sibelius as part of the late Romantic nationalist movement, searching for "nationalist music" may yield different results to when you search on Nationalism, or try Nationalism AND Music.

Friday, 4 May 2018

Women Creating Scotland: a blog and a conference

Here's something many of our readers will be interested in.  Take a look at the blog, visit the call for papers for the Creating for Change Conference 2018, and see if there's anything we could contribute from RCS!

And, along the lines of "if you liked this, maybe you'll like that ...", have you visited the Dangerous Women Project? Take a look, here:-  
The May Queen by Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh (Jean-Pierre Dalbéra from Paris, France)

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

The Library Blog - a Changing Role?

In the early days of our blog, we highlighted things directly coming up in courses or concerts. A Beethoven concerto? We posted links to useful material about Beethoven.  A concert series? We found links to the artistes taking part.  And so on.  But as time went by, it was obvious that people would be searching for that kind of info themselves.

We still post information that will help our students for particular assignments - eg, how to search our online resources. How to conduct a literature search, or how to cite references in your essay.  What goes in a bibliography.  New material for a particular course - such as the Dalcroze material we bought in recently.  And reminders about things that we've mentioned before, if appropriate!

Sometimes we also flag up events, external courses or funding opportunities.  If we're sent a bundle of leaflets, then we may find the hyperlink and mention it online.  Or we may flag up new publications, or things that will appeal to a wide cross-section of our readers, or initiatives and projects of library-related interest.

Knowing that more people use Twitter than visit library blogs, we tend to post links to the blog, via Twitter.  We also share our blogposts with teaching colleagues. If they think the info relevant, then hopefully they share it with students that they teach.  Whilst Moodle and the Portal have vital information for our students, we like to think that our blog has a complementary role, and also of course, it can reach out to a wider range of people, not just staff and students.

So in our opinion, the library blog is not dead.  We have our own niche.  We're glad you found us - do call again!