Library and Information Services, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Friday, 28 September 2012

Costume Design Blog

Thanks to social media - and my own stitching fingers - I've encountered @Sewing_Online on Twitter.  I asked for costume design links, and the first they suggested was Costume Design Blog.

Why not take a look?

They also suggested Deirdre Kavanagh's Pinterest site, Costume Design Inspiration, and did a search for me on Top 20 Sites for costume design.

Jacket in progress
This, on the other hand, is my own current project.  Better get on with it tonight!

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Information Services

A Whittaker Library Welcome back!

Caroline Cochrane, our Head of Information Services, writes:-
Welcome back to the new session. Just a reminder  - please do use the talents and knowledge of your subject librarians (Karen McAulay, Music and Alan Jones, Drama/Dance), if you’d like an quick introduction to the Library facilities, or a more in-depth research based tutorial (or anything in-between).

Remember our full catalogue is available at

Our facilities and e-resources are all listed on our webpages at :

If you're a member of the Royal Conservatoire community, you'll find guides and advice on all our services available in the Library Group on Mahara at:

All students and staff are warmly invited to join the group!

How to Tame Your PhD

A new Kindle book by esteemed research-support lecturer Inger Mewson, one of the biggest up-and-coming names in researcher development.  She blogs as The Thesis Whisperer - a blog that should be on every PhD candidate's recommended reading list.

We don't stock Kindle books in the Whittaker Library, but this book is such a bargain that I'm more than happy to recommend you buy your own.

So - take a look:-

How to Tame Your PhD

You really will be glad you got it!

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

So - what did you think?

We've shown about half of the new students round the Whittaker Library so far.  We do our best to be interesting and entertaining.  So - what did you think? Marks out of 10 for interest and entertainment value?   (No - I don't dance, or I'd do a wee song and dance routine as well.  Sorry!)
Due acknowledgement to

Musicians born or resident in Kirklees Metropolitan area?

If you're from Huddersfield, Dewsbury or Batley, there's a music competition just for you:-

Kirklees Young Musician of the Year

2013 Contest (22 February)

 Huge prizes - check it out!  Closing date 31 December 2012.

Broadcast: Andy Dougan blogs to Film and TV students

Screen: the top 6 inches

This is the title of Film and TV lecturer Andy Dougan's latest post on Broadcast.  It's all about essential qualities in film makers.  Read it here.

Leigh Landy - Devising Dancing

Prof. Leigh Landy is a professor at De Montfort University.  His book Devising Dancing and Music Idox (Idee fixe) is on one of our reading lists.

The book is out of print.  However, all Landy's writings are available on his website - problem solved!

So, for Leigh Landy writings- don't lose this link!  (Why not start your own Diigo account for keeping all those vital links together? (Here's my Diigo collection.) 

The University Blog

Sensible advice from someone who blogs about the university life and higher education in general.  The most recent has advice about note-taking in lectures.

Helpful? You can post a comment below if you like!

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Going to the pictures: Scotland at the Cinema


Exhibition is still on at the National Library of Scotland until 28th October.  What to do on a Saturday?  Go to Edinburgh for the day!

The purpose of a musical score?

Now, before you say a word, naturally the score enables you to perform a piece of music!

'Whittaker' found an intriguing score in a donation today:-

Kerr's Modern Dance Album for the Pianoforte

Published by James S. Kerr, it was a local work - the music publisher was located at 314 Paisley Road, Glasgow.  (The shop is in the streets between Govan Road at Festival Park, and the M8 motorway.)  It contained Eightsome reels, Highland Schottisches, and various other Scottish dances.
 All well and good, you might say. But here's the best bit: a caption along the top of the cover:-
"N.B. - If the Music in this Book is played according to the Instructions the Dances and the Music will finish at the same time."
Kerr's Modern Dance Album
Now, wouldn't you say that was eminently practical?!  No claims to be Urtext, no mention of the tune origins, but sensible instructions along the lines of, 'Play 5 times and first 8 bars to finish'; or, 'A Strathspey and Reel of Tulloch is often danced after the Eightsome Reel.  If the dancers remain in position play a long chord then Strathspey  3 times and Reel of Tulloch 8 times as given on page 5.'

(Oh, and I made an interesting discovery.  We are not the first Conservatoire in Scotland! There's a testimonial from Julius Seligmann, Principal of The Glasgow and West of Scotland Conservatoire of Music, at 8 Alfred Terrace, Hillhead, Glasgow - Just off Great Western Road.  I consulted Googlemaps for you!)

Cookbook - student recipes

Some cheap and easy suggestions ... !

(There, now you can tell the folks back home that you're managing just fine.)

British Library Music Blog

Whittaker is pleased to be one of the first to welcome British Library Music Blog to the blogosphere!

Visit it here - it's sure to be a class act!

On this day, 25th September 1824

Revd Patrick Macdonald died.  He was responsible for publishing an early collection of Gaelic melodies, Highland Vocal Airs, which he and his younger brother Joseph had collected.  Patrick also published Joseph's bagpipe tutor, the first-ever comprehensive instructions on playing the highland pipes.

Facsimile edition of Highland Vocal Airs in the Whittaker Library at Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Modern edition of Compleat Theory of the Scots Highland Bagpipe.

(Things you didn't know about early Scottish music publications!)

Friday, 21 September 2012

Whittaker Library has a Twitter account @WhittakerLib

Whittaker Library Welcome (and welcome back!)

The Whittaker Library staff are looking forward to a full house next week - all newcomers will get a library tour, to be followed by further sessions with their subject librarian in due course.
And then of course, we have the further excitement of all our existing students coming back the following week.  We hope you've had a great summer, and are ready to leap back into your studies, feet first!

Don't forget, we're here to help. 

Library and IT pages here.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Have you a sense of history?

21 September 1832

Sir Walter Scott died on this day, 180 years ago.  You might think he was just another Victorian novelist?  

Think again!  His stories and poems inspired operas and plays, songs and paintings.  Indeed, we can thank him for much of the tartanry that is now used to sell Scotland to the rest of the world!

See what's in the Whittaker Library at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.  You might be surprised!

And here's another useful link: Walter Scott Digital Archive at the University of Edinburgh.  To be truthful, I could spend hours in this database.  (But then, I'm an eccentric kind of geek in that regard!)

Monday, 17 September 2012

Guardian Students - useful recipes!

(If this info is helpful, why not follow Guardian Students on Twitter @gdnstudents?)

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Blogging lite - links for musicians, actors, dancers, trad Scots

While off, I haven’t blogged at length.  However, I’ve blogged links instead, just to keep the pages fresh.  Scroll down to find a rich variety of subject matter!  

  • The Voice Explained, 
  • The Bullet-Proof Musician, 
  • Healthy Musicians (a link from Chicago), 
  • the Scottish Society of Playwrights, 
  • National Chamber Music Day, 
  • the Clarsach Society Young Composer Award, 
  • Basse Danse,
  • and a link to a bit of trivia about a piper called Wanton Watty McAulay of Port Glasgow.  (Well, with a name like that, who wouldn’t?!)

The Voice Explained - another useful website

If you're at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland - do take a look and let us know what you think of this website.  Is it helpful?

Bullet-proof Musician (I kid you not!)

A blog called Bullet-Proof Musician asks, 

Are you working hard enough on stage?  

This must be connected with being a healthy practitioner in some way or other!

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Healthy Musicians - a link from Chicago

Continuing the request for more postings about healthy practitioners, this dates back to 2007, but it looks as though it was interesting:-

From Chicago Music Commission:- 

Healthy Musicians – Oxymoron No More!

Scottish Society of Playwrights joins Twitter

Thursday, 13 September 2012

National Chamber Music Day 2012

THIS Saturday, 15th September 2012, 

National Chamber Music Day

See what was on here.

Whittaker caught Sax Ecosse entertaining the masses at Glasgow's Buchanan Street Bus Station.  Alumnae of RSAMD, no less.  It was fun watching the reactions of passers-by: the wee boy who strutted past pretending to blow a sax; two more kids who strolled noncholantly by, trying NOT to look interested; the old lady who stood with furrowed brow trying to work out what was going on, or the others who just stood smiling and applauding at appropriate points ...

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

A true tale? We'll see! Wanton Watty McAulay of Port Glasgow

At home this week, 'Whittaker' was surfing the net when he found a great 18th century broadside about his namesake - 

Wanton Watty McAulay of Port Glasgow

This is such a wonderful tale that it has to be shared.  I wonder if any other 21st century scholars have stumbled across it? Watty was a piper who declined to enlist, and suffered the consequences.  Click on the link to read more!

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Healthy musicians

Play (Less) Hurt

by Janet Horvath

Responding to popular request, I'm posting a link to Janet Horvath's website for health-conscious musicians.  Click here.

We've got the book in the Whittaker Library ... look here.

Friday, 7 September 2012

Classical Music Library embeddable links

Royal Conservatoire of Scotland staff and students!

Did you know you can embed an Alexander Street Press link to a PowerPoint or a website?  That means you can SHARE a recording with a friend or colleague.

The easiest and most straightforward option is the stable URL link - in this case,

The other option is an embeddable piece of code so that registered staff and students of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland could to listen to the music that you selected, provided they were already logged in. (Beware - the disadvantage is that the track plays automatically,every time a logged in reader clicks on the page!  On the other hand, not many folk WILL be logged in.)  I can see a potential use for this on a VLN (virtual learning network) like Moodle, though.  On-site, where everyone has instant access to Classical Music Library, you could have a page dedicated to the stable URL, and you'd only click on it if you wanted to hear the track.

Even more magical (for the geeks amongst us), is the fact that I downloaded both the link and the code when I was logged in at home, but they're also accessible in the Conservatoire building.  That means you could upload the code while you were doing lesson preparation in the evenings, and use it in lectures by day.  This is a big advantage of the Classical Music Library streaming set-up.  Whilst I prefer the user experience of the Naxos Music Library streaming service, their static URLs aren't quite as interchangeable on and off-site.

  • CML is 'portable' in both directions.
  • With Naxos, you can upload links at home and use them at work, but not in the opposite direction.

Have you planned what articles you can publish?

Writing from the thesis: the publishing plan

A blogpost by Nottingham Education Professor Pat Thomson.  ('Patter', to her blog-following friends.) 

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Film Competition (ENO Mini-operas)

English National Opera Film Competition

Only 17 days left - find out more about the competition here!

Any Scots with relatives in Cape Breton?

If a branch of your family left Scotland in the Clearances - did they emigrate to Cape Breton?  Or more recently?

Celtic Colours

5-13 October 2012

Chestico Place is Port Hood's heritage Centre.  They're hosting the Celtic Colours 2012 festival, October 5-13.  Find out more about your Celtic cousins and their heritage, here.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

John Cage 100th birthday

John Cage unbound

Bibliolore blog celebrates Cage's100th birthday with a special blog about a New York exhibition in his honour.  Here's how Bibliolore introduces the exhibition:-
"John Cage unbound: A living archive is an online multimedia project about the American composer and avant-garde music pioneer. Hosted by the New York Public Library ..."
Meanwhile, musicologist Dr David McGuinness (University of Glasgow) shares with us a John Cage Prepared Piano app:-
John Cage Prepared Piano for iPhone™, iPad™ and Android™

If you've no other way of celebrating today, you could always stage your own performance of,


Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Tobar an Dualchais - a Gaelic documentary

For Gaelic speakers/learners, a YouTube documentary.

Relationship between Film and Literature: an essay prize

Oxford Journals has launched an essay prize on the subject of 'adaptation', in their new Adaptation journal, which was only launched last year:-
"About the Adaptation Essay Prize
The Adaptation Essay Prize is a new innovation from the journal, launched in 2011 to encourage the best new scholarship in the field. While the journal publishes many articles which focus on the relationship between literature and film, the Editors are particularly keen to publish work which challenges the primacy of that relationship: this might include essays on computer games, opera, popular music, animation, genre fiction or work with a wider theoretical sweep."

Find out more here

The Healthy Artist

  • Vitamins?
  • Gym subscription?
  • Meditation?

I asked readers of this blog if there were particular subjects they'd like me to focus on this month.

'The healthy artist', came the reply. 

By which, they mean, healthy performing artist.

So here it is - my call for helpful, healthy websites - with the added twist that they must be relevant to performing artists.  I'm not going to start blogging about FitDay (though it's great) or Weightwatchers!

Here's a start: our books on health, and conversely, on injuries.  Why suffer for your art?!