Library and Information Services, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Friday, 29 March 2013

Ballet and Sauvagerie - Bibliolore blogs about 18th century ballet

Our ballet students are probably blissfully unaware of the 18th/19th century interest in 'savage', or primitive cultures.  So too, in all probability, are our music students of this cultural trend to highlight the exotic - not to mention the underlying reasons for the interest.  (Mind you, I have been known to mention these ideas to Scottish music students, who need to know some of the impulses behind European interest in our own Highland music.  But that's another culture, a different issue, and not really part of the present posting.)

Bibliolore briefly and bravely introduces the concept of Sauvagerie in today's blogpost about Rameau's Les Indes galantes ballet, which you can read here.

Thursday, 28 March 2013

A week in the life of a Librarian / Musicologist

"I wish I were a cloud, a-floating in the sky ...." *

Do you use Diigo? It's a cloud-based way of saving favourite weblinks, so you can access them on any device.

And if someone shares their Diigo list with you, you can access their carefully-curated collection of links on particular subjects of mutual interest.

This week, Karen has discovered and saved weblinks on traditional music, libraries supporting research, the Glasgow Women's Library, Paul Rolland on string-playing technique, playwright David Greig, the Edinburgh Harp Festival, world music, and some early Scottish fiddle and song collections.  There's too much to share each link on Whittaker Live, but you can view Karen's list here.  And there's a Diigo feed on this Whittaker Live blog, if you scroll down the right-hand side.

* Quote from Winnie the Pooh, by A. A. Milne

World Music and Womad, in a blogpost from Bibliolore

Read on ....

Monday, 25 March 2013

Today's Featured Website - The Folktrax Archive

Beryl and Peter Kennedy
image from
Folk music specialists Peter and Beryl Kennedy were prominent figures in the folk music world for a very long time.  Indeed, Peter was a descendant of Marjory Kennedy-Fraser.  They died in 2006 and 2007 respectively, but the Folktrax Archive website lives on here:-
Browse the index for customs, songs, tunes, stories and more.  The website is also a retail outlet for audio and video recordings that the couple made or were involved with. 
There's a wealth of useful info here.  Recommended to our Scottish Music students!

Film Music: Scorsese's Remake of Cape Fear (Bibliolore blogpost)

Bernard Herrmann score adapted by Elmer Bernstein

RILM posted: 

"For his 1991 remake of J. Lee Thompson’s 1962 film Cape fear, Martin Scorsese had the Bernard Herrmann score of the original adapted by Elmer Bernstein. The score was effectively re-composed for the later film, with Bernstein taking its basic components and redeploying them ..."  Continued here ...

Friday, 22 March 2013

International Violin, Cello and Jazz Competitions

 3 Competitions: Poland, Germany, Romania

'Whittaker' opened the Library post today to discover details of not one, not two, but THREE international competitions for performers.  Let's see some of our fabulous performers on the world stage! - the name says it all.  The 2nd International Krztsztof Penderecki Cello Competition. 15-22 December 2013.  Deadline 15 August 2013. - 7th International Louis Spohr Competition for Young Violinists, 28 October - 8 November 2013.  Deadline 15 July 2013, and your date of birth must be no earlier than 1993. - 8th Bucharest International Jazz Competition, 17-24 May 2014.  "100% Jazz and more".

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Monday, 18 March 2013

Joseph Ritson was a Cranky Old Curmudgeon

Joseph Ritson (1752-1803), Perfectionist Personified

A pernickity, fussy, argumentative old gentleman who eventually went mad and set light to his home, Joseph Ritson was not always the easiest person to get on with.

However, his Scotish Songs collection of 1794, in two volumes , was seminal and highly thought of, for several decades after its publication.  (It was by no means his only contribution to poetry and song-collecting, but it is the most useful for Scottish music students.)

We do have a copy in the Whittaker Library, but digital links are always worth having.  Here's an Internet Archive link to a 19th century reprint.  Save it to your favourites/ Diigo account!

Click here.

Our Ancient National Airs: Scottish Song Collecting from the Enlightenment to the Romantic Era

Karen's book is published by Ashgate today, 18 March!  (Yes, it's in stock at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland's Whittaker Library.)

There's going to be a small book-launch in the Whittaker Library at 4 pm on Friday 26th April, with a few words spoken by Karen and by the Head of Academic Development, and musical illustrations by some of our students and Karen Marshalsay, clarsach.

Friday, 15 March 2013

Inclusive Arts Practices (Tues 16 April)

Inclusive Arts Practices: implications for Higher Education learning and teaching

9:30am - 4:30pm, Tue 16 April 2013
Alexander Gibson Opera Studio
Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
100 Renfrew Street, Glasgow, Scotland, G2 3DBT

Higher Education Academy
Discipline Workshop & Seminar Series, 2012-13

Designed to bring together disabled and non-disabled performing artists, teachers and learners, this one day seminar tackles the often difficult issues surrounding inclusive arts. Practitioners and thinkers in the field, including Solar Bear, Caroline Bowditch and Drake Music Scotland, share their experiences and seek to kick-start the development of a manifesto for disability performing arts education.

Themes will include:
  • Pathways for talented disabled young actors/musicians to performing arts HEI's
  • Training deaf actors
  • Ethical and pedagogical implications of inclusive arts practice
  • Creating an inclusive aesthetic

All places are free but must be booked at

A draft schedule is available on booking.

Wheelchair accessible building.
Sign Language Interpretation will be available throughout the day.

Contact Dr Anna Birch for further information.

Ewan MacColl, 20th Century Grand Old Man of Folk

 Ewan MacColl (1915-1989)

Ask many an American or British folk music enthusiast over 40 to name prominent folksingers of the mid-20th century, and they'll probably name Ewan MacColl and his wife, Peggy Seeger.

Peggy Seeger's website offers a wealth of information about both of them.  Here's the link for Ewan MacColl.

'Whittaker' will be mentioning Ewan (briefly) at a lecture to some of our Scottish music students this morning.  Specifically, there'll be reference to his The Singing Island published collection (1960), and a setting of one of his songs in a brand new Faber folksong compilation, The Language of Folk (2013).  Both in the Whittaker Library collection, naturally.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Saturday - National Learn to Play Day

I wonder if any of our people are going to be out there, teaching this Saturday?  'Cos it's National Learn to Play Day

Fred Freeman - Complete Tannahill Songs

Did you attend the Knowledge Exchange talk on Monday 5 March?

The Whittaker Library has all three volumes of The Complete Songs of Robert Tannahill - do come and hear them!

Three CDs in the Catalogue

Artistic Practice: Creativity as Research

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland knows all about practice-based research, so it was interesting to see last week's Times Higher Education (7 March 2013) focusing on this very subject.

John Gill wrote the Leader,  Untangling Creation Myths.
Matthew Reisz wrote the feature, Blurring the lines between art and research.
Nicholas Till wrote another feature, Opus versus output.

If you read THE online, there is the opportunity to comment at the end of articles, so why not join in the debate?!

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Library Treasures

'Whittaker' is looking forward to talking to some of the BA Scottish Music Students about old Scottish song collections in our own Library, on Friday this week.

If you see 'Whittaker' (aka Karen) staggering under a HUGE PILE of old music books on the way to class, smile indulgently and try not to bump into her.  We do have quite a lot of Scottish song collections, and her challenge is to talk about as many of them as she can fit into an hour!

(She's also struggling with her two identities: a librarian who knows quite a bit about Scottish music.  If she wasn't a librarian, she wouldn't be talking about them.  If she didn't know about Scottish music, she couldn't say as much!)

Part of being a subject librarian is engaging with staff and students on our various courses, sharing information about what the Whittaker Library can offer, and how we can help.  Course-leaders at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland are encouraged to invite us to come and speak to classes whenever we can be of assistance.  Don't hesitate to ask us - it's one of best bits of the job!

Monday, 11 March 2013

Emerging Excellence Awards

News from the Musicians Benevolent Fund - not to be missed!

Read more ...

String Quartet Opportunity - but Hurry!

Barbican/Guildhall Creative Learning offers the opportunity for conservatoire-level string quartets to participate in a masterclass with Britten Sinfonia Lab.

29 Apr 10.30am - 5.30pm, Chat's Palace
1 May 10.30am - 5.30pm, Chat's Palace
4 May 10am - 1pm, Barbican Hall

Britten's String Quartet no.2 is the work being studied.  For more info on how to apply, visit this link.

Deadline for applications: 12pm on Thursday 14 March 2013.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Musica Scotica Sat 27 April 2013 (Edinburgh)

Researching Scottish music - any aspect of it? The Musica Scotica annual conference is in Edinburgh this year, hosted by the Open University in Scotland.  We have a great bunch of speakers and a very varied programme covering many different angles.

Date: Saturday 27 April


Full Day to include lunch, morning and afternoon tea/coffee:  £40 

Full Day (as above) Student Rate: £30                        
Morning or afternoon session to include tea/coffee, but not lunch:  £15

The registration form is available, at:-