Library and Information Services, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Whittaker and Northumbrian Minstrelsy

In which the 'real' Whittaker goes Back to his Roots

We've blogged about William Gillies Whittaker before - how he was the first joint Professor of Music at the University of Glasgow, and Principal of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music. But while we're proudly claiming him as our own, let's not forget he was originally from Newcastle upon Tyne, and something of an authority on Northumbrian minstrelsy.

A 1965 edition of a book on the subject (the much earlier first edition of Northumbrian Minstrelsy was published in 1882) - cites Whittaker's opinions of it. Northumbrian Minstrelsy, ed. J. Collingwood Bruce and John Stokoe, 1882, (and 1965 foreword by A. L. Lloyd), can be read online in pdf here.

Fast forward to the present.   There's a Northumbrian Minstrelsy concert at The Sage, Gateshead, on Sunday 23 June 2013.  Details here.  It's organised by the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle.  The Society of Antiquaries of Scotland notified its members in a recent newsletter.  'Whittaker' (latter-day blogger on behalf of the Whittaker Library) decided to connect the circle by attending the concert.  'He' can hardly contain his excitement, and his minstrel jacket will undoubtedly get an airing.

Minstrels are evidently very much alive and well.  (Not that readers of this blog need any reminding of that fact!)

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