Library and Information Services, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Two Men and Three Women - the Whittaker Library Cast Index

If you use the Whittaker Library at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, you may not realise that it's possible to search for plays with a specific cast, eg, plays for two men and three women.

Just as you can enclose a phrase in quotation marks when you do a Google search, you can do the same thing with our catalogue search.  You just need to learn the trick.

Eg, for plays for two men and three women, you need to search like this:-

Do give it a try!  You won't remember unless you've experimented for yourself.  

Look down the left column (Refine your search), to see the results subdivided by playwright, format, subject-matter, historical period etc.

Chamber Music Repertoire in the Whittaker Library

Instrumentalists at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland - this is for you!

It's no secret - there's a way of finding repertoire for your chamber ensemble (anything from two to nine players) in the Whittaker Library Catalogue.

It works the same as putting things in inverted commas in Google.  You enter the instrumentation of your ensemble, top down, and put quotation marks at the beginning and end.  So, here are a couple of examples:- 

"Violin2, viola1, violoncello1" - RESULTS CLICK HERE
"Flute1, oboe1, clarinet1, bassoon1, horn1" - RESULTS CLICK HERE

Sometimes you will also retrieve bigger ensembles that include your own one.  Consider them a bonus!!

Please do ask the library staff if you need help working out the code for your ensemble.

Actors at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland - info about the Cast Index will be posted next!

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Piano Duets, Anyone? Four Hands at 1 or 2 Pianos

Royal Conservatoire of Scotland - Library Treasures

The Whittaker Library has a huge collection of piano duet music, for two pianists at one piano, or at two pianos.

Take a look at what we've got - it's really quite something. Piano duet competitions are perhaps not as common these days as they used to be, which is a shame.  Perhaps it's partly because more people played piano duets when recorded music wasn't as readily available.  Playing a piano reduction of an orchestral piece gave you the chance to hear it for yourself, and in a way, to get inside the workings of the composition.

Piano concertos in two-piano reductions are still a useful way to practice in the early stages of learning new repertoire, too.

So come on, piano duos - what are you waiting for?

Friday, 27 September 2013

Elevator Pitch - The Whittaker Library at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Another round of freshers' tours over!  We're running late induction sessions between Monday 30 September and Friday 4 October at 3.30 pm

If I was given the length of an elevator ride in which to tell you about the Whittaker Library, what would I tell you?

Three things!
  • We're a friendly, helpful library staff, and there are subject librarians to offer subject assistance in music, drama and dance.
  • The printed library guides are also available on Mahara.  If you've signed up for your Moodle account, then you'll be able to find Mahara and the Library group.
  • Course reading lists are on Moodle itself, under the modules you're studying.
Vital links:-

A New Dawn: Creativity Books to Inspire You

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland new session is about to begin. So how about a reading list of books about creativity, to inspire your studies?

Find inspiration in the Whittaker Library's book-stock:- Creativity Reading List (and where to find them)

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Digital innovation in the Arts - read Guardian Culture Professionals Network article

If you sign up to Guardian Culture Professionals Network, you'll get sight of lots of interesting and relevant stuff like this article by Rohan Gunatillake.

Of the news alerts that 'Whittaker' has signed up to, this is definitely one of the more useful news alerts for people involved in cultural and creative arts.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Electronic Resources at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

This blogpost is unashamedly for our new students and staff at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland!

We're looking forward to coming to new first year classes to tell you about all the fab electronic stuff that we subscribe to on your behalf.  Journals, encyclopedias, databases, music streaming ... If you click on the grey link just below the blog title, you'll get to the Library and IT website, where you can see all the e-resources we offer.

If you can't wait, we have handy library leaflets to guide you.  Pick up a paper one, or get one electronically.

To go digital, first you need to sign up to Moodle.  Then sign up to Mahara - the part of our VLN that lets you make an e-portfolio, or access shared documents.

Find the Library Group, and you'll find our pages full of useful library info.  There's one about our electronic resources, and another one telling you how to access them when you're off-campus.

(And of course you've got us, your ever-helpful library staff, to advise you too.)

See you soon!

Monday, 23 September 2013

Sheet Music Library Trial Access for Royal Conservatoire of Scotland readers

Whittaker Library trials new online resource!

We have trial campus-only access to a sheet music library, Library Music Source, at   until 19 October 2013.  Staff and students of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland can try it out on Royal Conservatoire premises.*  If you like it, tell us!

There's some really good stuff on this database - give it a go!

* because it's a trial, we had to register all Conservatoire IP addresses.  Therefore, registered staff and students can only trial this resource in Conservatoire buildings - there is no external access.  You don't need a personal login.

'Patter' Writes about Turning Your Thesis into a Book

Let me remind you of one of my favourite blogs - 'Patter' writes about the research process and scholarly writing.  She's actually Professor Pat Thomson, Education Professor in Nottingham.

Today she writes about 'Turning Your Thesis into a Book'/

Speaking as one who has recently done just that, I can confirm she makes some very valid points.

Patter - homepage:

Free-Spirited Dance

Isadora Duncan (1877-1927)

Performing artists of all kinds may be interested in the Bibliolore blog.  It's run by the folk who compile RILM, one of our indexing services.  Although they index music journals, books and recordings, their Bibliolore blog often touches on other performing arts too, and it's always a quality posting.

Today there's a blogpost about the famous dancer, Isadora Duncan. You'll find a video-clip of a dance reconstruction too.

Head of Drama Hugh Hodgart challenged 'Whittaker' to blog about mortality today.  I'd decided to do  posting about Shakespeare, entitled, 'Mortality and Immortality'.  However, that can be another day. 

Because, as we all know, Isadora Duncan faced her own mortality in a sadly untimely way -  strangled by her own scarf as she drove along in an open-topped car. 

If there's a moral here at all, it's to wish all freshers a happy, free-spirited first year - but be careful with long dangling scarves!

Bibliolore homepage:-

Friday, 20 September 2013

Musicians Union History Project at Glasgow University

Musicians may be interested to follow up this research via the project website:-

The research is being undertaken by John Williamson, Research Associate and Professor Martin Cloonan, Convener of Postgraduate Studies Music, both from the University of Glasgow.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Read 'Patter' - Pat Thomson's Blog on Research and Scholarly Writing

Pat Thomson is an Education Professor in Nottingham. 

Her blog on research skills and scholarly writing is always well-considered and a good read.  Today she offers this:-

An Unhealthy Paranoia? On 'losing' Academic Work

Costume Design - Dressing like a Georgian

Have you ever wondered what a Georgian lady wore underneath all those petticoats?  We've just found a blog full of interesting historical information, and this particular posting is about Georgian ladies' costumes.

The blog is called Historical Honey.  (The author not only makes costumes, but also writes historical fiction.)

We do have books on historical costume design here in the Whittaker Library, of course.  See what we've got ...

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Systems Developer needed for AHRC-funded project into Scottish Fiddle Tune Accompaniments

Some Whittaker Live followers will be aware that Music and Academic Services Librarian Karen McAulay is currently seconded part-time to an AHRC funded post in the Music Dept at the University of Glasgow.   The research is into historic Scottish fiddle tune basslines and accompaniments.

The project needs another team member in the shape of a systems developer for the next stage in this research.

Systems developer post for AHRC funded project - details of vacancy here
- please do share advert!

See the Bass Culture blog here:-

Friday, 13 September 2013

Tocs (Tables of Contents) - Stay Up To Date in your Research Field!

JournalTocs are worth a look, if you struggle to keep up with new articles and research findings.  Take a look:-

Zetoc is another good, reliable resource:-

Why not experiment to see which you prefer? 

(You may also have heard of TicTocs - a similar service.  This has now ceased, so you can lose that one from your favourites!)

Arranging Music, and Arranging Jazz

Watch this space.  Karen will be posting suggestions of some great titles to help you get started with your musical arrangements.  (Just wait until she's done a bit more cataloguing ...)

Percussionists - do you know Percussion Symphony no.1 and no.2 by Anthony J. Cirone?

We have two percussion symphonies by Anthony J. Cirone.  (See the Whittaker Library catalogue here.)

We wondered if the cassette tape in Symphony no.2 was putting people off - after all, it's defunct technology now!

The composer kindly gave us permission to transfer the tape to CD, so that solves the technological problem.  Now we need someone to come and try the music out!

Intrigued? Come and borrow it!

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Whittaker Library E-books from Cambridge University Press

"How do I find what e-books you've got in the Whittaker Library?"

If you're searching by subject, you can limit your results to e-books.  That's easy.

You might also be interested to know just how much we have got, though.  We have a cooperative purchasing agreement* with other Scottish university libraries - it doesn't mean we share the books, but we jointly bargain for good value from the vendors.

For example, here are our e-books from Cambridge University Press:-

Music e-books
Drama e-books

* It's called the SHEDL agreement - but you don't need to remember the name!!

Sexism in Music

Read what Last Night of The Proms conductor Marin Alsop had to say about sexism in music, in her Guardian interview last week: Here.

Costume Design and Millinery (Hatmaking)

We found costume designer Rachel Patoray's website the other day - she is interested in sewing, design and repurposing fabric.  Interesting ideas, nice pictures to inspire you.

Scottish Fiddle - Fiddling Around the World

We found a website that our fiddlers might like to know about:

And there's a page just for Scotland - Scottish Fiddle

Monday, 9 September 2013

Whittaker Library offers New Drama Online Resource

After successfully trialling Drama Online, the Whittaker Library has now taken out a subscription to this rich resource.   Access for Royal Conservatoire of Scotland staff and students is via the usual Library access points:-

"Drama Online introduces new writers alongside iconic names in playwriting history, providing contextual and critical background through full text scholarly works and practical guides. Play Tools with Character Grids, Words and Speech graphs and Part Books offer a new way to engage with plays for close study or for performance."

Drover-Turned-Cowboy, Skip Gorman visits Crieff

First week in October - Cowboy in Crieff

As part of the Crieff Drovers’ Tryst, a special guest has been invited - Skip Gorman.  See

Many of the drovers who emigrated became cowboys.  He worked on a ranch in Wyoming.  Margaret Bennett reports that Skip is not only a superb player and singer but also teacher and folklorist.

Lots of Youtube examples - See:-

RCS Staff and Students - Academic Video Online Database Trial

From today, until 30th November 2013, all students and staff at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland have access to Academic Video Online: Premium by going directly to:

Alexander Street Press offers this video service, which contains thousands of hours of video on a single cross-searchable platform, with individual discipline collections in dance, opera, theatre, film studies, classical music, musical performance, opera, education, and more.

NB This access is on a trial basis for 3 months.

Oxford Bodleian Library Makes Music Card Catalogue available Online

News from Music@The Bodleian blog - the music card catalogue is now available online.

Read the blogpost here.

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Whittaker Library Changes Naxos Password

Staff and students of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland should ask for the new Naxos login details next time they visit the Whittaker Library.

Databases and Streamed Sound accessible via the Whittaker Library for registered staff and students: 

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Reading Lists, Tracklists, Feminists

We're compiling reading lists to reflect the various course handbooks at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. These lists will be available via Moodle/Mahara for our staff and students, but will also be available via our online catalogue (

But did you know you can also compile tracklists on our streaming services, Naxos and Alexander Street Press's Classical Music Library?

Just for fun, let's start a tracklist. Give me your suggestions for classical music about strong women - like Wagner's The Ride of the Valkyries - and I'll compile a list after my week's annual leave.

Ian Higgins suggests via Twitter:-

"Beethoven's Leonore (esp the 3rd overture). Lots in Handel. Strong heroines in Berlioz - Cassandra, and Beatrice in his Much Ado."

Another suggestion via Twitter, from @Schopflin:-
"Characters like Norma and Susanna in Figaro?"