Library and Information Services, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Sunday, 29 December 2013

More Music Librarian's Favourites

(Honestly, I'm not PAID by Diigo to tell you about their social favouriting website, but it's so useful!)

'Whittaker' has been trying to avoid his research between Christmas and Hogmanay, but without a great deal of success.  As his Diigo pages reveal ...

Still, here are a few links that might interest musicians, actors, dancers and theatrical production folks:-

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Cello Woe - a Warning to Cellists

A cello is mellow and low
But not the best thing if you know
You'll be busking outdoors
Whilst a howling gale roars
And the rain's changing slowly to snow.

Whittaker begs to reassure his readers that this is entirely fictional and relates to no cellist known to 'himself'.

Friday, 20 December 2013

Can't Take a Break From Research? Take a look at the Handel Reference Database

Bibliolore blog offers this posting about the Handel Reference Database, which you might find interesting.

Trumpets, Tubas, Cellos and a Glasgow Night Out

Whittaker offers you a few more musical limericks at this light-hearted time of year:-

A lass in the proud Philharmonic
Slipped out for a quick gin and tonic;
Her tuba was flat -
It had angered her cat -
Though the high notes were quite supersonic.
A student who worshipped his cello
Came home feeling genially mellow;
I say, he proclaimed,
Glasgow parties are famed,
Serenade me till dawn, my good fellow.
No woman with flair on the trumpet
Would want you to call her a crumpet;
You might think she's cute
'Til she picks up a mute,
Picks her target and offers to thump it.

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Bassoon Playing Loon and Guitar Playing Star

'Whittaker' can't bear to sit twiddling his thumbs.  These musical limericks were written riding home on the Glasgow Subway!

A fellow who played the bassoon
Declared his new crook was a boon;
Not for him silver plated,
This was far higher rated,
Rising stars always aim for the moon.

A lady who played the guitar
Could be heard strumming chords from afar.
Her long-held ambition,
Indeed was a mission
To be billed as a red-carpet star. 

Become a Paid Weekly Columnist for IdeasTap

If you're aged over 16, and can write interestingly about culture and the arts on a weekly basis, this might be just the opportunity you've been looking for.

More details here.

The Music Librarian's Favourites

FAVOURITES?  Did you hear us say that the supposedly impartial music librarian has favourites? 

Relax!  These are favourite websites, not favourite borrowers, because of course we love you all equally.

Karen saves her favourite websites to Diigo, so she can share them with you later.  However, when there's a lot of cataloguing and not as much time, it seems more sensible to share them all at once.  So as a special treat, you're being granted a peek into the music librarian's recently favourited finds.

Click here for a whole batch of useful links on:-

  • The E T Bryant Memorial Prize for early career music librarians
  • An extinct stringed instrument - a mini cello played under your chin!
  • The British Library Mechanical Curator - quality free historical images
  • MAPCO historical maps
  • Glasgow University Library's Incunabula project (very rare books)
  • The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland's Teaching Artist course
  • Life beyond the PhD
  • and much, much more!

E. T. Bryant Memorial Prize - Early Career Music Librarians!

If you recently qualified as a librarian and have written a dissertation or thesis on music librarianship, then this prize is both worthwhile and valuable.  But you'll have to hurry - the deadline is 10th January 2014.

Please do share this link widely.  The prize is sponsored by the UK and Ireland Branch of the International Association of Music Libraries, and they're keen to ensure that anyone eligible has the chance to apply. 

IAML (UK and Irl) Homepage

Fiddle Hangout News has Draw for Bluegrass Fiddle Jamming Book

We thought we'd share this with our Scottish music students - and anyone else interested in bluegrass fiddle jamming!

Here's the newsletter link - just scroll down for your chance to enter this draw!

Monday, 16 December 2013

Did you see the film, 'The Quartet'? Now read a blog by a piper!


Blogpipe is a blog by piper Andrew Berthoff.  His latest posting is a reflection on the theme of the recent film, The Quartet (starring Maggie Smith) - but his musings have an interesting twist: Andrew blogs about pipers.

Bohuslav Martinu - Database of Sources

Bohuslav Martinu Institute Database

Screenshot of database page, 16 Dec 2013.
This database of Martinu sources is available in English and Czech:-

Friday, 13 December 2013

Whittaker Library, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland - Library Opening Hours

Whittaker Library

Christmas Opening Hours

Friday 13 December           9-5
No Weekend Opening
Monday 16 December       9-5
Tuesday 17 December    11-5
Wednesday 18 December 9-5
Thursday 19 December    9-5
Friday 20 December     9-1.45
No Weekend Opening
Monday 23 December      9-5
Tuesday 24 December Closed
Christmas Day to 2 Jan closed
Friday 3 January                9-5
Saturday 4 January          10-4
Normal hours from Monday 6 January 2013

* If you've forgotten to renew library books, remember you can login via the library catalogue to access your account. You need your user number and PIN.

* There are plenty of useful library guides via Mahara, and course reading lists on Moodle, should you feel inspired to do a little studying after Christmas! 

Season's Greetings from the Whittaker Library Staff and a happy Hogmanay when it comes!

Celtic Revival in Scotland Conference - Call for Papers from University of Edinburgh

The Celtic Revival in Scotland 1860-1930
Conference 1-3 May 2014
Call for Papers (closing date for submissions: 1 February 2014)

Scottish Journal of Performance (e-journal)

The latest issue of the Scottish Journal of Performance, edited by Bethany Whiteside and Ben Fletcher-Watson of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, has just gone online, and can be found here:-

The Whittaker Library will receive a print copy in the New Year.

Details of this issue:-

Volume 1 – Issue 1

  • ISSN: 2054-1953 (Print) / ISSN: 2054-1961 (Online)
  • Publication date: December 2013
  • Download complete issue  (PDF)
  • Co-editors: Bethany Whiteside and Ben Fletcher‑Watson

  • Editorial
  • Bethany Whiteside and Ben Fletcher-Watson
Music and Academic Services Librarian Karen McAulay has now seen three reviews of her book in the scholarly press, and is encouraged by their comments.

Glasgow Cathedral Performance of Handel Messiah January 2nd 2014, RCS Soloists!

Marco di Chio, Erasmus vocal studies student at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland this year, has shared with us details of a forthcoming performance of Handel's Messiah.  Marco, who graduated last year from the Conservatoire of Verona in 2012, sings counter-tenor in this performance.  The other performers' names may be recognised by Conservatoire members and audiences:-  
Fiona WIlkie, soprano
Marco Di Chio, counter-tenor
John Findon, tenor
James Corrigan, bass

The Scottish Classical Players
Glasgow Cathedral Choral Society

James Slimings, conductor

Glasgow Cathedral 
2 January 2014, 3:00 pm

Thursday, 12 December 2013

100 Theatre Women (Women's History Month)

Whittaker heard it was Women's History Month just now.  So here is a blogpost by Naomi Paxton, an alumna of RSAMD (as we were).

Naomi Paxton's Website

About Naomi: "After an undergraduate degree in drama at Goldsmiths College,
Naomi trained in Acting at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (now the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland). She has been working professionally as an actor since 1999 and has appeared in the West End and on tour in the UK and Internationally. A passionate and versatile performer ... "  (Visit Naomi's website to find out more.)

Artistic Research Education - free downloadable handbook

European League of Institutes of the Arts


This is a posting about a downloadable handbook for anyone involved in teaching researchers in the arts.  Not just performing arts, this is for all arts disciplines!

Announcing the SHARE Handbook for Artistic Research Education

The SHARE Handbook for Artistic Research Education, is now available in digital form and can be downloaded

More from the most recent ELIA Newsletter:-

"The publication was first presented at 'Research in the Arts, A European Infrastructure' in Brussels, hosted by the LUCA School of Arts, on 25 November 2013. It is the outcome of three years of work by SHARE, an international network working to enhance the ‘third cycle’ of arts research and education in Europe.   
SHARE is an acronym for ‘Step-Change for Higher Arts Research and Education’ (a ‘step-change’ being a major jump forward, a key moment of progress).  The SHARE network brings together a wide array of graduate schools, research centres, educators, supervisors, researchers and cultural practitioners, across all the arts disciplines [...]
 The SHARE Handbook for Artistic Research Education is a poly-vocal document, designed as a contribution to the field of artistic research education from an organisational, procedural and practical standpoint. As a provisional disclosure of the state of the art within specific constituencies, this publication seeks to be serviceable to many different agendas and projects, and it attempts to do this by demonstrating the lived contradictions of what is simultaneously both an emerging and fully formed domain of research education.

ELIA will continue SHARE network activities, pushing the agenda for artistic research and further developing this research community, together with global partners and collaborative networks for research within the arts.

Hardcopies of the book will be available at the
ELIA Biennial Conference 2014 in Glasgow (13-15 November 2014). In the interim, copies can be ordered at the cost of shipping by contacting ELIA Office Manager Johan Deeder at"

World Federation of International Music Competitions - 2014

The Whittaker Library has been sent the calendar of global music competitions for 2014.  This will be catalogued. However, musicians may wish to visit the WFIMC website, too:-

Monday, 9 December 2013

Hot Links For Performing Artists and Composers

Composition Competition at the Scottish Music Centre
Deadline 31 January 2014 for the next composition marathon.
Inspired by New York based collective, Bang On A Can's iconic Performance Marathons, this project challenges ten composers, selected through application, to compose a new work for professional premiere in less than 24 hours.
Scottish Gaelic English, English Gaelic Dictionary Online - click here.  A useful one for anyone on the Scottish music scene.

BBC News - Belting out a tune 'helps those struggling to breathe'     Millions of people worldwide suffer from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).   Research proves that singing helps them.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Strathspey Players Past and Present, by William Honeyman

If you play the fiddle, take a look at this.  It was written in 1922, practically a century ago.  William Honeyman is all but forgotten now.  He talks about Niel Gow and James Scott Skinner in an unashamedly anecdotal style.  But the stories themselves might be worth sharing next time you're introducing a Gow strathspey at a gig.

Fifteen pages to 'favourite' (They're already in my Diigo bookmarks!):-

Honeyman wrote a Strathspey, Reel and Hornpipe Tutor, too - we have it in the Whittaker Library.  We blogged about it in the context of Newcastle fiddle reels, not so long ago.  Read that blogpost here.

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Irish Traditional Music Archive Advent Calendar

The other day, Whittaker left you a link to a Swedish archival music advent calendar.  Who says you can't have more than one, though?

Here's an Irish one from ITMA, the Irish Traditional Music Archive.

Friday, 6 December 2013

Christopher Gough composition for The Unreality of Durham Exhibition

Christopher Gough of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland has composed the music to accompany an exhibition currently running at Durham World Heritage Site Visitor Centre.  The exhibition lasts the whole of December 2013.

From the University of Durham Alumni Newsletter:-

The Unreality of Durham exhibition
Durham graduate James Croshill-Mills (Zoology, Van Mildert, 2013) will hold an exhibition of a series of illustrations titled 'The Unreality of Durham' in the World Heritage Site Centre on Palace Green. The exhibition will be displayed from the 1st to 31st December. Music composed for the exhibition by Christopher Gough from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland will be played.

Details of the exhibition here.

Nelson Mandela 1918-2013

We only have one member of library staff who was interviewed in in the old Athenaeum building in Nelson Mandela Place, Glasgow.  Already known as RSAMD,  the institution moved to Renfrew Street in 1986, and three of us commenced work in the Whittaker Library's first year in the 'new building'.  Of course, we're now the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, but we still have that historical link to Nelson Mandela Place.

Although it's our FORMER building that's in Nelson Mandela place, we do have a printed tune, a recorded tune, and a book of poetry associated with the great man who died yesterday.  It's nice to know we have some things mentioning his name.

  • Wolf Soyinka, Nobel Prize winner for Literature - Mandela's Earth and Other Poems (1988)
  • Scottish band, Give Way -  Full Steam Ahead (includes a tune 'Nelson Mandela's Welcome to Glasgow')
  • Tom Richardson, Jigs, Reels and Fancy Feels, Vol.1 (includes tune, 'Hats off to Nelson Mandela'
You might also like the play collection, Beyond the Echo of Soweto (edited Geoffrey Davis, 1997)

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Donatella Flick Conducting Competition

The London Philharmonic Orchestra has recently notified us of this conducting competition:-

"The Donatella Flick LSO Conducting Competition, created by Donatella Flick in 1990, aims to help a young conductor establish an international conducting career.
The winner of the competition is offered, in addition to an award of £15,000, the opportunity to become Assistant Conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra for up to one year.
The next competition will be held in London on 6–8 December 2014, and is open to conductors under the age of 35 who are citizens of the 28 countries having full membership of the European Union.
Competition entry is open now, and is by online submission only. The deadline is 26 April 2014.
> Click here for full details, rules and the entry form"

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Pantomime Time!

The lad who’s a pantomime dame,
Is destined for fortune and fame,
In his costume, the tights
And the heat of the lights,
He is sure to establish his name.

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland is playing Jack and the Beanstalk this year. For Box Office click here.

National Jazz Archive seeks Trustees

This posting is being made to help the National Jazz Archive, which is seeking two Trustees:

            a) a Treasurer
            b) someone with a good understanding of IT

The National Jazz Archive

The Archive holds the UK's finest collection of written, printed and visual material on jazz, blues and related music, from the 1920s to the present day. It was founded in 1988 with support from Essex County Council and a group of jazz professionals and devotees, and is a registered charity.

The Archive's vision is to ensure that significant jazz material should be safeguarded for future generations of enthusiasts, professionals and researchers. The Heritage Lottery Fund awarded the Archive a three year grant in autumn 2011 to tell the Story of British Jazz through four key themes: people, places, watershed moments and social and cultural dimensions. This is enabling the collection to be fully conserved and catalogued for the first time. Significant items are being digitised and made accessible online. The funding is also facilitating a community programme of events, family activities and opportunities for volunteers; and attendance at UK jazz festivals and events is raising the Archive's profile as the UK's foremost jazz research resource.


The National Jazz Archive is seeking a Treasurer to oversee the Archive’s financial matters in line with good practice and in accordance with the governing document and legal requirements, and report to the Board of Trustees about the financial health of the organisation. The Treasurer will ensure that effective financial measures, controls and procedures are put in place, and are appropriate for the charity.

Someone with a good understanding of IT

The National Jazz Archive is seeking someone with technical skills, whether it be systems admin skills or more generally familiarity with data standards and web technologies. They need day-to-day support with basic stuff, although networking knowledge and knowledge of Gmail systems would be useful. They will be looking to the IT Trustee to help the organisation continue its development of IT systems and applications and develop their online presence, and to keep their infrastructure intact; this will mean an understanding of the kit, software and networks they operate.

For both posts it would be helpful if you have an understanding of archives, jazz and/or cultural heritage.

To discuss either post, please email Angela Davies at with your telephone number. Angela will put you in touch with a Trustee, who will then phone you to tell you more about the post and to answer your questions.

The Jazz Archive would like applications by letter, saying why you’re interested in one or other of the posts and setting out your relevant experience that you’d bring to the NJA. Please send this to Angela by post to the address below or by email as above by 6 January 2014.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Clarinet Coquette

image courtesy of DeviantArt,com
A girl with a new clarinet
Was told it was poor etiquette
To rehearse Claire de Lune
By the light of the moon
Just to see how much feedback she’d get.

A cellist who played ukulele
Would practise both instruments daily.
Though he tried to play Bach
On the uke for a laugh,
It was hardly the stuff for a ceilidh.

Monday, 2 December 2013

Instrumental Blogs - Harp

'Whittaker' thought it might be helpful to share some of the blogs and websites that various instrumentalists create.  With complete disregard for 'score order', let's start with the harp - you see a lot of them around Christmas time! 

And a promise - remember the series of musical limericks I wrote a year or two ago?  I somehow omitted to write one for the harp.  This will be corrected immediately:-

When God heard the bard on his harp,
He complained it was horribly sharp.
‘Over here on this cloud,
England’s bells are too loud’,
Said the Welshman, ‘so kindly don’t carp!’

Scotland's Future: Your Guide to an Independent Scotland

The Scottish Government has sent copies of the referendum guide to libraries across the country.  The Whittaker Library has five copies, which have already been catalogued and added to stock for consultation by our readers.  Find a copy on the shelves here.  Always keen to be ahead of the game, the Whittaker Library wonders if it's one of the very first libraries to get their copies added to stock and available for borrowing! 
A useful weblink for you:

Here's the latest from their homepage today (2 December 2013):-

"From the blog

Scotland’s Future: Statement to the the Scottish Parliament

With permission, Presiding Officer, I would like to make a statement on Scotland’s Future, the Scottish Government’s comprehensive guide to an independent Scotland, which was published earlier today and made available to all members from 10 o’clock this morning. Scotland’s Future runs to 670 pages and 170,000 words. It is the most detailed prospectus for…"