Library and Information Services, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Friday, 28 February 2014

Guardian Culture Professionals Network

This is a great network - for example, today there's a piece about embedding digital technology in the arts.

These postings are really useful.  You can sign up so that you receive regular emails

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Website Not Coming Up? Ask here: Is It Down Right Now

If a website doesn't open, don't panic. It may not be your computer's fault.  This very handy website gives you status updates, even telling you if it's just your country that is affected, or further afield.  Excellent!

We Made A Word Cloud with Word It Out!

Here is the WordItOut website - have a go at making your own word-cloud.  A bit of innocent fun for anyone who authors a blog or website! 

Winter Ennui? Time to Plan Summer Music and French Courses

The Whittaker Library has received more leaflets about summer courses, this time in Switzerland:-

Arosa Music Academy 2014 (near Chur, Switzerland)

August 17-24 Accordion and Woodwinds
August 24-30 Voice and Strings
August 31 - September 6 Strings and Piano

"Enjoy the experience of travelling with the Rhaetian Railway, just an hour's journey from Chur to Arosa."  - just one of the ways of getting there!

French Language Summer Courses, University of Geneva, Switzerland

June 23 - August 22

Monday, 24 February 2014

Actors - get in Character with some 18th Century London Riots

BBC iPlayer features "Voices from the Old Bailey":

'Ordinary Londoners caught up in violence on the streets tell their story, and rioters argue their case in court, desperately attempting to avoid the noose.'
Be quick!  iPlayer recordings don't last forever.  Might provide useful context if you're acting in a play set in 18th century London.

Friday, 21 February 2014

Trondheim and Vienna (Wien) Summer Courses and Masterclasses

The Whittaker Library has received details of two summer courses for musicians, today.  Before passing details to the relevant course leaders, we'll share the online links here!

Trondheim International Chamber Music Festival presents:

  • 8th Trondheim International Chamber Music Academy - Piano Trios, 22-28 September 2014. Application deadline 20 April 2014.  Details:
Vienna Master Courses (Wiener Meisterkurse) 2014.  A range of courses (generally lasting about 10 days) between these dates:-
  • Piano, 6 July - 14 August
  • Lied, Oratorio, Opera, 19 July - 15 August
  • Lied-Duo, 3 - 14 August
  • Cello, 6 - 31 July
  • Violin, 13 - 31 July
  • Orchestral conducting, 3 - 15 August

How do I Love Thee? Let me Count the Ways (Recorded Music in the Whittaker Library)

We're a conservatoire music library, so naturally you'd expect us to have recordings.  And how! We have thousands of CDs, a lot of  LPs (just to broaden the coverage), and then there are our streamed music services.

CDs and LPs are all in our catalogue. Click here.  Remember, you can limit your search to recordings.  Recently we've been checking our LP holdings against our CDs and streamed services.  Over the past decade, it's impressive just how many older recordings have become available on CD or online. 

You can find all our streamed musical goodness on our Library and Information Services website.  Click here for departmental website.  Click here for databases.

Classical Music Library
Naxos Music Library
British Library Sounds

There's streamed video, too.  You'll find it all on the links above.

'How do I Love Thee? Let me Count the Ways', is a Shakespeare sonnet.  You want Shakespeare sonnets?  Try the British Library Sound and Moving Image Catalogue.

Lisa Colton on Women Composers: 'Don't Do it Like a Dude: Exploring Differences in the Music of Judith Weir'

Do women compose 'differently'? Are we perceived as doing it differently? Here's an interesting article, 'Don't Do it Like a Dude', by Lisa Colton of the University of Huddersfield.  Note the citation details here:-
(Don't) Do it Like a Dude: Exploring Differences in the Music of Judith Weir (click link here)

Lisa Colton (click link to visit Lisa's page)

Technical Types and Ballet Bods - Have you seen our Book Drop Box?

No, the Book Drop Box is not missing


 It's 'Boxing Day'!

Every Friday morning, our Client Services team bring a book drop box to Speirs Locks so staff and students can return library materials. 

At the end of the working day, the box and its contents return to the Whittaker Library.  A simple and effective solution saving time for those who are busily doing other things 'up the road'. 

Make the box feel loved and cared-for - use that box!

Tweet a picture of the box if you see it, and let's make sure everyone knows it's there.  (Don't worry - the original box remains at the Whittaker Library. No-one misses out!)

@WhittakerLib @RCStweets

Thursday, 20 February 2014

A National Sound Archive for Scotland: news from the National Library of Scotland

'Work is under way to develop a distributed national collection of Scotland's sound heritage. The Scottish Sound Archive will bring together the sound collections relating to Scotland held in a variety of organisations including museums, libraries and archives into a searchable single online resource.
'A further online resource allowing members of the public to upload sound recordings to the national collection will also be developed.  These services are set to vastly improve public awareness, access and interaction with Scottish sound collections.'  Read more on the National Library of Scotland web news pages.

eMagazines for light reading


Whilst the Whittaker Library has a whole load of electronic journals of a scholarly nature, you may be interested to know that our offering is complemented by eMagazines available through Glasgow City Libraries. If you live in Glasgow, find out more about eMagazines in Glasgow Libraries:-

NB Library, cultural and sporting facilities in Glasgow are run by Glasgow Life.

Mindfulness in Improvisational theatre - article by Gordon Bermant

Improvisational Theatre (theater)

There is interest amongst performers and well-being practitioners, in 'Mindfulness' as a meditative practice.

A recent discussion on ResearchGate is throwing up some interesting ideas.  Today, we were given details of an article which might interest people working in improvisational theatre.  Here's the bibliographic reference and a link to it:-

Gordon Bermant

'Working with(out) a net: improvisational theater and enhanced well-being.'
Frontiers in psychology  2013 no.4, p.929 

* To join in the conversation, why not sign up to ResearchGate yourself?

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

250th Birthday of Scottish Song Collector Alexander Campbell


born 22.2.1764 

Karen has written and talked and blogged about Alexander Campbell so much over the past
eight or nine years that we hardly need to go over his biography again.  However, it would be shabby not to mention his 250th birthday on Saturday 22nd February.  His was a fascinating life. He dabbled in many things, and didn't achieve particular greatness, but he left a pile of published writings and Scottish music.  

You can read about Campbell at length in Our Ancient National Airs: Scottish Song Collecting from the Enlightenment to the Romantic Era.  (There's a copy in the Whittaker Library at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.)  You'll also find further writing on Karen's pages.

Some of his songs from Albyn's Anthology have been arranged for sax ensemble, and Karen has recordings by a Cambridge saxophone ensemble called Saxual Healing:-
Finally, Jo Currie's book, Mull: the Island and its People, contains a big chunk from Campbell's Hebridean song-collecting diary (the time he spent on Mull, specifically) - warmly recommended.  It's not in the Whittaker Library, but could be obtained for registered readers if anyone was interested.

Monday, 17 February 2014

Book-Launch at Strathearn Artspace (Crieff, Perthshire)

"Welcome to Strathearn Artspace, now based at the former public library on Comrie Street in Crieff, Perthshire. This is a community based Arts and leisure project and is a registered charity, aiming to progress Arts education and appreciation within the community of Strathearn."

Friday 21 February, 7.30 pm - Grace Note Publications launch another book - 'Recollections of an Argyllshire Drover' and other West Highland Chronicles, by Eric R. Cregeen.  The late Eric Cregeen recorded the last drover (born in 1869!), who walked cattle to Crieff.

Our thanks to Margaret Bennett, our resident ethnomusicologist, for alerting us to this event.

Community Music Symposium: Everyone Deserves Music

Community Music -are you involved?

The Sage, Gateshead, Tuesday 29th April - a Symposium 

Charlatan or Creative Artist? James Macpherson died 17 February 1796

James Macpherson, the poet of Ossian

On this day in 1796, James Macpherson died.  He has been derided as a charlatan on account of  his 'Ossian' poetry collections.  But is this right?  'Charlatan' is a loaded, critical term.  Was he economical with the truth as far as the sources of his material were concerned?  From a modern vantage point, Macpherson's main failing was a lack of transparency: he failed to explain satsifactorily just what he had done with his 'translations'.  

Certainly, his poetry attracted a huge following - anyone that was anybody bought his books!

Read our earlier posting.

Do You Love Films? LOVEFiLM Subtitle Petition for Hearing-Impaired Film-Lovers

If you can't hear a film, and you don't know what they're saying - what's the point?
There is a petition asking LOVEFiLM, the major on-demand and DVD rental company, to include subtitles on all their new releases.  You'll find it at - let's hope it encourages LOVEFiLM to consider the 10m people in the UK with hearing loss, and make it clear, at the outset, whether content is subtitled or not. 

If you are interested in services for hearing-impaired people, why not also save to you favourites?

Friday, 14 February 2014

Early Scottish, Irish and Welsh tunes for flute (or fiddle)

Karen's rather excited about this new acquisition for the library.  Published around 1730, the original book has been brought out in a new modern edition with great contextual notes by the editor, Andreas Habert.

Unaccompanied tunes - raw material for you to play however you think most fitting!

Aria di Camera

Find it in the Whittaker Library at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland - here.

Cambridge Early Music

The Whittaker Library has received a leaflet for the Cambridge Early Music Summer Schools 2014.

Two courses are offered, each lasting a week: 3-10, and 10-16 August 2014.

For more about Faire Britaine Isle: Celebrating Shakespeare's 450th anniversary (in music), visit the Cambridge Early Music Summer Schools website:-

The website also offers an audible feast of early music concerts from now until Monday 18th August.

Mindfulness for Performing Artists

Can Mindfulness Practice (specifically meditation) be used to enhance performance of actors/dancers/artists?

This was a discussion raised on ResearchGate, a forum for researchers to share their work and raise research questions.  Mindfulness can best be described as a kind of meditation; here's a blog about it:-

What can Mindfulness do for you?

What do you think?  Are you a performer?  Have you come across the concept of mindfulness, or some other form of meditation, in the context of your art - be it music, drama, dance or somewhere in between!

Libretto! An app for reading musicals on e-book readers

Developed by New York Public Library, this app looks well-worth investigating.  One for our Musical Theatre students, maybe. 

LIBRETTO! press release about prototype

Collecting Music: Conference in Edinburgh, 11-12 July 2014

On Collecting: Music, Materiality and Ownership

11-12 July 2014

Reid School of Music/National Museum of Scotland 


"A collaborative conference between the Reid School of Music at the University of Edinburgh and the National Museum of Scotland, to be held at the Museum on Friday 11 and Saturday 12 July, 2014.  Featuring two roundtables with invited speakers..."

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Thomas Wilson Prize for Composition: Deadline 1 October 2014

Thomas Wilson Prize for Composition (Solo Guitar) 2014

Prof. Thomas Wilson, CBE

Thomas Wilson

Prize for Composition (Solo Guitar) 2014

The Thomas Wilson Trust is pleased to announce the Thomas Wilson Prize for Composition (Solo Guitar) 2014.  Persons under the age of 26 on 30 November 2014 are invited to submit an original, unpublished and unperformed work for solo guitar lasting approximately ten minutes.

Entries will be scrutinised by a panel of eminent experts and three finalists will be selected for performance during the Big Guitar Weekend at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Glasgow, in November 2014.

The Prize fund this year is £1000 and the closing date for entries is 1 October 2014.

For full details and an application pack, visit the website:

Pleyel archives - what went on behind the office door!

Museum of Music


Archival documents online

In the latest newsletter, the Parisian Museum of Music reveals that several hundred historical documents about musicians, luthiers and other musical instrument makers are now digitized and available online.  For example, the composer Pleyel also ran an piano-making business.  Curious?  Click the links above to find out more.

Monday, 10 February 2014

Summer Courses: Dance in Italy or Duos in Switzerland

Whittaker has been sent leaflets for two more summer courses:-

FLORENCE SUMMER DANCE 2014 - Alambrado Danza - Florence (Italy)

Monday 16 June - Sunday 6 July 2014

LE SION FESTIVAL (voice, violin) - Valais, Switzerland

August 25-30, 2014 A Feast of Duos, new competition for Violin and Piano Duos

Jewish Music Institute

The Jewish Music Institute is an independent institute based at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London.  An excellent resource for finding out about Jewish music, and the library staff are keen for their collections to be known about.

From the Jewish Music Institute's homepage:-
"We are the Jewish Music Institute. We curate, educate and celebrate – bringing to life this rich seam in world culture. Our mission encompasses the music of the Jewish people wherever they are and wherever they have been, preserving and developing this great heritage for the benefit of present and future generations.

We are an independent arts organisation, established in March 2000 at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, after 18 years of successful operation under the name of the Jewish Music Heritage Trust. JMI is a national focus bringing Jewish music to the mainstream British cultural arena for people of all ages, backgrounds and cultures."

Mindfulness for Performing Artists

The ResearchGate network has recently been discussing mindfulness for performing artists.  Anyone can sign up to the ResearchGate community - you might find some interesting and useful discussions there.

Here's the latest link for the mindfulness conversation homepage

Friday, 7 February 2014

National Libraries Day

Saturday 8 February  was National Libraries Day.  These are the hashtags we used - the conversations may still be continuing sporadically:-

#NLD14 [for UK in general]
#NLDScot [for Scotland] 

#NLD14 #Music [for UK music libraries]

Call for Papers - Scottish Journal of Performance

The Scottish Journal of Performance is an open-access peer reviewed journal.  The latest call for papers has just been issued.
  • Deadline for submissions: 27 June 2014
  • Publication date: December 2014

Further details about the journal:-

"The Scottish Journal of Performance is a peer-reviewed open access journal focusing both on performance in Scotland (contemporary and historical) and/or wider aspects of performance presented by scholars and reflective practitioners based in Scotland. We invite contributions from a wide and diverse community of researchers, providing opportunities for both established and early career scholars to submit work. We encourage a wide range of research methods and approaches, including practice-led research and practice as research. Possible submission formats include audio and video recordings with commentary, practitioner reports, reflective journals and scholarly articles."