Library and Information Services, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

History of Early Recorded Sound: Emile Berliner

There's a fascinating talk about one of the earliest record producers, back in the 19th century - Emile Berliner.

You'll find it on the British Library Sounds website, and the expert talking about Berliner is Peter Adamson from St Andrews.  (Once you've heard the first podcast, there are more to pursue if you're interested.) 

This recording requires you to use your academic login.

Monday, 28 April 2014

E Books R Us

"Where are the e-books?"

We have thousands of real books and music scores, but our catalogue also lists our e-books.  There's always a hyperlink for our registered students and staff members to access the electronic item.

If you get as far as the catalogue, and something is identified as an e-book, just click on the link.  If you're uncertain how to proceed, just ask us. (It's digital - you won't find it on the shelves!)

Whittaker Library Catalogue

Sound and Moving Images from the British Library

 Sound and Vision Blog

You can do imaginative things with sound and moving images from the British Library Sounds website!  To get some inspiration, how about reading their blog?  They don't limit their ideas to the British Library resource, either. Here's the latest posting - suggesting a clever way of using Flickr.  Brilliant!

"Next up in our Inspired by Flickr series are two compositions from filmaker and sound artist Chris Lynn. The brief was to create a short sound piece inspired by one of the fabulous 1 million images released by the British Library last year onto Flickr Commons. The first image to catch Lynn's eye (and inspire his ears) was a 17th painting of Native Americans taken from William Strachey's 'Travels through Virginia'. The coloured engraving, entitled 'Their Sitting at Meate', called for a more faithful approach when creating the aural setting. Lynn wrote:
"I felt the Native American scene required just a simple field recording of waves gently breaking on the shore  [...] - See more at: "

Find Folk at the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library

The Vaughan Williams Memorial Library is run by EFDSS - the English Folk Dance and Song Society.  However, please don't dismiss it as purely a source of English traditional song and dance materials.  There's Scottish stuff too, and also valuable historical material.

Karen got very excited when she discovered just how much is there to be found. Do take a look! The catalogue is online, so it's easy enough to put in a few keywords and check out what's there.

Friday, 25 April 2014

The Guardian Film Show Review

Karen has just come across this useful link from the Guardian - specially for the film buffs amongst us, here is the regular Guardian Film Show column.  Why not save it to your favourites?

"About this series: In our weekly film video show, Xan Brooks, Peter Bradshaw and Catherine Shoard review the latest big releases, we speak to the film-makers and stars of the moment … and much more"

Thursday, 24 April 2014

TV Adverts - What's that tune?

"Whittaker" was curious about the piano music played on a television advert the other day.  A quick Twitter enquiry got a rapid response from another music librarian.

The website you need for such questions, is TV Ad Music

A good link to save to your favourites!

Storytelling - Christina Stewart at Tradfest, Edinburgh

The Whittaker Library has heard about an intriguing session at Tradfest next week.  If you're in Edinburgh, why not see if you can fit in an evening at the Scottish Storytelling Centre?

Christina Stewart at Tradfest

Haunting--Songs,Tales, Tradition

Scottish Storytelling Centre, Royal Mile, Edinburgh

Sunday 4th May, 7.30 PM

Tickets £8/£6

0131 556 9579

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Social Networking for Researchers

You'll know about LinkedIn.

Have you heard of and ResearchGate?  Both are more focused on research, and less on employment opportunities, compared to LinkedIn.  They're websites where you can profile your own research, list your publications, or just find like-minded researchers to discuss common interests.

For example, if you were a music teacher, you might have found these discussions interesting - they all came up today:-

Click on the link to above, and enter a keyword connected with your research into the box at the top of the page.  This is just a screenshot:- 

Old Irish Music - Edward Bunting's volumes at the British Library

We came across an article by Karen Loomis about Edward Bunting's own volumes of Irish music, annotated by him, and now in the British Library. Worth a look - here is the link to the article by Karen Loomis:-

Friday, 18 April 2014

What next? A Music PhD?

In between finishing off assignments and revising for exams, music finalists may wonder what they'll do after graduation.  

There's a database listing what music postgraduates are currently researching, which might inspire or guide you: the RMA Register of Research Students' Dissertation Topics(UK and Ireland):- 

There are various other places you can look, to find out what has been, or is being researched.   Many are freely available, for example you can find completed doctoral theses that are in university libraries by checking

Try also:-

Clearing the Mind - Fresh Air and Natural Light, advises James Clear

James Clear is an entrepreneur who advises on productivity, good working practices and positive mental attitudes.  His newsletters are informative.

Today, he writes about where we find inspiration, overcome mental blocks, or indeed both,  Here's an excerpt which will make you want to head for wide open spaces or inspirational buildings with plenty of natural light:-

The Link Between Brains and Buildings

"Researchers have discovered a variety of ways that the buildings we live, work, and play in drive our behavior and our actions. The way we react and respond is often tied to the environment that we find ourselves in.

"For example, it has long been known that schools with more natural light provide a better learning environment for students and test scores often go up as a result. (Natural light and natural air are known to stimulate productivity in the workplace as well.)

"Additionally, buildings with natural elements built into them help reduce stress and calm us down (think of trees inside a mall or a garden in a lobby). Spaces with high ceilings and large rooms promote more expansive and creative thinking."
If you'd like to read more, here's the link:-   And the article itself is entitled,  Want to Stick to Good Habits and Break Your Bad Ones? Try This.

Copyright - what you can (and can't) do after 1 June 2014

There are changes to UK Copyright law which come into effect on 1 June 2014.  Here in the Whittaker Library, we are carefully reading up the details.  Impacting on several important aspects of performances, including research, education, disability, and libraries, you can understand our need to get a grasp of these changes!  Here is the introduction on the Intellectual Property Office website:-

Changes to copyright law and guidance

Changes to copyright law

"The government is making a series of small but important changes to copyright law to make it better suited for the digital age. These changes will affect how you can use content like books, music, films and photographs. They will also introduce greater freedoms in copyright law to allow third parties to use copyright works for a variety of economically and/or socially valuable purposes without the need to seek permission from copyright owners. Protections for the interests of copyright owners and creators are built in to the proposed changes.
"The government is committed to achieving strong, sustainable and balanced growth that is shared across the country and between industries. These changes are the result of extensive consultation with all interested parties. They will come into force on 1 June 2014."

(Intellectual Property Office ... Changes to copyright law and guidance - accessed 18.04.2014)
In the UK, copyright law is changed by "Statutory Instruments". The forthcoming changes are made in five such statutory instruments. They affect performances in the following areas:- 
  • Personal copies for private use
  • Quotation and parody
  • Disability
  • Research, education, libraries and archives
  • Administration
There are three IPO (Intellectual Property Office) online leaflets about educational, library and disability-related exceptions to the copyright legislation, which are very useful for us to know.  They're available in .pdf format:-

For a summary of all the changes, general readers are directed to this explanatory document.  In legal-speak, it's called an 'Explanatory Memorandum', so if anyone asks you where you read about this, then you would cite this:-

Looking after Musicians - IAML (International Association of Music Libraries)

IAML is an international organisation uniting music libraries and music librarians globally, and there are also many national branches.

The IAML international website combines serious professional discussion and general music library news.

To brighten your day, we share the 'entertainment' section at the end of today's IAML News, Friday Edition:-

Friday Fun

Feminine Post Dramatic - Cara Berger Performing Ecriture Feminine

Strategies for a Feminist Postdramatic

We found this blog from Cara Berger, a researcher at the University of Glasgow. It documents feminist drama performed at The Arches in Glasgow: Fire into Song - part of Cara's doctoral studies, in the context of practice-as-research

Here's the background to Cara's work:-

Strategies for a Feminist Postdramatic

This website contains documentation of three performances that constitute the practical element of Cara Berger’s practice-as-research PhD on ‘Écriture Féminine: Strategies for a Feminist Politics of the Postdramatic’.

A video of each performance alongside excerpts which are referred to in the written section of the PhD, as well as supporting documents can be found by clicking on the names of the performances on the navigation bar at the bottom of this page.   More ...
'Whittaker' freely confesses that 'his' knowledge of feminist alternative drama is minimal, but if readers of this blog would like more postings of this nature, then please do share suggestions with us, and we'll be happy to incorporate them in our offerings to the staff, students and supporters of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland community.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Rhinegold Publishing - Festivals 2014

This listing of music festivals can be purchased from Rhinegold Publishing. However, here at the Whittaker Library, we've kept our subscription copy, catalogued and added it to Library Stock.

Here for reference by anyone who cares to visit us!  So, which festivals will you attend?

Catalogue entry HERE

Scotsman Newspaper: Gibbon's Sunset Song finally set for Big Screen

We read about this in The Scotsman:-

 Lewis Grassic Gibbon's novel is famed as one of Scotland's classic novels of the 20th century.  This film adaptation is therefore of considerable importance.

In the Whittaker Library, we have the book in its original trilogy, A Scots Quair, and Alastair Cording's 1993 dramatic adaptation.  See details HERE.

Creativity: Ten Habits of Highly Creative People

You've probably seen lists like this before, but you never know - there might be something here that just sparks a new thought, so try this:-

10 Habits of Highly Creative People, by Arianna Rebolini