Library and Information Services, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Music Librarians Go Abroad

We're members of IAML - the International Association of Music Libraries.  Karen posted a 'conference diary' entry on the IAML website, after attending and speaking at the 2014 conference in Antwerp earlier this month.  You can read it HERE.

World War 1 Sheet Music Online (Thank you, Library of Congress!)

American Music Librarians - We Salute You!

The Library of Congress has made available a wonderful collection of World War I sheet music, online.  Click on the images - a treat in themselves - and download pdf files of individual songs.  

This is a really invaluable resource - we're often asked for sheet music from the First World War, by music, musical theatre, and drama students.  Everyone should note this very useful link in a safe place.  (Karen's adding it to her Diigo account straight away.)

Readers may be interested to note that the compiler, Paul Fraunfelter - Digital Conversion Specialist at the Library of Congress - will be giving a paper at a forthcoming conference on The Music of War: 1914-18, at the British Library in London:-

"The Music of War: 1914–1918
29–31 August 2014
British Library, London

"An international conference to mark the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War. Held as part of the British Library's Centenary events programme, supported by the Royal Musical Association, Music & Letters, and The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities.
"  Click HERE for further details.
Paul advises us that, "Among the many panels and presentations from international scholars, will be my ‘WWI Sheet Music at the Library of Congress: America’s War as Viewed by Publishers and the Public’, which is the associated essay on the LC site."

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Commonwealth Games - Musicians Everywhere, and here's a Tune for them!

With so much happening in Glasgow at the moment, there are musicians everywhere - Merchant City, Glasgow Green ...

Here's a highly appropriate fiddle tune from John Riddell's A Collection of Scots Reels, Minuets etc: 'The Bonny Green of Glasgow'.

The Bonny Green of Glasgow
It's one of the tunes Karen's looking at in the AHRC-funded Bass Culture project.  Riddell's bass-lines were basic (excuse the pun) to say the least! But effective all the same, we think.

Here's the next tune in the book: 'Miss Lillie Ritchie's Reel'.

Miss Lillie Ritchie's Reel

See what we mean?!  The collection is one of a number of late 18th and early 19th century fiddle tune books being digitised for the project.  You can read more about this research on the project blog:-

Reblogged: Guest post by Katy Hamilton: "Music librarians, we salute you"

Our international professional association, IAML, has just posted a wonderful endorsement of music librarians.  Katie Hamilton highlights the benefits on both sides when music librarians collaborate with musicologists.

Read Katie's inspirational guest blogpost HERE.

Monday, 28 July 2014

Scots Wha Hey? Need a Scots Language Dictionary?

  • Dictionary of Scots Language - freely available online, no need to log in!  This resource combines two major historical dictionaries of the Scots language: A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue, and the Scottish National Dictionary.
Does this sunny weather make you wabbit?  Don't know what we mean?  Then look it up and find out!! 

Hours of innocent amusement - but of course, it's hugely useful as well. 

And now, to make your joy complete, there's a great blog-post about William A. Craigie, the Victorian lexicographer who masterminded the compilation of the Dictionary of the Scots Tongue, which became one of the two components of the Dictionary of Scots Language now available online.  Craigie didn't stop at one dictionary, either.  Read the Echoes from the Vault blog-post to find out more.  

How Can We Make It Better? Summer Reading for Academics

Whittaker Library teaching staff and postgraduate patrons just got lucky! Two nice new books arrived today, both in the Success in Research series. One’s about teaching in Higher Education, and the other's about transferable skills. They’ve been catalogued, so they’ll hit the shelves as soon as the labelling fairy does her magic!

There – don’t say we’re not good to you! Details here:-

Have you got a BHAG Journal?

Karen bought herself a copy of Jurgen Wolff's Creativity Now at lunchtime.  Looking for inspiration for this very Whittaker Live blog, she thought she'd take a look at Wolff's own website.

And what did we find?  The 'BHAG Journal'.  It stands for Big Hairy Audacious Goal Journal, apparently.  So ... have you got one?

Now, we haven't got Wolff's book in the Whittaker Library (yet); however, we have a lot of books about creativity.  Take a look HERE.  You might be inspired to find some new BHAGs of your own!

Queries: a Day in the Life of a Conservatoire Library

  •  Q:  Have you got xxxxx, please?  A: Yes, of course.  (You told us the wrong song-cycle, but we've certainly got it ...)
  • Q: Have you a second copy of xxxxx?  A: Thank you for flagging that up - we'll order it!
  • Q: Sorry it's late ....  A (glancing inside at date-label. 1989):  Why, thank you very much!
  • Q: I can't find xxxx!  A (after a careful search): Neither can we. Another order pending!
  • Q - well, more of a statement than a question - "She lost it - it wisnae me!" 
And lastly, let's cheat a little. These queries from outside the Conservatoire weren't made the same day, but they were challenging:-
  • I need a DVD travelogue about Scotland, and it has to be in French ... 
  • I want a book that tells me ALL about music of ALL periods, and writing it, like a music student would be given.  (ONE book?!)

Prima Vista Braille Music Services

Music in Braille

Prima Vista Braille Music Services

The Whittaker Library has just been advised about Prima Vista Braille Music Services.  What they offer looks very useful.  Here's a quote from their "About Us" page:-
'At Prima Vista Braille Music Services, our aim is to make braille music more easily available to visually impaired musicians everywhere.' 

'What we offer:-

'Our website offers transcriptions of copyright music produced in partnership with some of the world’s most innovative music publishers. We’ve developed our own software that works directly with publishers’ production files. This means that when new printed music is published, the braille edition can be produced at the same time. We can also produce individual transcriptions if we don't already have a particular piece you need.  The Guardian newspaper recently produced this short film about Prima Vista, which also works well as an audio piece. Check it out to find out more about our work.'
Click here to find out more.

What do Librarians Do While Students are Away?

Summertime in the Library

We catch up!  The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland's Whittaker Library has been adding more of the David Nicholson flute music bequest to stock*, not to mention ...
  • Cataloguing books and policy documents that came our way, 
  • Replacing lost materials, 
  • Authoring podcasts about our services, 
  • Planning training sessions for staff and students ...
  • And of course we're still here for students who're not on vacation, and our academic and support staff colleagues!
Don't forget, you can always check the latest additions to stock by visiting THIS LINK.  (It's at the bottom of the catalogue homepage, by the way). 

*  The best music title award last week went to this little gem from the David Nicholson bequest:- 

The Old Men Admiring Themselves In the Water, by Robert Beaser.  (No kidding!  It sparked off something of a contest between the Whittaker Library and our opposite numbers at the RNCM.  Watch this space for more gems!)

How do Arts and Cultural Institutions approach ‘Research and Development’? Northumbria investigates ...

Here's a project that policy-makers and research-leaders in the arts will want to follow.  Northumbria University in Newcastle upon Tyne has a new research question:-
'R and D for the Arts
'Defining and conceptualising ‘Research and Development’ for the Arts
'The aim of the study is to define R and D for the arts and humanities, as it happens in the arts, humanities and cultural sectors and articulate R and D concepts and values. Relatively little theoretical and empirical research has previously been undertaken into how arts and cultural institutions approach ‘Research and Development’. Consequently, rigorous definitions, evaluation methodologies and metrics for R and D in the cultural sector are lacking. This research seeks to focus on how, in general, R and D in the arts should be conceptualised, defined for policy purposes and evaluated. Find out more HERE.'
Principal Investigator is Dr Elizabeth Lomas, iSchool, Faculty of Engineering and Environment, Northumbria University. Contact details on project homepage.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Network As Though Your Life Depended On It

We've mentioned the Guardian's Culture Professionals Network before - a great series which brings up to date information of interest to anyone working in the cultural sector.

Did we mention that there's also a Higher Education Network?  Again, this would be well-worth signing up to.  This week, for example, the Academics Anonymous blog (on the Higher Education Network homepage) is by someone who is studying for a PhD in their forties: 'Why are you doing a PhD at your age?'

Here are the links for you to follow up:-

Friday, 25 July 2014

Employability Skills: View Yourself As A Product (Youtube)

Those ever-helpful people at have shared a Youtube link about PhD graduates' employability skills.  Are you applying for work?  Take a look HERE.

Don't forget to bookmark while you're at it.  Not just for finding work in academia - also for tips on job-seeking in general - writing a CV, attending an interview, etc.

On the same subject, you might like to follow the blog, From PhD to Life.  Today, Jennifer Polk talks about her deepening understand of what job interviews are all about:-

Can I Make Arrangements of Original Music without Breaking Copyright?

 It's so tempting, isn't it?  You find a great piece of music and want to arrange it for your instrument or ensemble. But can you do it legally?  It depends ...

The Music Publishers Association Code of Fair Practice, agreed between composers, publishers and users of printed music, is the place to check for questions like this.

These are two links you should save:-

Thursday, 24 July 2014

What should I do if I believe that someone may be infringing copyright?

The Music Publishers Association Code of Fair Practice, agreed between composers, publishers and users of printed music, gives you loads of information about what you can and can't do.

Knowledge is half the battle, so why not bookmark these links for future reference?

How can I find the copyright owner for permission to use a piece of music?

Again, the answer can be found in the Music Publishers Association Code of Fair PracticeA revised edition was published in 2012 and you can read it HERE.

Digital Theatre Plus Goes All Operatic

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland's Whittaker Library subscribes to this excellent resource for the benefit of our registered students and staff. 

We learn that today, Digital Theatre Plus is launching a selection of content from the Royal Opera House.  So, musicians, don't forget - Digital Theatre Plus is for you too!

New to Digital Theatre Plus:

This Thursday Digital Theatre Plus
launches its first selection of content
from this iconic production house.  
Find Digital Theatre Plus on the Whittaker Library website, or via our Mahara pages.

Can I Photocopy Printed Music?

The answer can be found in the Music Publishers Association Code of Fair PracticeA revised edition was published in 2012 and you can read it HERE.

Other useful links:-

Tribute to Lorin Maazel

Lorin Maazel, died 13 July 2014

We thought readers might like to read the tribute to the late Lorin Maazel, posted on our professional association's international website*.  You can find the link HERE.

*The International Association of Music Libraries has branches worldwide.  The Whittaker Library is a member of the international and the UK and Ireland branch.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Provocative! Do We Actually Loathe Learning?

This came up on our Twitter feed last night.  Teaching artists, and indeed educators everywhere, might find Dr Edward O'Neill's blogpost of some interest. 

O'Neill authors a blog entitled, Managing Learning Technologies.

Here is his posting, Is it Possible that we Actually Loathe Learning?