Library and Information Services, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Friday, 29 August 2014

How do I get my Royalties when one of my Compositions is Performed?

You need to look at the PRS for Music website.  The Performing Right Society website advises about licences, royalties and more.

We are the Whittaker Library at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, assisting our staff and student performers, composers, and production technicians with their information requirements. We have books about performing rights in our collection, which you can find HERE.

End of an Era - Principal John Wallace Retires

Image from Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Facebook page
As our outgoing Principal retires from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland,'Whittaker' thought it appropriate to look at some of the remarkable things trumpeter John Wallace has done.  A peek into the Whittaker Library catalogue seemed a good place to start:-

Summer 2014 has been a period of handover from John Wallace to the new Principal, Jeff Sharkey. Today we've received John's last 'Weekly News' - it really does seem the end of an era, but we look forward excitedly to the new dawn!

Do I need a Licence for a Live Music Event?

The Performing Right Society website can guide you through the maze:-

We are the Whittaker Library at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, helping our performing artists and production technicians with their information needs.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Who Remembers The Boyfriend?

Sandy Wilson wrote his popular show, The Boy Friend, in 1960.  He lived another 54 years, and has just died aged 90 - his obituary appeared in The Telegraph today.  Read it HERE.

Revisit The Boy Friend (or Ken Russell's film adaptation, The Boyfriend) in the Whittaker Library here at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Musicians! RILM or JSTOR: Deciding Where to Start

Do you look at our Electronic Resources page and wonder where to start?  Do the acronyms and abbreviations bamboozle you?

Two of our most popular and useful resources for musicians are RILM and JSTOR.  There are two main differences, and once you understand those, you're better able to decide where to start!  

It's the difference between subject specific and multi-disciplinary; and the difference between full-text and abstract or indexing services.  Whatever you're consulting, you need to know what's in there.  (It's like knowing whether a shop will have the kind of merchandise you're looking for!)

RILM consists of abstracts (summaries) of scholarly writing on all kinds of musical subjects.  The abstract helps you decide if the article or book will be of use to you, and there are all the details of where to find it.  The Whittaker Library staff are here to help staff and students access the information they need for a teaching or essay assignment.  It's a subject-specific abstracting service. It provides directions towards the info you need, but it doesn't actually give you the full-text information.

JSTOR is a huge multi-disciplinary database of full-text articles.  Unlike RILM, it gives you full-text articles.  However, whilst universities subscribe to the whole database, we only subscribe to the music package.  On the other hand, if you find details of an article in another discipline, and it really looks relevant, then come and ask us.  We can try to obtain it from another library for you.

This blogpost is about a couple of our resources that musicians might find useful.  We could tell you about many more!  In due course we'll also share information about drama and dance resources, too.

We are the Whittaker Library at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, here to help our staff and students access the information they need to be effective creative artists.

Remember this is not an Essay, Pat Thomson reminds PhD Candidates

Nearly finished a PhD?  Pat Thomson, Education Professor blogging as 'Patter', provides a handy checklist for anyone about to submit their doctoral dissertation.  Read it HERE.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Are You a Reflective Practitioner?

RILM to the Rescue!

We've been looking at our electronic databases to see what information you can access.  "Reflective practice" seemed a good place to start, so we searched RILM, a database for music abstracts.  Surprisingly, the first result was about reflective practice in dance, which just goes to show that sometimes you get more than you expected!

Find our subscription to RILM on the Whittaker Library's electronic resources pages. If you're a Royal Conservatoire of Scotland student or member of staff, you can gain access from anywhere, on campus or off-site.  If you're off-site, remember to pick the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland from the list of colleges and universities, then use your usual RCS login.

We are the Whittaker Library at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, here to assist our performing artist community with their teaching and learning information needs.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

When it's core repertoire, but we've lent all our hard copies ...

... Take a look at our digital music collections.  Staff and students of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland can download sheet music from Alexander Street Press, or from  They're listed on the Whittaker Library electronic resources page, and very usefully augment the popular free resources that anyone can access.
Catherine also found an intriguing website called Partifi, the other day.  It can create parts from an IMSLP (Petrucci Music Library) full score.  It's fair to say that it's a bit fiddly to use, but if you're desperate to create parts for a piece of music, and they're not already online, then you might find it handy.

It's listed on our electronic resources page, to help you find it when you need it.

Instantly Find Literature on Reflective Practice with JSTOR

While you've been enjoying our atypical Scottish summer, and mindfully giving yourself a rest from scholarly routine, we hope you haven't forgotten this useful website -

JSTOR is a vast database of scholarly articles.  It has all but the most recent ones (because the journal publishers themselves want you to read their recent journals)!

We subscribe so our performing artists can find lots of information for their teaching and learning.  And their reflective practice.  Try a search - you'll be astounded how much you retrieve!  (We were.)

Suggestion: search Reflective practice

We are the Whittaker Library at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, here to help our community of performing artists with their teaching and learning information needs.

Monday, 25 August 2014

A Film About RILM - Quality Music Info for Students and Researchers

RILM: Cool for Music School

Musicians, are you a student, researcher or educationalist?
If you've been a music student for a while, you've probably already heard of RILM - a database containing abstracts (summaries) of articles and other publications about music.  You can search by keywords and authors - it's great, a really useful service.  You'll find the link to the Whittaker Library RILM subscription on our library databases page, and also on our Mahara e-resources page, accessible to staff and students at the Royal Conservatoire of ScotlandWe've put a brief guide on the Mahara server, too. 

However, it's also worth noting that there's a video about it on the RILM website.  Access it HERE.

If you're a researcher, or publish scholarly writings about music, here's something you might have forgotten about: You can upload your own abstracts directly to RILM via their  submissions page.  It gets your scholarship 'out there' faster, and helps raise your profile - what could be better?  Upload abstracts of your published music writings HERE.

RILM website (not the search interface) 

Friday, 22 August 2014

Folksinger Legend Jean Redpath dies in Arizona aged 77

We were sad to read of Jean Redpath's death in an Arizona hospice this week.

    Thursday, 21 August 2014

    Ever Wanted to Take a Look at the Broadway Archives? Now's Your Chance!

    Excellent new resources available via our subscription to Digital Theatre Plus. Royal Conservatoire of Scotland staff will get an in depth look at the Learning & Teaching Conference session “New Transitions in the Library for DDPS” on Wednesday 17th September.

    We're sharing the latest Digital Theatre Plus update, to whet colleagues' appetites!

     Digital Theatre Plus logo


    New to Digital Theatre Plus:
    Broadway Digital Archive special features

    Divided into Acts and Key Scenes to support in-depth analysis, plus reviews and production galleries of our vintage treasure trove

    Give your students the opportunity to study classic theatre featuring the breakout performances of great contemporary actors including Meryl Streep, Sigourney Weaver, Dustin Hoffman and Samuel L. Jackson with the Broadway Digital Archive - 20 full-length productions of classics available now to subscribers of Digital Theatre Plus.

    We've made studying these productions even easier, with the addition of Key Scenes and Acts for in-depth analysis. Reviews published on our website enable students to study critical responses alongside their own consideration, and our production galleries give an insight into the visual impact of live performance.

    These productions from the Broadway Digital Archive can be found in Digital Theatre Plus Collections,  a fast expanding catalogue of theatrical productions captured by celebrated theatres, producers and arts organisations from around the world.

    To keep up to date with all of our forthcoming releases, as well as further news about the Broadway Digital Archive, please follow Digital Theatre Plus on Twitter.

    Streaming Classical Audio? Supercharge Your Classical Music Library Skills

    The Whittaker Library subscribes to two of the top music streaming services for classical music - Music Online: Classical Music Library (produced by Alexander Street Press), and the Naxos Music Library.  They're a bit like Spotify, but our registered staff and students don't have to pay a subscription, and there are no adverts!  Add to that the useful background information about the music, and you've got a very useful resource.

    Here are some useful podcasts about Music Online: Classical Music Library

    Now try a search for yourself - go to Music Online: Classical Music Library .  In the search box at the top, type Holst Planets, and hit return. Click on the first item.  See what kind of information appears down the white, left-hand panel.  Note that when you hover your mouse over the Planets title hyperlink, you get further factual info about when the piece was written etc, but you don't get a full programme note.

    Have You ever Wondered What Our Ancestors Listened To?

    British Library Sounds is a collection of archival sound recordings.  Case-studies offer quick podcasts about different aspects of the collection.  Listen to Emily Worthington, a music researcher, or hear Paul Long talking about historic jazz recordings. Other podcasts desribe working on accents and dialects.  Click here then choose an enthusiast!

    Example of recent query: An enquirer wanted to know about an early record label.  British Library Sounds had several podcasts by an expert in recording history.

    Podcast of a visit to the British Library Sound Archive

    Jazz Course Leader Shares Enthusiasm for Jazz Books

    The other day, we were chatting about the Whittaker Library's collection of books on jazz.  We have hundreds of them!  (Searching the word "jazz" as a keyword yields well over 400 books, and then there are the scores and recordings ...)

    Tommy Smith, the leader of our Jazz BMus, asked us to produce a list of these books, and we're happy to share this with our blog-followers and performing jazz artists.

    NEW! NEW! NEW!

    Music Online: African American Music Reference 

    When you look at the homepage of this Alexander Street Press resource, you'll immediately recognise lots of jazz names.  Give it a go!

    Screenshot of African American Music Homepage
    Just click here: Music Online: African American Music Reference 

    We are the Whittaker Library at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, here to support teaching and learning amongst our performers and technicians. 

    Seeking Ideas to Improve your Workflow and/or Writing?

    Motivational writer James Clear offers some suggestions for improving your writing and how you go about it.  These are so sensible, we thought we'd share them as we prepare for a new academic session here in the Whittaker Library:-

    7 Improvements I Have Made to My Writing and Work

    We are the Whittaker Library at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, here to support the teaching and learning of our performing artists.

    Guardian Culture Professionals Network Highlights Crisis for Composers

    We noted this posting on the Guardian Culture Professionals Network earlier this week:-

    The future of new music is at risk if we continue to undervalue composers
    Susanna Eastburn on Guardian Culture Professionals Network, Monday 18 August 2014

    Tuesday, 19 August 2014

    The One Perfect Book

    Lydia the Librarian seeks the One Perfect Book
    The other day, we had a query asking if there was one book that all undergraduates have to read.  Gently, we explained that most undergraduates read rather more than just one ...!

    New students at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland will nonetheless get reading-lists with required and suggested reading material. Some of it is hard-copy, "real books".  Other reading is online, and the Whittaker Library has e-books and e-journals aplenty.

    You'll find links to your reading-lists on the RCS library Mahara pages.  These live links mean you can click on a book title and find out whether it's actually available in the Library right now.  (If not, do pop into the library to reserve it at the issue desk.)

    As for the One Perfect Book, that holy grail of all students - well, we're still working on it!

    We are the Whittaker Library at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, here to support the teaching and learning of our performing arts community.  

    Monday, 18 August 2014

    Do You Know the Score? We do, when it comes to Free Sheetmusic!

    Free scores online

    And now, free to our registered staff and students ...

    What we really want our performers to know about, are the new offerings from Alexander Street Press:- 

    We subscribe to Alexander Street Press Classical Scores Library Collections 1 and 2.  That means our staff and students can download anything they find there.  There's classical music for everyone, whatever they sing or play.  Do take a look.  (If you're off-campus, you'll need to login.)
    .Last but not least, we also subscribe to - not an Alexandra Street Press resource - which you can access on Conservatoire premises. Like the Petrucci Music Library, it's better for older music, but it's still a useful place to look for core repertoire.

    We are the Whittaker Library at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland - here to help our performing arts community with their information needs! 

    Networking Librarian: Connecting Performers with Reviews!

    Edinburgh Festival and More  
    Networking Librarian

    Rob Adams Journalist

    We thought our trad and jazz performers might be interested to visit this website by music journalist Rob Adams.  He has attended a lot of events in Edinburgh recently, so you will spot names that you know.