Library and Information Services, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Monday, 28 September 2015

Adding New Scottish Music to Library Stock

An interesting pile is growing in the library office - music from Scotland, both traditional and modern classical.  

We have a new book of tunes by Marie Fielding, and another by Judi Nicolson.  Add to that The Tom Richardson Collection, John Cowan's The Music of a Galloway Fiddle Player, Traditional Folk Reels arranged for wind ensemble by William McConnell, Frank and Ronald Jamieson's Vidlin Voe, Leveneep Head, and Muckle Ayre (Shetland music) ... 

Not to mention John Wallace's Quiraing for solo clarinet, and Chosen Vale for three trumpets.  John was Principal of The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland until just a year ago.

You can always see what's new in the Whittaker Library by clicking on the link that you'll find on the catalogue homepage.  Click to see New Additions to the Catalogue!

(Now, shall we have haggis or a wee dram to accompany it?)

Friday, 25 September 2015

Women Composers - Raising the Profile (Alma Mahler)

Alma Mahler was an intriguing and sometimes disturbing character.  Her career as a composer was apparently cut short when she married.  Gustav Mahler insisted - and posterity suffered.

Alma died in 1964.  Read about Alma Mahler in this Guardian blog post (written in 2010).

Her 5 Lieder are on IMSLP, though they may not yet be out of copyright in the UK.  Here in the Whittaker Library, we have editions of her diaries and memoires, and a CD including some of her music.  We're trying to source sheet music, so our performers can actually sing her songs.

  • Universal Edition publications click HERE!
  • Whittaker Library catalogue entries click HERE.

Book Vandalism (Gonnae No Dae That!)

Poor old Chopin

We were upset when a student found this, yesterday.

It's a library book, folks!  You wouldn't do that to a friend's book, would you?  If you must add markings, please do them lightly in pencil, and never use ink or marker pen! 

At least if you use a pencil, you can spend a couple of minutes with an eraser when you've finished.
"Gonnae No Dae That" is a Glasgow colloquialism from the TV comedy series, Still Game.  It means, don't do it!

Thursday, 24 September 2015

RefMe - Keep Track of your Reading

Calm Your Inner Geek!

People might talk to you about Referencing, or Citations.  It all sounds a bit obscure, doesn't it?

It's not hard, really.  You need to keep note of what you've read, if you are going to 'reference' or 'cite' it later.  (You might also to keep a list of things you mean to read later, so you don't lose track of those interesting titles...)

There are various apps out there.  RefMe is the new kid on the block, but it's quite easy to use and seems to do the job, so you may like to take a look at it.

Anything that saves you racking your brains or rifling through notepads later, has to be a good thing, right?

We'll tell you about some other resources another day!

Find a Young Musician from Kirklees Metropolitan Area - 2016 Contest!

We received a leaflet from The Kirklees Young Musician of the Year Contest 2016.

It takes placed in Huddersfield on 19 February 2016.  Entries must be submitted by 14 November 2015.

You must be aged 16-25, from Kirklees area!

More info at their website:- Mrs Sunderland Music Festival

Performing Arts, Whittaker-Library Style

From time to time we share interesting weblinks for our developing artists.

Like these from the Guardian's Culture Professionals blog :- 

Welcome to the Whittaker Library

 Twittaker of the Whittaker Library
Book Box for when we're closed
Hello, and welcome!  This week we're welcoming the 2015 intake of new students - eager performers, production wizards, composers and teachers-in-waiting.

You've reached our performing arts blog, where we post interesting links about - yes, the performing arts!  We tell you about things we've obtained for the library, and share links about competitions, developing your career, and new ideas.

Don't miss your library tour - it's just a quick whirl round the library so you can see where things are, and who we are!  

We try to visit classes from time to time, too, because there's plenty of invisible stuff on offer - electronic books and journals, specialist databases and streaming services that aren't available without our premium subscriptions.  (We pay, so our students and staff can enjoy the benefits for free.)

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Virtually There - We (Whittaker Library) Had a Dream ...

 Today's the day they let us out of our box!  Members of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Information Services Team are talking to colleagues in other departments about our work with electronic resources over the past year:-

  • Our e-resources are getting used a lot more these days (stats prove it!)
  • We promote our e-resources for their good content, not just because they're electronic!
  • Staff are encouraged to invite us to visit their classes (or we'll just keep emailing to invite ourselves!)
  • Julie told staff about registering for the lost password service - and a training service called Lynda
  • Marius got cheers to his announcement that Mahara is on its way out! 
  • Stuart demonstrated how cool our archives actually are

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Paris Opera Launches New Platform for Film and Digital Media Productions

Benjamin Millepied
The Paris Opera is opening a virtual third stage, called 3e Scène, which will present works of various media. The venture, choreographer Benjamin Millepied’s brainchild, will be unrelated to specific opera or ballet productions.

Its debut will feature eighteen films directed by filmmakers including Rebecca Zlotowski, photographers Denis Darzacq, and Alex Prager, animator Glen Keane, and artist Julien Prévieux. The aim is to present thirty new works each season, said Millepied, while also encompassing installations, readings, and other events.

Thursday, 10 September 2015

You mean I CAN copy it? (Understanding Music Copyright)

To be honest, copyright legislation is a rather negative topic! If something's 'in copyright', you can't copy it.  However, if something is very old, or if you have the right permissions, or if you're copying a tiny extract for study purposes, then you may be able to copy it, guilt-free.  

So, how do you find out what's allowed?

  1. The IAML(UK and Ireland) website has a full page devoted to copyright, with lots of useful links, particularly relating to music.  (The International Association of Music Libraries is our professional association; a working group is currently drawing up a new helpful advice document, but you can certainly trust the links that are already on this website.)
  2. Another UK library organisation, CILIP (Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals) has its own page about copyright in general.
  3. Try the UK Copyright Service website.
  4. Conservatoires and Universities often have their own web-pages on copyright legislation, sometimes on a Virtual Learning Network that only their own staff and students can access.  (We have such a page on the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland's VLN.)  We also have someone on the staff with particular responsibilities for providing copyright advice. This is quite common.
  5. The British Academy for the Human and Social Sciences has a very extensive copyright advice page, though you might be put off by its length!  
The bottom line is - if in doubt, ask! Whether you ask your library staff or one of the agencies on the IAML list, someone will be happy to help you work out where you stand.

Watch Merle Hensel, Tom Scutt and Ian MacNeil interview transcripts

Staff and students at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland have access to Digital Theatre Plus, which offers many interesting insights into the world of theatre.

Access it through our Electronic Resources page.

Transcripts: Practitioners in Practice

"Today on Digital Theatre Plus we release three more transcripts sourced from our Making Theatre library that enable: independent learning, skills development and the understanding of key themes pertinent to the teaching of English and Drama.
"Releasing and realising the physical and visual potential of the text is the designer’s challenge. In simple terms, they create the world of the play, but it’s so much more than that. This week, three wonderful theatre designers illuminate their craft and demonstrate the alchemy in their work as they move between being architects, artists, illusionists and interior design specialists."
Newly available:- interviews with Merle Hensel, Tom Scutt, and Ian MacNeil. Ian just happens to be coming to the Theatre Royal in Glasgow this November, so it's great that you get the chance to see this interview in advance of his visit.

On Design: Merle Hensel

Lovesong, Lyric Hammersmith
Merle Hensel chats about the collaborative nature of the creative design process and how she developed the ideas that shaped the visual landscape for Lovesong.

On Design: Tom Scutt

King Lear, Almeida Theatre
Tom Scutt takes us through the creative challenges of designing a play as epic as King Lear in the intimate space of the Almeida Theatre.

On Design: Ian MacNeil

A Doll's House, Young Vic
Theatre designer Ian MacNeil speaks to Digital Theatre Plus about his creative response to A Doll’s House. He focuses on the practical craft of theatre design, the editorial nature of his role and his contribution to dictating the rhythm of the story performed on stage.

Visit Digital Theatre Plus now

Monday, 7 September 2015

Finding Old Musical Sources - RISM is Online!

Great News from RISM!

If you research or play music from earlier times, you'll know how important it is to see the sources that our forebears composed, published and played from.  

Nowadays, the first problem is locating these materials!

For printed publications, we have Copac (British national and universities combined ('union') catalogue.  There's also WorldCat, which pulls together library holdings particularly from the USA and the UK, regardless of public or academic affiliation.

But there's nothing quite like the fabulous RISM, the Online Catalogue of Musical Sources that locates printed and manuscript music from worldwide locations.  It was a really useful resource when it was just a series of printed books, but now the free RISM Online Catalog offers online access to series A/I, A/II, and years 1500-1550 of B/I.  (See the RISM Publications page to understand precisely what is in the various series!)

Type keywords or a composer into the search box and see what you find - details of the publication, and where copies can be found.

Want to be an Archivist? (Or conserve your papers responsibly)

The National Archives' website has plenty of information about good archival practice.  Read about it here:-  Caring for Archives.

If you fancy a career as an archivist, why not contact one to tell you what the job entails?

Our own Archives Officer would be happy to tell you more about his work here in the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.  We don't just conserve papers - we have music, musical instruments, costumes, paintings and more!

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Scottish Song Tunes, about 290 Years Ago!

Time Travel with a Tablet?

Musick for Allan Ramsay's Collection 

With some excitement, yesterday, we opened this digital copy of one of Scotland's earliest song-tune collections.

Allan Ramsay compiled a collection of song texts. Alexander Stuart compiled a tune-book to go with the words, in the mid-1720s. And here's the digitized work, all the way from the University of South Carolina!

You can save the whole book to an iPad or tablet, and play the tunes out of it. What could be cooler than that?

On This Day ... 1808

Crusty, objectionable, fussy .... 

Joseph Ritson, compiler of Scotish Songs 

Scotish Songs

The reputed Scottish antiquarian Joseph Ritson died on this day, 3rd September 1808.  If he was fussy and argumentative, it's because he was deeply knowledgeable and wanted everything to be just right.  And he had no patience whatsoever with anyone who fabricated 'historic' Scottish culture, like Macpherson's Ossian tales.

Unfortunately, that made him very unpopular with a whole lot of people.  In spite of that, spare him a charitable thought today, because he wasn't all bad - just a bit difficult to get along with!

He compiled a two-volume collection of Scottish songs which was highly thought-of in its day.  The Whittaker Library has facsimiles of Ritson's two-volume Scotish Songs.  (Yes, that is the archaic spelling!)  

RCS Students Get Trial of Naxos Jazz Streaming!

We’ve arranged for staff and students of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland to trial the Naxos jazz streaming service for the whole month of September. The Whittaker Library needs to know how useful it will be, before considering a subscription.

The classical musicians have had Naxos Music streaming for years now, and it’s one of our most popular electronic services. If their experience is anything to go by, then Naxos Jazz should be great, too. (NB, this is for streaming tracks, not downloading or buying them.)

You need to go to this website:-

RCS Staff and students should contact the Library to request the trial username and

password. Jazz students have been contacted already today.

We need to know what our performing artists think of it! If we don't hear, we’ll assume you don’t like it, or don’t think it’s worth bothering about.

Sitting back waiting to hear …

Finding Music - Simultaneous Search of German, Austrian and British Libraries

Here's a useful resource!  

Vifa Musik

Vifa Musik is the Virtual Library of Musicology.  It lets you search the British Library, Austrian National Library, Berlin State Library, Bavarian State Opera - and other databases - all at once.

It's easy to see the potential for unearthing new and interesting materials.