Library and Information Services, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Wellbeing: Write about your Personal Values

Whittaker has mentioned James Clear before - he writes in a very approachable way about behavioural psychology and habit-forming.

This week, he blogged about the psychological benefits of writing about your personal values, in a journal or elsewhere.  Read it here.

Towards Equality - Womensemble for Women Playwrights

In an equal world, Womensemble might not need to exist!  It's a collective promoting women playwrights, and is coordinated by RCS alumna Helen Cuinn.  From the website:- 
"womensemble is a collective that seeks to promote female playwrights and inspire female theatre artists to write, act, direct and design strong stories for and about women.
"Creating a data base of female theatre artists and interested parties, developing playreading groups and eventually hosting a library resource of interesting plays by women around the globe.
Bookmark this link and check it out!


Monday, 26 October 2015

Last Night of the First Edinburgh Musical Festival 1815 and a new edition in 2015 ...

We mentioned last week that Karen will be giving a talk at Edinburgh Central Library on Friday afternoon - the Bicentenary of the First Edinburgh Musical Festival (Friday, 30th October 2015).

By sheer coincidence, she has just catalogued a new authoritative edition of the final piece that was performed in 1815: one of Handel's famous Coronation Anthems!

Find it in the Whittaker Library Catalogue, here.

Composers and their Creative Process - Luciano Berio

As one of the 20th century's 'big names', composer Luciano Berio's creative process will be of interest to many aspiring composers out there.

RILM (the people who do the music literature index that we subscribe to) have just blogged about Berio.

Read Luciano Berio's Creative Process here, now.

RILM's blog is regularly updated with interesting posts about different aspects of music old and new.  Find it here:-

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Monday, 19 October 2015

Bicentenary of Edinburgh's First Musical Festival

Special bicentennial event 2.30pm, Friday 30th October, Edinburgh Central Library

Edinburgh’s First Musical Festival took place in 1815.  The Edinburgh Festival has certainly not run continuously since then! Indeed, there was a whole century in which there was no festival. 

Karen has been asked to give a talk at Edinburgh Central Library on Friday 30th October, to commemorate the bicentenary.  It’s a fascinating story, that she's looking forward to sharing.

Heritage Lottery Fund supports National Jazz Archive for oral history and reminiscence project

The National Jazz Archive has been awarded £83,300 by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the Intergenerational Jazz Reminiscence Project, which will begin in January 2016.

Thanks to National Lottery players, this project will give people the opportunity to learn about and contribute to the National Jazz Archive through a programme of performance, oral history and reminiscence. It will explore how different generations have promoted, performed, supported, and documented our jazz heritage. Using materials from the Archive and from other local sources, the project will inspire members of Age UK Activity Centres, local jazz clubs, local youth groups and young jazz musicians to share and discuss what music has meant and still means in their lives.

The generation that founded jazz clubs, learned to play jazz before there was any formal musical education in jazz, and who have donated their magazines, photographs and other material to the National Jazz Archive are nearing the end of their lives. Through interviewing and recording talks and discussions at intergenerational workshops in Age UK Activity Centres the project will record and conserve the reminiscences of a generation of people who had to make considerable investment to access music. Recorded music will be a part of the workshops, with live music by young musicians at some of them.

Interviews with older jazz musicians, jazz club promoters and supporters will form a permanent record of anecdotal jazz history. The project will work with the Black Cultural Archives to encourage participation from the older black, Asian, and minority ethnic communities, including local musicians associated with these communities. Loughton Youth Project will participate in and film the sessions.

The interviews and memories collected by the project will be made available on the Archive’s website and will contribute to an exhibition celebrating the people and places that have shaped jazz music across the UK.

The National Jazz Archive will be leading the project, and will work in partnership with other specialist organisations to deliver it: Age UK, Black Cultural Archives, Chelmsford Museums Service, Essex University, Loughton Youth Project, the Open University, and local jazz clubs.

“This is a great result for a magnificent team effort. The HLF award is a tremendous endorsement of the National Jazz Archive. It recognises and builds on the success achieved by our first HLF project ‘The Story of British Jazz’, and presents a wonderful opportunity to develop our relationship with a broad range of new and existing partners. It also enables us to further develop the Archive and to increase access to and public engagement with our important collections.”, said Paul Kaufman, Chair of the Trustees of the National Jazz Archive.
“I’m delighted that the Archive is continuing to extend its work through this exciting project, which will record and capture so many personal recollections and stories. It’s very pleasing that so many levels of expertise and skills will be involved, with participants from young to old.” (Digby Fairweather, founder and lifelong patron of the Archive, jazz trumpeter, author and broadcaster.)
“This project is a great example of the breadth of heritage supported by National Lottery players. We’re really pleased that our funding will allow more people to explore and learn about this fascinating and important archive.”  (Robyn Llewellyn, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund East of England)

About the National Jazz Archive
The National Jazz Archive is a registered charity based in Loughton Library in Essex. It was founded in 1988 by Digby Fairweather, and holds the UK’s finest collection of written, printed and visual material on jazz, blues and related music, from the 1919 to the present day. The Archive holds more than 4000 reference books, specialist periodicals and bulletins spanning over 600 titles, archival material, artwork, ephemera and photographs. It is open on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 10am to 1pm.

The Archive's vision is to ensure that significant jazz material should be safeguarded for future generations of enthusiasts, professionals and researchers. The Archive received a Heritage Lottery Fund grant in 2011 that supported a three-year access development project ‘The Story of British Jazz’ enabling the collection to be fully conserved and catalogued for the first time. Significant items were digitised and are now accessible online.
About the Heritage Lottery Fund

Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about - from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife.
  • @heritagelottery         
  • @HLFEoE

Unveiling a new source of Digital Resources for Musicology

Do you teach or study any aspect of musicology?

If you're looking for digital resources for musicology - say, digitized Beethoven scores - then this new website looks really useful.  Do take a look to see if it has anything relevant to your area of study or teaching!

Digital Resources for Musicology

 Quoting from the website homepage,
This website provides links to substantial open-access projects of use to musicians and musicologists. With a burgeoning number of digital resources available, remembering titles of sites and pathways to them can be difficult. Digital Resources in Musicology (DRM) is organized topically and provides a rapid search tool for specialties within heterogeneous collections. Neither the links or their descriptions are exhaustive.
Older projects predating the development of the internet are listed at ADAM: Archive of Digital Applications in Musicology. Curated digital and hybrid editions are itemized at EVE: Electronic and Virtual Editions. Harvard's Online Resources for Music Scholars offer a somewhat different, largely complementary mix of projects.

Friday, 16 October 2015

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Anna Madeley and Richard Armitage interviewed on Digital Theatre Plus

Lucky drama students at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland can now watch exclusive interviews with Anna Madeley and Richard Armitage via the college's Digital Theatre Plus subscription.
Today we release a full transcript of our exclusive interview with actor Anna Madeley, who played Elizabeth Proctor in The Old Vic's sensational 2014 production of The Crucible. Anna describes how integrity is essential to her portrayal of the character of Elizabeth and the role Mary Warren plays in Elizabeth's secluded rural life. Anna also explains the rehearsal exercises used to build intimacy between John and Elizabeth in performance.   View here.

[and] ... a full transcript of our exclusive interview with actor Richard Armitage, who played the troubled protagonist John Proctor in The Old Vic's sensational 2014 production of The Crucible. Richard details the physical process he went through and the practical research he undertook in order to fully understand John Proctor. He also explains what he thinks Arthur Miller is conveying through the words spoken by the character and why he feels that Proctor's fall from grace was inevitable. View here
Staff and students of the RCS should ask at the issue desk if they need login details for off-campus viewing.

Monday, 12 October 2015

Robert Burns and his Fiddle - By his Sister

What do we know about Robert Burns's violin-playing?  Mary Anne Alburger, in Scottish Fiddlers and their Music (1996), says he could play to amuse himself, but couldn't play well enough to accompany a dance.

And how does Alburger know this?  She referred to a famous collection of Scottish songs which has plentiful notes.

Songs of Scotland was edited by George Farquhar Graham, and published by Edinburgh firm Wood and Co., from 1848-1853. It remained in print in various editions for half a century, but the most important thing to us is the annotations.

Captain Charles Gray, who knew Robert Burns's sister, wrote to George Farquhar Graham to say he had asked Mrs Begg for her recollections.  (This would be described as oral history nowadays!)

George Farquhar Graham wrote back to Captain Gray, asking for answers to some more precise questions.  In the Appendix to Vol. 2 of Songs of Scotland, Graham quotes from Captain Gray's original letter, and his own reply with the questions he wanted answered, and finally, from Captain Gray's second letter. 

You can read the whole discussion in Songs of Scotland Vol.2, Appendix (pp.161-62).  We have it in stock in the Whittaker Library at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Click here for catalogue number

And that's what we know about Burns and his fiddle-playing prowess!

Burns could copy music, too - the few scraps that survive have sold at auction for phenomenal prices!  Here's one:- Wha is that at my bower door? (It sold for £12,500 recently!)

Friday, 9 October 2015

Getting Spiritual: a Cloud-Based Solution for Singers

 Spirituals Database: an Art of the Negro Spiritual Project

This may be of interest to singers - we were told about it by the American branch of the International Association of Music Libraries:-

Click on this link to explore the database for yourself! 

Common Threads Linking Plainsong, Scottish Song & Fiddle Music, and ... Legal Deposit???

October 2015  

On Monday 12th October at 6 pm, Karen has been invited to give one of the regular Exchange Talks here at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.  

Admission is free, but you need to get a ticket from the box office.

Here's a teaser - see if you can work out what the common thread is!

 Karen’s Masters was about mediaeval plainsong; her PhD explored 18th and 19th century Scottish song collecting, and her part-time postdoctoral AHRC research investigated Scottish fiddle-tune accompaniments.  Next, she’ll be examining the University of St Andrews’ historic, but little-known Copyright Music collection. 

In her Exchange Talk, she will reveal the common thread which has interlaced all her research activities.

Friday, 2 October 2015

Hot off the Press - Faure Songs Vol.3 by our own Roy Howat!

News for Singers!

Peters Edition have just sent us copies of Roy Howat's latest Faure Songs edition - Vol.3 for High and for Medium voice. These follow the 2014 release of Faure's Songs Vol.1.
Roy is a leading expert on Faure, and indeed contemporary French repertoire for piano as well as for voice.  Check our catalogue here.