Library and Information Services, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Friday, 31 March 2017

Music and Gender in the 18th Century: a Call for Papers for a Musicology Conference in Germany:

Call for Papers

Enlightenment! Music and Gender in the 18th Century

Organizer: PD Dr. Katharina Hottmann and Cornelia Bartsch on behalf of the research unit Womens’ and Gender Studies of the German Society for Music Research

Place: Institute of Historical Musicology at the University of Hamburg

Date: 24.–27. May 2018

Deadline: 15 May 2017

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

During Independent Learning Week ...

Whilst our students enjoy some independent learning, the library staff are collectively being trained in the new library management system that we'll be implementing this summer. We have to get our heads round every aspect of what promises to be a much better system than the present one, so concentration is the name of the game!

We've recently shared lots of tips for 1st and 2nd year musicians with essays pending - see the blogposts we put together last week.  And today, for those of our students who have to give a presentation of some kind, we can offer this link:-
You might also like to watch some experts, so here's another idea:-
TED Talks |

Monday, 27 March 2017

Summer in Vienna: International Music Masterclasses

Somehow, brochures for music festivals regularly make their way to the Whittaker Library.  Today, we got two copies of an Austrian masterclass brochure.  Sharing the online link will attract more attention, so here it is ... offering opportunities for singers, pianists, solo instrumentalists, and chamber ensembles.

47th International Master Classes: Prof. Dichler-Competition

19 July - 20 September 2017

  • Course location: University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna
  • Registration until 30th June 2017, or four weeks before the start of your chosen course.
  • Website:

Friday, 24 March 2017

Whittaker Library Helps Dispel 1st Year Music History Essay Anxiety

Help for Music in History 1 Essay from the Library

Here are a few suggestions of resources you can use to help answer and support your essays.

Library Catalogue
The library catalogue is where you can find books / e-books, CDs and DVDs that may be useful for your essay. For example if you enter the search term Beethoven AND symphony 3 you get a list of resources that you can then limit to the type of item that you are looking for, such as books.

Grove Music Online
If you are struggling with where to start then this is the place to go. Grove has over 60,000 articles covering composers, genres, periods, structures and forms. For example if you search sonata form you can see articles about the form and see which composer articles discuss sonata form.
It also has massive bibliographies which can help you find further useful articles.
Here you can find articles from a range of music journals. Try searching for nineteenth century german tradition or "musical innovations" AND Debussy and see what you find.

 Cambridge University Press
Here you can find articles and chapters from books. Try Mozart AND enlightenment and see what results you get.


  • Try different combinations of words to see if you get different results.
  • Try using inverted commas to search for a term, for example "sonata form".
  • You can also use AND / OR / NOT to limit what you get back, for example Debussy OR Stravinsky AND "musical innovations".
  • You can find our full listings of our e-journals and databases on the library website.

Come and talk to Karen or Catherine in the library if you need any help.


Full Chopin Trolley

We recently acquired a large consignment of Chopin scores edited by the renowned Chopinologist Jan Ekier.  You can see them in the catalogue here:-
You can hear some of Ekier's Chopin editions being played on our Alexander Street Press Classical Music Library subscription!  RCS Library Electronic Resources Page 

Listen to early recordings of Chopin on the British Library Sounds website, from as early as 1895-1958.  (Did you know why there are so many arrangements of Chopin's music for other instruments?  Read on!)

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Deep Web - Forthcoming Resource for Musos, Dancers and Theatricals

Arriving Shortly ...

Search All our E-Resources Simultaneously!

'Deep Web' sounds vaguely anarchistic, but it's actually the way we'll be searching our electronic resources in a few months time.  There's nothing suspect about it in the slightest - it just means that the search engine will explore all our e-resources to bring you an amazing array of results!  

Embrace your Inner Geek!

If you're vaguely curious about how our discovery layer will work, we can share a couple of blogposts written by the nice people at Deep Web.  Believe us, you'll be astounded at what you'll be able to retrieve:-

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Home and Away: Other Libraries in Glasgow

Printing when Out and About? There are iCafes in various convenient Glasgow locations, including Sauchiehall Street:

Other Libraries in Glasgow

We have a great library here at RCS, but it may be useful to you to know about other libraries in Glasgow that you can use for comfortable study-space.

·         You can become a member of the public libraries here, which means you can borrow materials and use their electronic resources as well as our own.  
·         Local university libraries can also be used for study-space or to consult their stock; additionally, research students have some borrowing privileges (see below).

Glasgow Life (Public Libraries)

You can register with Glasgow Libraries online, and their 24/7 online research materials complement our own.  Notably, they subscribe to Proquest, which gives great subject access to the world of knowledge.  You have to be a registered reader to access their online resources.
Glasgow has 32 community libraries including a lending section in the Mitchell. The Mitchell itself is a large city library with extensive resources and study space.  You will also find warm, comfortable study-space in the community libraries.

Which libraries are near a subway or train station?
University Libraries and the National Library of Scotland
 Glasgow Women's Library  In a class of its own, not far from Bridgeton Train Station.

The information in this blogpost is also available via the Library pages on the RCS Portal (Virtual Learning Environment). 

Craft a Great Music History Essay - Delight Your Tutors!

Find great resources for your essay, in the library or at home!


We’ve been looking at the Music History 2 essay questions to see how our online resources could help you.  Here are some general hints, followed by more specific ones:-

A. You need to look in SEVERAL PLACES.   First the catalogue:- Type your search term.  
·         Start with a precise search (eg the composer’s name and  perhaps the piece) then broaden it if you don’t get what you need.  If you don’t find the right information under a composer’s name, try MUSIC HISTORY - and maybe the century you’re interested in. 
·         If a piece of music has an English title as well as its original title, search both!
·          There’s nothing wrong with older literature, if it informs the question you are answering. (But remember that opinions may have changed, if an article is very old indeed!!)

Look down the left-side bar in catalogue, then click on “More” to find other formats eg electronic resources.

B.  Click on the link to the Library Website to check E-resources, E-books and E-journals. Please come and see us if you need a quick refresher course in finding e-resources!

C. You can often find a score online.   Use your computer’s snipping tool to copy little excerpts for examples.  We subscribe to Alexander Street Press Classical Scores Library (accessible online wherever you are), and Library Music Source (accessible on site) - both at:-
You probably already know about IMSLP (the Petrucci library), too.

D. You can look for information in Oxford Music Online.

E. You can find loads of really useful information on JSTOR.  (It can be a good idea to keep a record of the search terms you’ve used, so you don’t waste time repeating yourself!)  Be clever with your searching – if the essay is asking you to link concepts (eg Liszt and literature), make sure your search terms reflect that.  More about this later, read on …

F. If you’re working from home, limit your results to e-resources to see if there’s anything you can read online :-   

·         There are plenty of electronic journals on the e-journals page.  Start by looking for suitable journals under the List of Music Titles.
·         Don’t forget we have publishers’ collections of e-books on the e-books page.  Try the Cambridge University Press and Oxford University Press collections. 
G.  You can stream music by Naxos or Alexander Street Press Music Library.  Check our e-resources page.

Now please scroll down to read further hints about your essay questions!

HIP – Historically Informed Performance
Legal public domain image of Liszt (Pixabay)
If you don’t find what you want, try searching for related phrases – 

·         Historically informed (a broad term) or Historically informed Baroque (more precise)
·         Historically appropriate (broad) or Historically appropriate performance (narrow)
·         Modern instruments
·         Authenticity

Liszt – Try using JSTOR Advanced Search.  Search smart!  Liszt literature isn’t a very precise search!  Try Liszt Literary Allusions and scroll down to the journal filter, to check the Music Box.  That way, you only retrieve music journals, and you don’t just get literature about Liszt.  But don’t forget to search our own catalogue for books on Liszt – we have dozens!

Soviet music
·         Again, use JSTOR Advanced Search.  Socialist realist ideology is a great search, so long as you use the journal filter for music journals!
·         If you’re searching the e-books collections, remember the publishers publish on a wide range of disciplines, not just music, and they don’t give you e-access to EVERYTHING they publish.   (Cambridge University Press only gives books from certain years, for example.)  Experiment with your search terms.  Eg, searching Oxford University Press Scholarship Online for Socialist realist ideology music may be too precise, Socialist realist ideology may be too general, but Socialist music, or Soviet music, might have worthwhile results.

Shostakovich, Stravinsky, Schoenberg, Boulez, Stockhausen – in our catalogue, entering a composer’s name then limiting to books, or e-books, is a good start.  Similarly, you can’t go wrong searching publishers’ e-book collections because you know your search term will retrieve material about the composer!
However, if you’re searching JSTOR, remember many articles are by specialists on very precise research topics, so you may need to add extra search terms to your search.

Jazz culture and gender inequality – in the publishers’ e-book collections on our website, Oxford University Press Scholarship Online is a good place to start.  Search jazz culture gender, for example. The Sage e-book collections also look good.  Then try the same search on JSTOR Advanced Search, making sure you check the Music Journals box.

Berio, Andriessen – Try JSTOR Advanced search for Berio Sinfonia Postmodern – then try again substituting Postmodernism.  Be sure to check the Music Journals box.  Remember, you can always take words away from a search, so you could search for Andriessen De Staat Postmodern, or leave off the last word!  This applies in any search.   And just a wee reminder. We have an e-book on Postmodernism, and one on Berio, but we have several paper books. Don’t forget the “real” books!  Also, why not look up the works on Naxos? There are sleeve notes!

John Cage – JSTOR is a great start, so is our catalogue (limit your search to books), and so is the Oxford e-book collection we mentioned earlier.

Tips to Take Away!

JSTOR Advanced Search (and select Music Journals)
Experiment with broader or more specific searches
Cite your references with care
Ask the Performing Arts Librarians if you need advice with resources 

Musica Scotica is Scottish Music Old and New - Conference and Discussion List

 Musica Scotica 2017

Possibly the Best Small Conference in Scotland!


Registration for Musica Scotica 2017(at the Tolbooth,Stirling, 22nd April 2017) is now open. Click here.  

  • It's a one-day conference; your fee is just for the conference and the conference luncheon buffet.
  • The conference ends with a short early evening concert, and then those who wish are invited to go for dinner afterwards. An initial reservation has been made - delegates thinking of dining should indicate their intentions at the earliest opportunity, to ensure that the reservation can be fine-tuned in good time.
  • Speakers should email to advise whether they're using powerpoint, recorded sound, or internet.


JiscMail offers the facility to set up discussion lists about education or research interests on a particular topic, carried out by email. Correspondents generally have some connection with higher education, but this is not compulsory. There's now a list for sharing information about education or research interests in Scottish music, and the groupname is MusicaScotica.
  • What is JiscMail? Visit 
  • How  do I subscribe? You'll find instructions at the FAQ for Subscribers page:  Basically, you either visit the JiscMail homepage and choose MusicaScotica from there, or send an email to with the following command in the subject line, substituting your own name:-  SUBSCRIBE MUSICA SCOTICA YOURFIRSTNAME YOURLASTNAME
  • Can I use institutional access? Certainly. If you're in a British HE institution, you can use institutional access (Shibboleth), as you would with most electronic resources.
  • You'll find Netiquette suggestions towards the bottom of the FAQ page. (Basically, keep it relevant, be polite, and remember this is a public list for sharing information about education or research interests in Scottish music.) 

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Do You Enjoy Organ Music?

From our friends the Glasgow Society of Organists, some recitals you might enjoy:-
  • 15 March - Glasgow University Memorial Chapel at 1.10 pm - Umberto Noe
  • 18 March - Bearsden Cross Parish Church - coffee concert - Peter Backhouse - 10.45 am for coffee/cake with recital at 11.30 am.
  • 24/26 March - Kilmacolm Festival of Sound - Peter Christie - 26 March at 3 pm

Widening Access - a Dance Workshop promoted by Indepen-dance

We have just heard about a dance workshop that will be of interest to many people.  We were told about it by Indepen-dance, a group committed to making dance accessible to all, with or without disabilities; if they're promoting this course by Jürg Koch, then it can be guaranteed to be good.

Are you a dancer or a dance teacher?  To book your place please follow the link:
About the workshop:

Tuesday 18th April
Langside Halls, Glasgow,G41 2QR

Jürg Koch introduces dance training informed by Universal Design of Instruction, a framework which promotes access for a greater diversity of people. Jürg unpacks key aspects of UD and its application in various dance settings. This is aimed at dance artists and teachers who seek to apply inclusive practice to their work.
Jürg's approach is a result of his experience with Candoco Dance Company and is based on his research and experience developed in the Dance Program at the University of Washington. The workshop will also include current material and findings from the GDance initiative Dance Unstuck, applying Universal Design of Instruction to ballet training. Instead of a disability specific approach or working with ‘adapting’ movements for or by disabled dancers, this approach allows everyone in the class to work with shared principles and processes allowing them to recognise and push their individual movement ranges and possibilities.
If you have any questions then please do get in touch.

Amy Stevenson
Dance Development Worker