Library and Information Services, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Learning Continues After Black History Month - Guest blogpost by Sanjay Lago

Sanjay Lago is a 3rd year Contemporary Performance Practice student at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. He's also the SU Cultural Diversity Officer. Here in the UK we have been celebrating 30 years of Black History Month - a month where we "Celebrate, Commemorate and Educate" on the histories of The Slave Trade, Colonialism, The British Empire and The Diasporas that have made the UK a diverse place that we now live in, remembering the African, Arab, Asian and Caribbean communities around us that have shaped the UK.  Here in RCS, Sanjay explains that, "we open that up to celebrate cultures from far and wide and a chance to be creative and share our cultural backgrounds with each other."  At the end of Black History Month, he kindly wrote a guest blogpost for us, which we gladly share with you, below:-

Learning Continues After The Month

So another Black History Month has passed in RCS and it has been a month of learning for many people in the institution, but this is not the end, as Black History Month is more than just a month and every day we should be remembering, commemorating and educating on the histories of African, Arab, Asian and Caribbean people. I am deeply saddened that we weren’t able to get projects up and running but this is not the end even though the month has finished. Building on the networks and people we have met, sharing the stories and cultures we bring to this institution, continue to diversify and fight for a better society. But enough of dwelling in the past. We learn from difficulties and not everyone is on the same page and support comes in various ways.

But the reason I am posting this at the end of the month is to remind that we need to continue to do our research about this island that we are on. Continue to read up on the stories of people who came to this island to make it the diverse place that it is today, the connections from wars to diasporas. Looking at the artists in society from BAME (Black Asian Minority Ethnic) Backgrounds.

Read up on books such as:-

  • The Good Immigrant by Nikesh Shukla, a book that shares the experiences of being a person of colour in Britain today. 
  • Why I No Longer Talk To White People About Race by Reni Addo-Lodge- talking about themes of White Privilege and her difficulties talking to white people about race. 
  • Diversify: Six Degrees of Integration by June Sarpong – talking about what makes Diversity

There are so many books and articles out there to share knowledge about this city we are in and its connection to the slave trade, the ayahs being brought over from Indian, Tobacco Merchants. Go and find the books, plays, musicals, composers, artists of colour, use the library - any library - and read up on topics that celebrate and commemorate our multicultural history.

[In our own Whittaker Library, you could try exploring the catalogue using these terms: "Black history" "Black theatre".  And we have ordered the three books that Sanjay recommends - Ed.]

There is a real power in words and you really can grow by words and other experiences. I hope that the coming days we are able to get more events up and running and remember that it maybe a month but there is more than this month, it is every day and think of the people with the lived experiences.

From a recent reading done in class, Give the platform to the person who SHOULD be speaking and be the Ally listening that the person speaking needs for support.

Wishing you a great day and year ahead and feel free to contact me if you ever wish to!

Sanjay Lago

SU Cultural Diversity Officer & CPP 3

Monday, 30 October 2017

Danse Macabre - you heard it first here!

Here in the Whittaker Library, Twittaker has been helping find seasonal performance materials.  And now we can hear Saint Saens' Danse Macabre being practised downstairs!  Anything else we can help you find?  Bach's D minor Toccata and Fugue, maybe?  Nae problem!


Monday, 23 October 2017

Got 20 Seconds? Catalogue Searches Sorted!

Catalogue Searches Sorted! Here's our new catalogue link:-

We have two simple tips for you today.  Don't forget - putting your search terms in inverted commas can be very helpful. Eg a song title.

And using Advanced Search really helps, too. (It's like using a knife and fork instead of a shovel!)

Friday, 20 October 2017

Happy Birthday to Rare Tunes Scottish Archive!

rareTunes - an archive of Scottish sound, is celebrating ten years as an independent internet sound archive of Scottish traditional music.

Do take a look - the website describes itself like this: "A curated audio scrapbook of recordings that range from near-studio quality to crowded and noisy house sessions, from digital media to old bits of tape, vinyl and obscure 78s."  And there are even some videos amongst the audio!

Home and Away: Other Libraries in Glasgow

We've got a great library, but sometimes circumstances might mean that you can't get to it.  You're at home for a few days?  Or (heaven forbid!), there are just too many people there for you to concentrate quietly?  Here's a posting we made earlier, just to remind you of all the other libraries in Glasgow that you can use, too.  And how to get there, and weblinks.  We think of (almost) everything.

Home and Away: Other Libraries in Glasgow

Wherever you stray, of course, we're still here for you.  Don't forget about us!  Check our own library hours, and much, much more:-

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Garcia - New Treatise on the Art of Singing, 1857 (Historically Informed Performance)

Another useful tome for students of historically-informed performance, we found Garcia's New Treatise on the Art of Singing freely available on - what a happy find!

Read it here, and yes, it's also on the RCS Library Music portal!

Joaquim Quantz - On Playing Flute (Historically Informed Performance)

What could be nicer than finding what you want is available free online?  So, here's another for our historically informed performance students. You may not be able to read the whole of Quantz's flute treatise in English online, but you can read Chapter 13, on ornamentation.  

It must be a good source, if it's also picked up by the blog, Technology for the Classical Singer!

And yes, we've saved the link on our RCS Library portal too.

Dorottya Fabian - A Musicology of Performance: Theory and Method based on Bach's Solos for Violin

Maybe not yet ready for Bach Partitas!
Checking through reading lists, we found another useful book that isn't actually on the historical performance list, but might still be of interest.  It's a free e-book through Open Book Publishers.  If you're a violinist, you'll probably find this fascinating. Read it here!

Don't worry, we've also saved it to our library portal pages for musicians, so that's another way of finding it.  

Mental Attitude (User Education as a Performance Art)

 In a discussion about user education (that's when we librarians show you, the users, how our catalogue and online resources work), librarians discussed their private reservations about standing up and sharing info that is probably not the average student's most pressing preoccupation.  We know you'd rather be playing, or composing, or acting ... 
We do try to make it interesting ...  Yes, we realise someone would kill us if we actually danced on the piano! 

Friday, 6 October 2017

Ca' Canny With Your Catalogue Searches!

You can search a library catalogue using the simple search box. You can also search our Catalogue Plus the same way,to get lots of electronic results along with the books, music and audiovisual material that we hold.

But you can get more precise results if you use the Advanced Search. It means you can pin down the author or composer's name, for example, or words that you know are in the title of a book or piece of music.  The Advanced Search function is available whether you're searching just the catalogue, or Catalogue Plus.

It's a good idea to be clear what you're looking for, especially with Catalogue Plus, which searches ALL the electronic resources available to RCS staff and students.

We searched for "Highland Piping" on Catalogue Plus. Loads of relevant hits appeared. We have a nifty little visual graphic which categorises all the results, and you can clearly see what is available.  (But look what else we found. If you're not canny with your searching, then you might - just might - find something completely different... )

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Scholarship and Performance: Vanessa Tomlinson, Percussionist

The other day, we got notification of the latest issue of the Contemporary Music Review, just published.  We notified music colleagues about it, as we often do.  This particular issue contained an article by Vanessa Tomlinson.  Research Fellow Professor Roy Howat was particularly interested to read Vanessa's article - he has performed with her!  He tells us that she is a star percussionist in Brisbane.

Better still, he was able to share a YouTube recording of their collaboration, which we are pleased to share with you today:-

Bartok's Sonata for 2 pianos & percussion

Published on Sep 27, 2012
Bartok: Sonata for 2 Pianos & Percussion
Pianos: Stephen Emmerson & Roy Howat
Percussion: Vanessa Tomlinson & Brent Miller

The article we noticed:-
On Listening: A Universe of Sound
Vanessa Tomlinson
Pages: 1-10

Monday, 2 October 2017

Musicians, If you are from Kirklees and Aged 16-25 ... a Competition

Young Musicians! Are you from the Kirklees Metropolitan Area?

2018 Contest!

We received a leaflet from The Kirklees Young Musician of the Year Contest 2018. 
It takes place in Huddersfield on Sunday 18 February 2018.  Entries must be submitted by Saturday 11 November 2017.

You must be aged 16-25, born or resident in the Kirklees area.

More info at their website:-