Library and Information Services, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Monday, 19 June 2017

Paul McCartney turns 75 (a tribute by German music librarian Katharina Jerusalem)

Fresh on the grapevine ... via our professional association, the International Association of Music Libraries (IAML), a tribute to Paul McCartney:-

"Paul McCartney will turn 75 tomorrow! In honor of this major birthday, Katharina Jerusalem from Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR), Cologne, has written a tribute in German and English that focuses on his post-Beatles career. As an added bonus, Hansi Dequal has translated it into Italian for us."

Friday, 16 June 2017

Can't I Just Photocopy the Part? Music Copyright Can and Can't Do's in the UK

Copyright guidelines courtesy of CILIP
So you've lost your viola part?  That could be a problem! You cannot just copy another one from the score without the publisher's permission.

Our professional association, IAML (UK and Ireland), has a very helpful web page telling you what is, and is not permissable in the British and Irish world of music copyright.  

Read all the do's and don'ts here:- UK Copyright FAQs, courtesy of IAML (UK and Ireland).

Also, do refer to the general guidelines produced by another professional organisation, CILIP:-

  • International Association of Music Libraries, UK and Ireland Branch 
  • Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals

Thoughts about a Pile of Old Music - The Long Tail of Research

Read Karen's musings about a pile of old pop music that she found the other day!  The Long Tail of Research

Yes, Whittaker Library is open all summer ...

Library Summer Hours

From today (Friday 16th June 2017), we operate summer hours: 

9-5 Monday-Friday, but closed at the weekend.

Visitors are advised to check the website if you're travelling a distance, just in case there are any unexpected changes to particular days.

Staff and students, remember you can still access all our electronic resources even if you're not around Glasgow. (Do ask for more details, if you've never tried before.)  And we're getting a new library system in July, so watch out for an enhanced catalogue experience too. It'll make it even easier to source lots of relevant materials.  Watch this space ...

Friday, 9 June 2017

Why is it always somebody else? Don't shoot the piano player

Today's the day everyone has to return their library books and music here at the Whittaker Library.  (Why is it always someone else's fault that a music part has gone astray?!)

We haven't lost a horn or even a horn part (yet) today, but this cheerful little Flanders and Swann song, "I've lost my horn",  is so nearly appropriate, and at least it cheers us up:-

Monday, 5 June 2017

Fiddler of Strathspey Festival, Grantown

Fiddler of Strathspey Festival

23-25 June 2017

Details of a fiddle festival - lots of fiddling events, recitals, sessions, workshops, masterclasses - and all in Grantown, home of the strathspey.  RCS alumna and tutor Lauren MacColl is amongst the many stars who will be there. Visit:-

Do you Teach the Accordion?

New in the library, the gift of a book - An International Overview of Accordion Pedagogy.  It was edited and published this year by Claudio Jacomucci.  Further publications about classical accordion can also be downloaded here

Claudio Jacomucci homepage:- 

Signor Jacomucci runs an accordion masterclass in Amsterdam and Urbino - you can find out more at his website:-

When Good Research Goes Viral, by Diane Rasmussen Neal

Via Mendeley, we've heard of this really useful chapter about using social media to extend the reach of your research. And here's a link to the entire chapter: When Good Research Goes Viral, by Diane Rasmussen Neal

The article is in Social Media for Academics: A Practical Guide (2012) pp. 161-173 Published by Elsevier Ltd

Thursday, 1 June 2017

The Dewar Arts Awards

We were surprised and delighted to read the success stories of the recipients of recent Dewar Arts Awards, particularly since RCS students are amongst them!  The trust has published a book commemorating 15 years of supporting promising young artists, and we have two copies in the library

You can also read the stories online, though - here:-

For heartwarming interviews with young artists literally bursting with talent and passion for their art, you can't beat this special anniversary publication. 

Resource of the Month: International Bibliography of Theatre & Dance

International Bibliography of Theatre and Dance

Every month we profile one of our best e-resources.  This one is a full-text database covering theatre, drama and dance including journals such as Dance Magazine, Modern Dance, Modern Drama, TD+T (Theatre Design and Technology).  Click on the link above, to start exploring this really useful resource.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Now available on DT+ Eric Bentley at 100: On Brecht, Theatre, Politics and Writing

An interview with Bertolt Brecht's closest collaborator

"Digital Theatre Plus is proud to announce the release of an exclusive two-hour interview with Eric Bentley, conducted in New York in 2015 by Professor Anna Furse, Head of Theatre and Performance at Goldsmiths University. It provides a unique insight into the life and work of Bentley, Bertolt Brecht’s closest collaborator."
"Brecht did believe in himself, his talent. He was a Brechtian! But I'm not."
"One of Brecht’s strongest advocates, Eric Bentley introduced Brecht to the English-speaking world, and is often referred to as his offstage other.  This interview sheds significant light on the specifics of translating Brecht’s writing, the enduring power of his work, and the ideas and politics of a remarkable moment in history."

Staff and students at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland can view this interview via our DT+ subscription.  Access the interview with Eric Bentley here. (You'll need to use institutional login, aka Shibboleth, with your username and password, if you are off-campus.)

About Being an Opera Singer: Hanna-Liisa Kirchin at Grange Park Opera

Grange Park Opera is in Guildford, quite a long way from Glasgow!  Tweeting as @GrangeParkOpera, their byline promises "Exceptional opera in the UK's newest opera house - at a most elegant summer festival at West Horsley Place."

Their repertoire is interesting, and what interested us particularly today was the blogpost authored by one of their opera singers. If you're aiming for a career in opera, this might interest you. Hanna-Liisa tweets as  @Hanna_Liisa_K

Introducing Hanna-Liisa: Life of an opera singer

Monday, 22 May 2017

A new database for British musical festival repertoire, 1695-1940


This announcement has just been shared with music librarians world-wide.  If you're interested in the history of musical performance and repertoires, then a database of historical music festivals might be right up your street!  Extending from 1695 to 1940, it offers a wealth of information from over 250 years.

Let's quote from the announcement we've just received,
Announcing the Public Launch of the Musical Festivals Database (with apologies for cross-posting)
The Musical Festivals Database (MFD; is now launched! The MFD is a fully-searchable index of programs, personnel, ensembles and venues of musical festivals held in Great Britain between 1695 and 1940. As of May 15, 2017, the MFD contains searchable records for over 500 festivals. These records include complete programs for major festivals such as Birmingham, the Handel Festivals at the Crystal Palace, Leeds, Norwich, and the Three Choirs Festivals. Through searching the MFD, one can trace the dissemination of repertoire throughout Great Britain, track how a singer’s or performer’s repertoire changed over time, see the changes in ensemble size and makeup, or even gauge the popularity of a specific performer, composer, or composition. 
We invite you to explore the site and browse for your favorite performers and compositions. In the next few weeks, we will discuss ways we have used the MFD in classes on our Facebook page ( In the meantime, feel free to share any comments you have about the site and the information contained within it with us!
Technical: The MFD is an open-access research tool, freely available to all users. It is hosted by the Oberlin College Library, and was created and is supported in collaboration of the Oberlin College & Conservatory Office of Sponsored Programs, Duke University’s Digital Scholarship Services, the Five Colleges of Ohio, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The MFD was created by Charles Edward McGuire of Oberlin College & Conservatory and Chris Borgmeyer of Crooked River Designs. Undergraduate research assistants at Oberlin and graduate students at Duke completed much of the data entry for the MFD. 

The Aria Database 

While we're talking about databases, here's a really useful searchable database listing opera arias along with English translations - the Aria Database, boasting 1288 Arias - 177 Operas - 65 Composers - 389 Translations - 1027 Aria Texts - and 223 MIDIs  ...


Scottish musicians might also be interested in a brief history of the very first Edinburgh Musical Festival - NOT the festival that you know and love today, but one that was a brave new attempt way back in 1815 ... 'The First Edinburgh Musical Festival: 'Serious and magnificent entertainment', or 'A combination of harmonious and discordant notes'?' / Karen McAulay, Brio, vol.53 no.1, 35-46

Friday, 19 May 2017

Imagine Your References Sorted and Cited - How Good Would That Feel?

"Please Use the Harvard Style ..."

What do you need for your essay?
  • Have you been recommended to use the Harvard style of referencing, with an in-text reference matched with a bibliography at the end?  Eg, "McGonnigal (2016) asserts that all pigs are capable of flying ..."
  • Or do you need footnotes with full details at the bottom of the page? 
  • Or endnotes at the end of the essay?  
 Visit our Portal for information about what Harvard referencing should look like.  Ask a librarian, or get in touch with our Effective Learning Support team.  Or take a look at Anglia Ruskin University's helpful website.

Referencing (bibliographic, citation) software

Using referencing (also called 'bibliographic' or 'citation') software makes sure all your references are consistent and have the right information, so that your teachers can follow what you've been reading and where you're quoting from.  The RCS generally asks for the Harvard style.

The Performing Arts Librarians often tell people about referencing software.  There are various free versions available (and others that you have to subscribe to).  Basically, they all have two main functions - collecting and sorting your references, and then formatting them to insert into your writing.

Now, you don't have to use referencing software.  It's helpful and effective, but it's perfectly possible to do your references without it. However, if you're completely turned off by having to quote references in the right order with appropriate punctuation and all the relevant details, then referencing software will definitely make things easier for you.  And if you embed referencing software into your Word programme, then you can choose whichever form output you like.  You might need different formats for different purposes - Harvard here, but some other referencing style for a journal article, for example.

Alternatively, you might like using this kind of software just for keeping track of what you've been reading.


Find Quick Intros on YouTube!

What are your options?

The four most mentioned are:-
  • Endnote (okay if your institution subscribes, but unfortunately we don't. However, our doctoral students can access it at the University of St Andrews)  And you can get a free trial, so if you're curious, maybe watch this YouTube video - How to Use EndNote in 5 Minutes (Windows) or other videos on the Endnote training page.
  • Mendeley (free, very usable, excellent if you use different devices at different times and need to synch across them) - take a look at Get Started With Mendeley (5 minute YouTube). Follow up with Referencing in Microsoft Word with Mendeley Desktop, but this takes 15 minutes)
  • RefME (very, very easy, but you need the latest version of Word if you want to embed RefME into Word. Also, importing references doesn't always go to plan on Android devices).  Here's a 3-minute YouTube video on How To Use RefME to Create Bibliographies
  • Zotero (great, but not quite as transferable across devices as Mendeley).  Here's a YouTube Tour of ZoteroIt's really good if you need to cite a wide variety of references.

* Don't worry, McGonnigal  (2016) is entirely fictional ...

Thursday, 18 May 2017

A Contemporary Finnish Symphonist: Fridrich Bruk

We received a complementary CD from composer Fridrich Bruk earlier this week, showcasing four of his symphonies (nos. 13-16).  Look out for it on our new acquisitions display shelves.

The symphonies are performed by the Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Imants Resnis.  

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Podcast Your Research

We've just found a great blog post on the LSE Impact Blog, about the benefits of disseminating your research using social media - and, specifically, by using podcasts.

Podcasting is like broadcasting, over the internet.  It tends to mean an audio recording, and means your research can potentially reach a much wider audience.  Have a look at this!  

When you're sharing something visual, then it's technically a screencast, and offers a whole load of different permutations of audiovisual media.

There's a book, Communicating Your Research By Social Media, which looks really interesting, but we'll get that later on this year.  For now, read the LSE Impact Blog and see if it sets you thinking!
  • What could you podcast about?
  • Or would you use a blog (with or without video)?
  • Or screencast a powerpoint (ditto)
  • Or screencast a powerpoint with voiceover?
  • What technical expertise would you need?
  • Would it be worth learning these skills?  (Rhetorical question!)

New Music for Guitar and Another Instrument by David Braid

Our postbag today included a kind donation of music by RCM guitar and composition graduate, the British David Braid (there's another David Braid, also a composer, in Canada).  So, guitarists - if you fancy trying out some new duets with a flute, mezzo-soprano or violin, just keep an eye on our new acquisition shelves!

  • Invocation and Continuum - flute and guitar
  • Songs of Contrasting Subjects - mezzo-soprano and guitar
  • Perpetual Pavan - violin and guitar
  • From Dance to Fugue - violin and guitar
 Check the catalogue here

Glasgow to Dorchester, Anyone? English Music Festival

We've just heard about a music festival which will undoubtedly be enjoyable ... are any of our readers going to be anywhere near Dorchester between 26th-29th May?  Click the link for more info.

English Music Festival

Warlock - Delius - Britten - Ireland - Dring (and more) 

Monday, 15 May 2017

Historical Accuracy: Dance a Branle or an Almaine

In the UK, we're fortunate to have an organisation called the Historical Dance Society.  If you are an actor or opera singer, you might be interested to learn how historical dances were actually performed, so  this is definitely a website to save to your favourites:-


The Ould Almaine
  • Dances from 12th to early 20th century
  • Music
  • Costume
  • Research
  • Education
  • Promotion
(As a matter of interest, the Society was formerly called the Dolmetsch Historical Dance Society.  Arnold Dolmetsch founded the firm that makes recorders, and the Historical Dance Society was named after his wife Mabel Dolmetsch.  You could say they left quite a cultural legacy!)