Library and Information Services, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Dictionary Definitions (Bagpipes, Scottish Tunes ...)

An early nineteenth century Englishman was compiling a music dictionary.  Here are some choice examples of his definitions!  Bagpipes, Scottish Tunes, Trolling ... it's all there!  (Trolling is not quite what you would expect ...)

Who was he?  Thomas Busby, and the book was A Musical Manual, or Technical Directory (1828)

Monday, 19 March 2018

Complicated Triple-Stopping

Complicated triple-stopping?  Once you've learned it, please rub it out before returning your music to the library!  (Such a small thing to ask!)

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Two Videoclips - Learn About RCS E-Resources and Referencing

No-one would deny that libraries pay a key role in supporting learning.  So last year, Karen did a PG Cert project to find out whether students felt they needed more support in getting the most out of our library and information provision.

Particularly for distance learners, more dependent on electronic resources than most full-time students, it seemed that accessing e-journals and e-books was sometimes a frustrating exercise, so that was one topic crying out for extra instruction.  

So, too, was the whole business of referencing, or citation.  (They're the same thing. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise!)  The RCS Effective Learning team is happy to help.  But so, too are your ever-present Performing Arts Librarians!

Karen produced two trial videoclips, and tested them on the whole cohort of students taking our distance-learning PG Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, or Masters in Education.

We wanted to share them with you, but circumstances meant we couldn't.  For a start, we introduced a new library system with "Catalogue Plus" offering vastly improved access to electronic resources.  Suddenly Karen's first videoclip had become obsolete!  Secondly, one of the referencing software packages that Karen had been recommending, made major changes to user subscriptions.  She can no longer recommend it.

To cut a long story short - she has made new videoclips to replace the project trial ones.  They only take a few minutes to watch, and if you need more information, please do visit the library portal pages, or get in touch with the library staff.  Don't suffer in silence - just ask!

    Monday, 12 March 2018

    DIY Bagpipes

    A piece of nonsense for Monday morning.  Want your own set of bagpipes? Can't afford them?  Here is the answer.  Dig out your old school descant recorders ... 

    How to Make Bagpipes out of a Garbage Bag and Recorders

    Next, we'd like to learn how to make a piano accordion ... 

    Thursday, 8 March 2018

    Digital Theatre Plus Celebrates International Women's Day 2018

    We are shamelessly sharing a mailshot sent to us by one of our biggest subscriptions, Digital Theatre Plus.  It comes from their Community Manager, Alesha Tatum Howe:-

    Digital Theatre+  wants to take this moment on International Women's Day to celebrate the contributions made by women on stage, backstage and behind the scenes.

    At Digital Theatre+, their curation of the 900+ resources on the platform includes a commitment to diversity. This means you and your students have access to productions, interviews and study materials from famed practitioners and academics, including from the industry's leading women.

    What to watch on International Women's Day
    A fascinating exchange between Harriet Walter and Professor Carol Rutter – an in-depth discussion of ‘Shakespeare’s Women Today’ and female roles, Shakespeare’s language and musicality, gender-blind casting, sexuality in performance, and a whole lot more.
    Our insightful interview with Complicite Co-Founder Annabel Arden and Artistic Director Catherine Alexander.
    DT+'s treasure trove of interviews with some of the most skilled and creatively courageous women in theatre. Just some we recommend watching today include: Juliet StevensonImelda StauntonJulie WaltersZoe WaitesMeera SyalVicky FeatherstoneAlecky BlytheKatrina Lindsay and Imtiaz Dharker.
    There are some many inspirational women featured on DT+, but we hope you enjoy these recommendations with your students and colleagues on this significant day. Let us know what you and your students enjoy watching on Twitter!

    Happy International Women's Day.

    Monday, 5 March 2018

    Historical Harp Society of Ireland - Festival of Early Irish Harp

    Festival of Early Irish Harp 15-21 August 2018

    We received a circular about a summer festival that our harp players might enjoy:-

    The Historical Harp Society of Ireland says that they are, "delighted to announce this year’s Scoil na gClairseach—Festival of Early Irish Harp: the world’s premier festival dedicated to the early harp of Ireland and the Scottish Highlands and Islands. It takes place 15–21 August 2018 at Coláiste Pobail Osraí in Kilkenny, Ireland. We have a juicy line-up of concerts, workshops, lectures and masterclasses, which will shortly be available to see at"

    Tuesday, 27 February 2018

    UK Music Librarianship Conference 6-8 April (IAML UK and Ireland)

    Had you considered music librarianship as a career?  Or do you work with music in libraries already?

    Just a wee reminder that the registration deadline for full and day attendance of the music library conference in Edinburgh 6-8 April is tomorrow, 28 February 2018. 

    A special offer for non-residential single-session is now being made avaible at £30 per single session. This may be of interest to colleagues in other related sectors like general librarianship and musicology. The draft programme is available on the IAML (Uk & Irl) website,
    The deadline for single session attendance is 29 March 2018.

    A Music Education Event promoted by Enterprise Music Scotland

    This event has just been brought to our attention via a message from Enterprise Music Scotland.  It might interest our educationalists and teaching students:-

    Music Education Matters 2018

    Friday 18th May 2018

    Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

    9.30am - 4.30pm

    "This one day conference includes talks, workshops, networking opportunites and interactive sessions with leading professionals in music education."

    Tickets are available via Eventbrite where you can get your early bird discounted ticket.

    £25 concessions - unemployed and students
    £35 early bird rate (up to 30th March)
    £45 full price

    "More information regarding our Key Speakers and Sessions will be released soon. To keep up to date with latest news on this event, please visit Enterprise Music Scotland website":-

    Monday, 26 February 2018

    Arranging Music for Band

    Some of our students have an elective module which leads to making an arrangement for big band.  Can the library help with that?

    Well, yes! If you search on arranging and band, a handful of suitable books come up.  But we bet you we could find more resources by using Catalogue Plus to find electronic resources.

    Not only that, we'll have plenty of books about instruments, their ranges and what they are capable of.  (Never trust a trombone ...) So, do drop in and see us if you need any extra help before you do your arrangement.  We draw the line at that!

    Young Composer? Here's Something For You!

    We received an email to tell us about this call for scores from the NED Ensemble. Check it out for yourself; maybe it might be something that interests you?

     "I would like bring to your attention the publication of the announcement for the “Call of scores 2018” promoted by NED Ensemble in collaboration with Edizioni Suvini Zerboni in Milano and SIMC. We invite composers to participate.  I believe that also for young composers who are still studying composition, it could be a good opportunity to work."

    April 22 2018 Call for scores Ensemble
    April 29 2018 Call for scores Violin and piano
    May 13 2018 Call for scores String orchestra and timpani

    Do check out terms and conditions of any competition; we are only sharing the information that we're given.

    Friday, 23 February 2018

    Composition Scholarship in Ecuador

    An Unique Opportunity!

    This announcement has just been passed on by IAML, our professional body for music librarians:-
    ArteFacto Sonoro World call
    "Live the sound diversity of Ecuador from its cultural, political and economic epicenter."

    We invite you to apply for one of our scholarships for the artistic residency "ArteFacto Sonoro", to be held between March and August 2018, in Quito - Ecuador.

    "ArteFacto Sonoro" is a residence in music and sound arts, based on a free program, where participants set their own objectives and methodology, while the hosts provide spaces, tools, links and accompaniment in the territory. Projects in residence may include composition and musical and sound production, non-conventional practices, experimentation with other disciplines, research, academic meetings, exhibition and circulation, etc.

    We offer furnished apartment with all the services, tools and spaces for creation, exhibition spaces, links and accompaniment with actors in the territory.

    Aimed at creators, researchers, producers and other agents of the world of music and the sound arts; but also for artists and professionals from other disciplines who wish to explore possibilities of dialogue with music and the sound arts.

    Interested artists can apply to one of our scholarships until March 15, 2018. Applications will be attended order of arrival.

    To know more about the conditions, requirements and characteristics of the call and the cultural and social context of Ecuador, please visit:

    We kindly ask you to share this information with your colleagues and allies.

    Kind regards from the middle of the world.Coordinating team
    ArteFacto Sonoro

    Listen to Rarely-Performed Scottish Music by Robert Johnson

    Wednesday 4th April, 7.30 pm (pre-concert talk at 6.30 pm)
    St Mary’s, Great Western Road, Glasgow.

    Dr Elaine Moohan, Senior Lecturer in Music and Staff Tutor of the Open University in Scotland, has been working on an edition of music by 16th-century Scottish composer Robert Johnson.  The music is going to be published by Musica Scotica.
    Before that, however, Elaine has arranged a pre-publication performance of some works by Robert Johnson on Wednesday 4th April, at St Mary’s on Great Western Road. She will give a short (about 30 mins) pre-concert talk at 6.30pm with the concert starting at 7.30pm.
    Performers from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland will delight you with a programme that includes 12 works by Johnson (about 35 mins) and the remainder of the programme will consist of works by near contemporaries. The ensemble is made up of 10 singers, with the possibility of an instrumentalist as well.

    Musica Scotica Heads for Stirling's Tolbooth 21-22 April

    We’re sharing this conference booking announcement for any Scottish composers, musicologists or researchers into any aspect of Scottish music.

    Musica Scotica 2018 takes places 21-22 April 2018, in the Tolbooth, Stirling. You can find out where to book your place, here.
    One and half days of conferencing and concerts for just £70, or £45 for students.  (Accomodation not included.)

    Tuesday, 20 February 2018

    UK Copyright Literacy

    If you're concerned about music copyright - maybe you have to teach students the basics, or perhaps you're keen to keep on the right side of the law with an upcoming recording or performance? - then you might be interested in the UK Copyright Literacy website.  
    An RCS research network, Claimed From Stationers' Hall, has just had a guest-blog posted on this site.

    Monday, 19 February 2018

    Name-Dropping (Our New CDs)

    Cool Things!

    Cool Owl (sorry, Twittaker!)
    Today, we've added a fine handful of CDs to our library stock!  A CD by our composition lecturer Alistair MacDonald*, another by traditional music lecturer Lori Watson*, a guitar CD by guitar lecturer Matthew McAllister, and a whole handful of CDs by last week's visiting composition lecturer and guitarist, Professor Stephen Goss from the University of Surrey.  The CDs' pictures won't show up on our rolling new accessions feature on the catalogue homepage, because they don't have ISBNs.  (Yes, we know, it's a shame!)  However, you can look up the composers' names in our catalogue and see what we've got.  We're quite excited to have so much interesting new material all in the same week.

    *Alistair's CD is entitled, Untold Story and was made with Anne-Liis Poll - it's the fruit of 5 years of performances and recordings of improvised voice and live electronics in Scotland, Estonia and Iceland. Cover art by artist Shona Barr, liner notes by composer and wordsmith Nick Virgo, published by Leo Records.

     Lori's Yarrow Acoustic Sessions is available via her website,

    And there's a YouTube film about Matthew McAllister's latest album, American Collection!
    Owl in Residence: Twittaker

    Thursday, 15 February 2018

    PhD Research Placements - Opportunity to work with the British Library

    This opportunity was circulated on a musicology mailing list. Some of our students may be considering PhDs, and maybe this might be of interest. Sadly, we got notice of it rather close to the deadline (19th February), so you would need to be quick off the mark!

    British Library PhD Research Placements: Call for Applications

    Our PhD research placement scheme is intended to provide opportunities for PhD students to apply and enhance research, communications and analytical skills and expertise outside of Higher Education as part of their wider research training and professional development.

    A PhD research placement at the British Library provides the chance to experience research in a different environment to that of a university, to engage with a range of research users and audiences, to gain insights into different potential postdoctoral career paths, and to make a tangible contribution to the purposes and programmes of a national library and major cultural organisation.

    Current opportunities

    A broad range of research placement opportunities have been identified by the Library for 2018-19 (click on the links below to view placement project profiles)

    • Afrikaans literature
    • Investigating Anne McLaren’s Notebooks • Art, Poetry and Politics – Contemporary British Artists’ Books • Exploring music archives of 20th-century British composers • Unlocking Charles I’s Vision of Rome • Exploring our ‘Endangered Archives’ Projects in Africa • First World War French posters • Examining the role of internal engagement and communications in the British Library • Visualising a future for Midland Road and Euston Road • North American Migrant Narratives • Playbills in context: linked open data for historical playbills • Policy development with the British Library • Political cartoons in India in the 1930s and 1940s • Virus checking in long-term digital collection management and digital preservation • William Blake at the British Library • Telling the Stories of the Treasures of the British Library

    The application deadline is 4pm on 19 February 2018

    • Open to all PhD students, as long as they have the support of their PhD supervisor and their Graduate Tutor (or equivalent)
    • International students are eligible if they have the right to study in the UK
    The British Library PhD research placement scheme has been developed in consultation with UK Research Funders, universities and Doctoral Training Partnerships.

    The research placements offered through the scheme are opportunities for current PhD students to apply and enhance research skills and expertise outside of Higher Education as part of their wider research training and professional development. They are training and development opportunities to be undertaken within this specific context – and are therefore different to the paid internships or other fixed-term posts that the Library may occasionally make available. See the Application Guidelines for further details and background.
    Please note that – unlike for an internship or a fixed-term post – the British Library is unable to provide stipends or payment to PhD placement students. It is therefore essential that applicants to the placement scheme obtain the support of their PhD supervisor and Graduate Tutor (or someone in an equivalent senior academic management role) in advance and that, as part of their process, they consult their HEI to ascertain what funding is available to support them.

    After the interview stage, students who have been offered a placement and are not able to cover the costs through funding from their university or other sources may apply to the Library’s PhD Placement Travel Fund to request help to cover day-to-day commuting expenses or one-off relocation travel costs only. Please note that this Fund is limited and the success of an application to it cannot be guaranteed.

    To support self-funded and part-time students, most placements can be done on a part-time basis, with some remote working also sometimes possible – see the individual projects for details.

    Any questions?
    Contact for all queries or to be added to our placement scheme mailing list.