Calling concert programmes!

The Music Library has an enviable collection of programmes and ephemera from music festivals, competitions and concerts, providing a snapshot of Edinburgh’s rich concert going and music making, from the early 1800s to the very recent past. Many of our concert programmes are available to view on Capital Collections.

Sir Harry Lauder headlines the Grand Scottish Concert on 23 February 1940.

We collect programmes, handbills and flyers to record as much of Edinburgh’s rich musical life as we can. We are unable to collect our programmes digitally, so we ask you, each time your group performs during the year, to deposit a programme and some handbills with the Music Library for our collection.

Concert programmes can provide a rich source of historical information on musical taste and the wealth of musical participation by both professional and amateur groups. Contribute to our archive and 50 years from now your programmes could be a valuable resource for researchers!

A 2001 programme for the Royal Scottish National Orchestra

If you are involved in more than one choir or orchestra, please pass on the word that we wish to find a home for their programmes, and, because we have gaps in our collection, we would love to be offered back copies of your groups’ programmes. Or, if you have a growing archive, which is perhaps growing too large for your premises, we would happily consider housing it within our collection.

For more information on donating material, email central.music.library@edinburgh.gov.uk, phone 0131 242 8050 or drop into the Music Library.

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Celebrating Scottish music this February

lmn-logoInspired by the Music Library’s collections of Scottish music we’ve put together a programme to get you singing and tapping your feet to the music.

Ellie Logan

Ellie Logan

Join one of our singing for all sessions led by community musician, song leader, singer, and camper van traveller Ellie Logan on Saturdays 11th and 25th 10.30am-12noon singing Scottish traditional songs. These fun sessions don’t require an ability to read music or any previous experience, just a willingness to sing up and enjoy!

Later on in the month Live Music Now Scotland is teaming up with Edinburgh City Libraries Music Library for a concert of Scottish music, new and old, performed by the Spencer-Strachan Duo taking place Thursday 23rd February 7-8pm.

Spencer Strachan Duo

Spencer Strachan Duo

Musicians Rachel Spencer (violin) and Duncan Strachan (cello) perform a selection of traditional music from Scottish composers, inspired by music held in the Central Library’s collections, as well as one of Duncan Strachan’s own compositions, Lamentoso, based on Niel Gow’s haunting Lament for the Death of his Second Wife, and Dance Suite for Two, a contemporary piece by Eddie McGuire commissioned by Live Music Now Scotland and featured on the charity’s 30th Anniversary compilation album, `Luminate’.

To attend these events book online at Edinburgh Reads Eventbrite or tel 0131 242 8040.

The Healing Power of the Piano

rhodes-bookPianist and author James Rhodes’ argues in his latest book `How to play the piano’ for the therapeutic benefits of music and in particular the healing power of playing the piano.
Setting the challenge that anyone can learn to play Bach with just 45 minutes’ practice six days a week for six weeks; this book aims to encourage non-players to take up the instrument. Rhodes passionately believes in the power of music in counteracting the pressures of 21st century life.

The Music Library holds both piano tutor books and the piano to get you started! Choose from our wide range of books aimed from beginners upwards, get advice from the knowledgeable Music Library staff, and search for a piano tutor on Your Edinburgh or reserve from our selected list of titles of starter piano tutor books.

Drop in to the Music Library to use our piano or telephone/email to make a booking. Contact us by tel on 0131 242 8050 or email central.music.library@edinburgh.gov.uk

Illustrated Song Sheets from the Music Library collections

In 2014, whilst staff at the Central Music Library were preparing for the move of the Library from no. 9 to no. 7 George IV Bridge, they uncovered a box of Victorian and Edwardian illustrated song sheets. This unexpected find had been carefully stored and tucked away on the Annexe shelves. Further investigation has found the collection to contain works by many of the major lithographic artists of the genre.

The Shop-Girl Valse, c1895

The Shop-Girl Valse, illustration by W. George c1895

The majority of the music scores date from the mid-Victorian era when both colour lithography and music sheets were at their peak in innovation and output.  The Victorian era had a burgeoning live entertainment industry, with packed music halls and populist performers such as George Leyborne and Arthur Lloyd. As the music hall scene became more accessible to the wider middle classes and with the emergence of the piano in the parlours of respectable Victorian homes the demand for music sheets increased.

Demand was coupled with advances in colour lithography which made it possible to create for the first time, elaborate and quite technically advanced illustrations.

Girofle Girofla, illustration by Alfred Concanen, 1874

Girofle Girofla, illustration by Alfred Concanen, 1874

The Music Library collection contains illustrations by such well-known lithographic artists as Alfred Conanen, John Brandard, HG Banks, HC Maguire and Thomas Packer amongst others, displaying a variety of styles and subjects. The song sheet illustrations also chart developments within colour lithography with the move towards the use of machines at the end of the nineteenth century, and the advent of the use of photography and typography within song sheet cover production.

Me-ow One Step, illustration by T. Ray, c1919

Me-ow One Step, illustration by T. Ray, c1919

The song sheet collection provides a visual history of Victorian and Edwardian life and a fascinating insight into the world of music hall entertainment.

Come and see a selection of the song sheets on display in the Mezzanine, Central Library (2- 29 September 2016) and or browse them online in a special Capital Collections exhibition.

If you’d like to find out more about the Illustrated Song Sheet Collection contact 0131 242 8050 or email central.music.library@edinburgh.gov.uk.

Calling all local choirs and orchestras!

Do you belong to a local choir or orchestra that rehearses in Edinburgh? Did you know that the Music Library at Central Library can source sheet music for your rehearsals and concerts?

We can borrow published material from a network of libraries across the UK on your behalf. Take a recommendation from Edinburgh Singers –

“The inter library loan scheme run by the Music Library is a fantastic resource for amateur orchestras and choirs like ours. The staff are always helpful and efficient and seem to be able to track down even the most obscure works.”

Edinburgh Singers in a recent performance using sets borrowed from the Music Library

Edinburgh Singers in a recent performance using sets borrowed from the Music Library

The Music Library is providing copies of Rachmaninov’s All-Night Vigil for their next concert in November 2016.

We can also provide help with finding local choirs and orchestras to join. Look at our notice boards or search Your Edinburgh for a choir, musical style or orchestra near you.

Join as a group member to borrow vocal and orchestral sets. Fees apply. To find out more, drop into the Music Library or contact us by phone (0131 242 8050) or email.

All that jazz and blues!

With the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival running 15-24 July 2016 the Music Library is enjoying all things jazz.

Display of Library material
Whether your tastes are 1920s traditional jazz or the cutting edge of contemporary musicians, the Music Library can satisfy your interests with CDs, DVDs, sheets music, biographies of your favourite musicians, and books on the history of jazz and blues. View just some of our material to get your interests going.  We’re showcasing some of our stock on offer in a special display alongside archive material from the Edinburgh Jazz Archive located in the Music Library.

Andrew Lauder playing trumpet

Andrew Lauder on trumpet

This year’s festival is committed to showcasing new talent and will be introducing audiences to some of the rising stars alongside established names. Listen to many of these names – new and old – on the go, at home, or in the Music Library with Naxos Music Library Jazz music streaming service – all you need is a library card.

Isla enjoys her week in the Music Library

From the 27th to the 30th of June 2016 I went on a work experience placement at the Music Library at Central Library. I chose this location as I am interested in music (I am studying Advanced Higher Music next year in S6) and I was interested in seeing how the library system works.  Whilst I was at the Music Library, I did several tasks, ranging from setting up a display on jazz to promote the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival to finding books and CDs for readers, and discharging and shelving books. I saw round the many departments in Central Library. It was interesting to see the variety of tasks done by Music Library and other staff in Central Library. This made my work experience placement very enjoyable and it also made me consider working in a library in the future.

Putting up Library display
I found some materials in the Music Library which I thought could be useful to students who are studying for Higher and Advanced Higher Music; there are many books on composers and the history of music, which could provide information to use in written projects. If students need sheet music of an appropriate standard (i.e. Grade 4 or Grade 5 level) for the Performance part of Higher and Advanced Higher Music, there are many scores available in the Music Library for various instruments.

Looking at Library books

There’s a piano in the Music Library which students can use if they need to practise. Finally, the online classical music streaming website Naxos, which is accessible via the Edinburgh Libraries website, can be used for listening to different styles and periods of classical music. This could be useful for listening practice in preparation for the final written exam.

I also came across helpful resources for Higher and Advanced Higher languages on the Edinburgh Your Library website;  Library card holders can read international newspapers in 60 different languages with Library PressDisplay and learn words and phrases in various languages with Transparent Language Online.  Oxforddictionaries.com provides information on how to use languages and aspects of language correctly.

Many students may not be aware that these study resources are available, and all that is required to access them is just a library card.