The Ballad of Muriel Spark – Scottish Poetry Library event

Wrapped in this liquid turmoil who can say / Which is the mighty echo, which the spray? Muriel Spark’s poetry inspires a musical event at the SPL based on her poetry. Composer Jessica Danz has written a new piece for string quartet. Wed 14 Nov (£8/£6)

Tickets via Eventbrite

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ELISA visit to St Cecilia’s Hall

Report by Judy Wheeler

On Wednesday 13th June, ELISA hosted a visit to St Cecilia’s Hall, in Edinburgh’s Cowgate. We were lucky enough to be given a guided tour of The Music Museum’s Collections by our very knowledgeable guide Sarah!

Entrance to the museum is from Niddry Street in the Cowgate – since undergoing a £6.5 million renovation, St Cecilia’s Hall and Music Museum is open Tuesday to Saturday, and is free to visit: https://www.ed.ac.uk/visit/museums-galleries/st-cecilias

St Cecilia’s Hall itself is Scotland’s oldest purpose-built concert hall, built by the Edinburgh Musical Society in 1762. We heard a little of the hall’s history – it has been put to many different uses over the years, including a church, a Masonic Lodge, and a Dr Bell’s School, as well as a Cobbler’s and swing dance club to name a few. Luckily now it is a concert hall again, hosting a range of concerts and public events – and it is claimed that it is the only place in the world, it is claimed, that you can hear 18th-century music being played on 18th-century instruments in an 18th- century setting!

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The Music Museum houses the university’s collection of musical instruments from all over the world – a huge collection of 6000 instruments, with around 500 on display. We were treated to a tour of the keyboard instruments first of all – 36 in total, including harpsichords, virginals, spinets, clavichords and pianofortes – if you don’t know the difference, I would encourage you to visit the museum 🙂

Most of the early keyboard instruments were designed for domestic settings, to be played in the home – usually by ladies. Due to this, a lot of the time they needed to be on a fairly high stand, to make room for the skirts and corset of the musicians! The materials used also hinted at the social standing of the owner – instruments belonging to the middle classes would be less lavishly decorated, or made of materials that were cheaper at the time. The shape of some of the instruments was even designed so that the lady playing the keys could continue to flirt as she did so.

We also saw a Chamber organ dating from 1775 – the air had to be pumped manually through the instrument, so a ‘Blower’ was required to operate the pump – a tiring job.

We moved on to the rest of the collection – instruments on display included a Hurdy Gurdy  – a kind of mechanical violin where a wheel is turned to make the sound.
Can you spot it in this display case?
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The museum traces the development of the instruments, with early examples through to more modern instruments – below you can see from the recorder, wooden and ivory flutes – and even one made of crystal – through to the modern metal flute.

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I’d happily tell you more, but will let the pictures speak for themselves – I’d definitely recommend a visit and you can have a sneak preview on the website too: http://www.stcecilias.ed.ac.uk/

Report by Judy Wheeler
ELISA Training & Development Group

ELISA visit to St Cecilia’s Hall

The ELISA spring programme of visits is going well and proving very popular.  Most visits have ‘sold out’ although there are a few tickets for the visit to Boroughmuir High School still available.  We now have wait-lists in operation for all events so please sign up to the wait-list and if a place becomes available you will be contacted automatically via Eventbrite.  Also please remember if you do book a place on one of our visits but can’t attend or have a change of plans, it’s easy to cancel your ticket through Eventbrite.

The latest news is that we have a visit to St Cecilia’s Hall planned for Wednesday, 13 June 2018 from 15:00 to 16:30.

Tickets available here on Eventbrite

St Cecilia’s Hall is home to one of the most important historic musical instrument collections anywhere in the world.  It is Scotland’s oldest purpose-built concert hall. Originally built by the Edinburgh Musical Society in 1762, the Georgian venue is a real hidden gem, tucked away in the heart of Edinburgh’s Cowgate.
Having undergone a £6.5 million renovation St Cecilia’s Hall and Music Museum is now the Edinburgh University’s first visitor attraction and a fantastic addition to Edinburgh’s offer of museums and event venues.
St Cecilia’s Hall comprises of a Concert Room, hosting a range of concerts and public events, and a Music Museum, which is open to the public and brings together the University’s historic collection of musical instruments for the first time.
Dr Sarah Deters will give a tour of the museum and collections.

 

 

Trial of retrospective music periodicals service at the National Library of Scotland

A message from the NLS:

The National Library of Scotland is currently trialling electronic reference services providing retrospective access to music periodicals:

  • RIPM Retrospective Index to Music Periodicals (1800-1950)
  • RIPM Online Archive of Music Periodicals (Full-Text)
  • RIPM e-Library of Music Periodicals

Trial access is for onsite users only but feedback can be given via an online survey: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/57H9CQC

The trial ends on 6 Nov 2016.

For enquiries email music@nls.uk.

Ms Almut Boehme Music Curator | Collections and Research Department National Library of Scotland

ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON: The Story of His Life in Word and Song narrated by Alexander McCall Smith

Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust event at the Advocates Library

A Very Fine Library

ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON: The Story of His Life in Word and Song narrated by Alexander McCall Smith
Friday, 21 November 2014,  7:00- 8:30 PM
Laigh Hall, Parliament House, Parliament Square, Edinburgh EH1 1RF

Details
In this recital, celebrated author Alexander McCall Smith will take you on a journey through the life of a previous Edinburgh writer, Robert Louis Stevenson.

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Stevenson’s story will be interspersed with song settings of some of his works, by composers including R. Vaughan Williams, Ronald Stevenson, John Ireland, Roger Quilter, Edith Swepstone, Frank Wildhorn and Mary Carmichael.

The programme will also include a composition for fiddle by RLS himself.

Although RLS is now remembered as an author, he was also an advocate. This recital will take place in the Advocates Library, where Stevenson read for the bar and practiced. This evening is presented with support from the Faculty of Advocates. It is part of the Edinburgh UNESCO City of…

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