Shout out to Musical Theatre students

As you’re all getting ready to head off home for some well-deserved rest and recuperation following your end of term performances, what better time to draw your attention to some recent collection building we’ve undertaken specifically to support your study when you’re away from KCC (whether that be at home, at Laurie Grove or on the bus to your next audition!)

In order to browse ebooks relating to musical theatre, go to the Jerwood Library catalogue, type musicals$ in the subject field and select E-book from the drop-down menu in the type field.

You can access these anywhere you have an internet connection, so whether it be a beautiful mornin’ or an enchanted evening, why not catch up with some holiday reading between those loverly Easter eggs!


Golden Glories

As Trinity Laban’s Gold Medal showcase approaches, what better opportunity to celebrate all things golden in the Jerwood Library!

Our display case currently features a few choice aureate items:


Puccini’s La Fanciulla del West is based on David Belasco’s play The Girl of the Golden West and is set during the Californian gold rush. Set in a 19th century mining camp, the plot includes features that would later become tropes of wild west films: an assertive female saloon owner, a mysterious stranger and a poker game that decides a man’s life.

Le Coq D’Or was Rimsky-Korsakov’s final opera, with Vladimir Belsky’s libretto deriving from Pushkin’s poem The Tale of the Golden Cockerel. It was completed in 1907 but immediately banned by the government, who, in the aftermath of the Russo-Japanese war, clearly didn’t take kindly to the subject of a tsar whose questionable decisions resulted in catastrophe. It didn’t receive its first performance until 1909, a year after the composer’s death.

Staying in Russia, Shostakovich’s ballet The Golden Age was based around a Soviet football team visiting a western city during an industrial exhibition. Filled with jazz and popular musical influences from the West, the ballet suite on display includes the popular “wrong note” Polka which satirized League of Nations politicians.

Britten’s The Golden Vanity is subtitled “a vaudeville for boys and piano after the old English ballad”.  The boys are divided into two groups, representing the ship’s company of The Golden Vanity and the pirates of the Turkish Galilee. Instructions in the score include that it should be performed “in costume but without scenery” and “the action – swimming, cannon-firing, drowning, etc. – should be mimed in a simple way and only a few basic properties, such as telescopes and a rope, are needed… a drum should be used for the sound of cannon fire”.

Following the runaway success of the Lion King, Elton John and Tim Rice once again joined forces in composing original songs for The Road to Eldorado, the 2000 animation produced by DreamWorks telling the story of two con artists seeking out the legendary city of gold. Producer Jeffrey Katzenberg stated: “We wanted the songs sung by Elton to be the heart and soul of the movie—not only helping to tell the story, but revealing what’s happening beneath the surface.”[1]

Finally, A Goldfish Bowl is the autobiography of Elisabeth Lutyens, published in 1972, eleven years before her death. In it we learn that as a crying baby she scared away burglars in the next room, she was made to learn the violin at the age of eight as a salutary occupational therapy to stop her chronic nail-biting, and speaking of her decision to become a composer, “I became involved in something the family neither knew of nor cared for, so that no one could spoil it for me. Too bad if I had no talent – I would simply have to acquire one; a long process, a journey of discovery. But processes and journeys are as interesting and rewarding as arrivals”.[2]

[1] The Road to Eldorado: Production Notes <>

[2] Elisabeth Lutyens, A Goldfish Bowl (London: Cassell, 1972), 10.

Claire’s Choice: on an autumnal theme!


As the mornings grow colder and squirrels are to be seen hoarding conkers for the winter, what better for “Claire’s Choice” than to highlight two songs in the Jerwood Library collection celebrating the venerable chestnut tree.



Written in 1840 by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, the poem The Village Blacksmith was set to music in 1854 by the English composer and celebrated bass singer Willoughby Weiss. It starts “Under a spreading chestnut tree the village smithy stands…” and continues to describe the blacksmith’s daily life. Weiss offered the copyright of the work to a firm of publishers for the sum of 5 pounds, but when his offer was turned down, he decided to publish it on his own account. As luck would have it, it went on to become a hugely popular Victorian parlour song, earning him and his family a considerable income!


Moving forward into the 20th century, the second song The Chestnut Tree, with words and music by Jimmy Kennedy, Tommie Connor and Hamilton Kennedy, was composed in 1938. This popular novelty song was also inspired by Longfellow’s The Village Blacksmith. However rather than focussing on the virtuous, hard-working, church-going, qualities of the blacksmith, it centres on the blacksmith’s daughter and “the spreading chestnut tree”, the goings-on under which certainly didn’t appear in Longfellow’s poem!

But this was only one aspect of the song. In fact, the writers had been specifically commissioned to come up with something that was going to take dance halls by storm. Indeed the inspiration behind selecting The Village Blacksmith as inspiration came from a photograph of King George VI at a boy scout jamboree in which his, and all the scouts’, hands were held to their heads. Further research unearthed that this was part of a performance in which the scouts recited The Village Blacksmith. With assistance from Adele England (who had choreographed The Lambeth Walk) they devised some steps to go with their song, which are illustrated in the printed edition. It became a huge hit, selling over 10,000 copies per day.

This edition comes from the Jerwood Library’s Rita Williams popular song collection. Rita Williams sang with the Billy Cotton Club, among other groups, and was an avid collector of popular songs. The overall collection comprises some 3000 individual songs dating from Victorian times to the 1970s. It is handlisted here. Do get in touch with us if you’d like to see any other hidden gems in the collection.

Items from the Jerwood library collection:

Weiss, W.H. “The Village Blacksmith”. In The Songs of England, volume 1, edited by J.L. Hatton, 245-249. London: Boosey & Co, 1910

Kennedy, Jimmy, Tommie Connor and Hamilton Kenny, The Chestnut Tree. London: Peter Maurice Music Co, 1938

Library item of the month, Oct 2015: Shostakovich Symphony no. 11

Subtitled “the year 1905”, the work is, along with the second, third and twelfth symphonies, based on a programme of “revolution” subjects. Composed in 1956/57 to mark the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the October Revolution, it sought to graphically depict the “Bloody Sunday” massacre, when thousands of unarmed protesters were gunned down in front of the Winter Palace in St Petersburg. Parallels however have been drawn with contemporary themes such as the Hungarian revolt of 1956, supressed by Soviet troops at a cost of some 20,000 lives.

ShostakovichThe four movements of the symphony run into each other. The first, Palace Square, sets an oppressively calm atmosphere and incorporates the first of several revolutionary songs that feature in the work. The second movement entitled Ninth of January incorporates the theme from the second of Shostakovich’s Choral Poems and graphically depicts the atrocities of the event. The third movement In Memoriam incorporates a funeral march written in tribute to the lives lost in Bloody Sunday, whilst the final movement The Tocsin quotes songs of revolutionary struggle.

The Symphony was premièred on 30 October 1957 and received a mixed reception. On the one hand it was lauded by the Union of Composers, and earned Shostakovich a Lenin Prize from the Soviet authorities. This contrasts with a review in the Musical Times in March 1958 of a performance by the BBC Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Sir Malcolm Sargent, which concluded “I find it hard to believe that this Symphony will bear repeated hearings”.

Why not decide for yourself?! Come to hear the Trinity Laban Symphony Orchestra performing this work as part of Diego Masson’s 80th birthday celebration concert on 29th October at Blackheath Halls.

Shostakovich CDs

Listen to the recordings here!

The following recordings can be listened to at the wall-mounted listening station at the north end of the Jerwood Library:

  • Shostakovich Symphony No. 11 “The Year 1905”. Mstislav Rostropovich, National Symphony Orchestra. Elatus, 2003.
  • Shostakovich Symphony No. 11. Mstislav Rostropovich, London Symphony Orchestra. ELSO Live, 2002.
  • Shostakovich Symphony No. 11. Kirill Karabits, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. BBC Music, 2009.

Trinity Laban staff and students can also listen to streamed versions accessible via Quicksearch (limit the source type to audio).

Jerwood Library Who’s Who: Claire Kidwell

CK pictureTell us a bit about yourself and your role in the Jerwood Library

I’m Claire Kidwell, the Head Librarian of the Jerwood Library of the Performing Arts, and I have overall responsibility for the management of the library in the Faculty of Music.

It wasn’t until my final year studying music as an undergraduate at Oxford University, that I realized that a career in librarianship might be for me. Whilst studying I found it was often the process of researching – using different databases, bibliographies and indexes – that I enjoyed, as much as the discoveries I was making. After graduating, I spent a year as a trainee library assistant at Christ Church College, Oxford in amongst the autograph manuscripts of composers such as Blow and Purcell. From there I then moved on to UCL where I studied for a MA in Library and Information Studies, after which I was appointed as a music cataloguer at the British Library. I’ve worked in the Jerwood Library since 2003, taking on my current role in 2005. There probably aren’t all that many people who can say that each of their places of work has been a grade I listed building!

Outside of Trinity Laban I serve on several professional committees, including the Executive Committee of the UK & Ireland branch of IAML – the professional association for music libraries – and am Chair of both the UK & Ireland and International Copyright Committees.

But it’s not all work! One of the joys of working in London is all the music-making one can experience, and in my spare time I enjoy singing with the Holst Singers.

What is a typical day at work like for you?

It can vary so much depending on the time of year and what else is going on in the conservatoire.

In the autumn term we spend a lot of time delivering library user education sessions on our undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, which aim to provide the foundations to equip our students to be effective and discerning in their use of print and electronic resources in their studies.

south library shelvingSpring is the time to concentrate on strategic planning for the next academic year, such as preparing our library departmental plan which reflects on the activities on the current year and sets objectives for the next one, alongside preparing a budget in order to ensure the delivery of those objectives and adequate resourcing of the curriculum. It’s also when I plan for big one-off projects and apply for capital funding to realize these (e.g. the lovely new shelving for our library configuration last summer). This year I’ll also be looking at our Collection Management Policy, conducting a journals review and evaluating potential new ebook platforms.

BooksDuring term-time, some days comprise pretty much back-to-back meetings (whether they be formal committees or individual meetings with colleagues) and returning to my desk at 5pm to attack the 100+ emails that have landed in my inbox since the morning! Once we reach the end of the assessment period in June, one momentarily feels the illusion of some breathing space and time to catch up over the long summer ahead. But as I’m responsible for book acquisitions, this is in fact one of my busiest times, as I request next year’s reading lists from my teaching colleagues, and have a relatively short window of opportunity to get several thousand titles checked against current holdings and orders placed so that the books arrive and can be catalogued, processed and assigned to online reading lists ready for the new academic year in September. This is also the time when I conduct all my team’s annual performance reviews, and (of course allowing myself a break in the sun too 🙂 ) before you know it, the new academic year is upon us!

What’s something you enjoy about your role?

The sheer range of people I interact with, both inside and outside the conservatoire: from teaching eager new students, to discussions with library donors, to meetings with other music librarians from across the globe (sometimes on Skype in the small hours!) to brain-crushing exchanges with internationally-renowned copyright gurus.

Are there any hidden or little-known aspects about your role you’d like to share?

My first task each morning is to check all the material that has been added to our virtual learning environment the previous day to ensure compliance with our various institutional licences, so I’m probably the only person in the institution who sees absolutely all the learning materials created. It’s lucky that the sheer quantity means I have to race through it all, which doesn’t allow me time to get distracted by all the fascinating resources our fabulous teaching colleagues have compiled!

Finally, can you tell us something people may not know about you?

Aged 8 I won a competition in the Southampton Evening Echo to write a football-related mystery story (fairly specific brief there…) and got to have my picture taken with my beloved Saints!


© Peter Kidwell

Working on assignments at home over Easter?

Happy Easter!

It’s the end of term! A time to head back home, discover how many Easter eggs your doting family are going to indulge you with this year, and – once the sugar rush has subsided – reluctantly concede that you’d better get cracking (see what I did there? 🙂 ) on the assignments that are due for submission early in the summer term.

Except… you reach into your hastily-packed suitcase, burrow your way down through a term’s worth of dirty laundry, and your heart sinks on realizing the photocopy you made of that crucial journal article from the Jerwood Library is still languishing on your bedroom floor some 200 miles away.

So what do you do now? Firstly, don’t panic – there’s a good chance that all is not lost!

In the first instance, check whether the article comes from one of the titles Trinity Laban subscribes to as an ejournal. If you can remember which journal it is from, we’d recommend you start by going to our A-Z listing, which will indicate whether we hold it in printed form or electronically. Otherwise, if you can only remember the author or article title, you could try searching for these on QuickSearch, and if we have electronic access you’ll find a direct link to the article.

Quicksearch full text link

All our electronic resources are accessible away from the conservatoire, and you’ll just need to enter your usual Trinity Laban username and password (the same one you use for Moodle etc.)

If Trinity Laban doesn’t have an ejournal subscription, fear not, there are other avenues to explore. Students in the Faculty of Music can take advantage of the SCONUL Access Scheme, which allows reciprocal access to other Higher Education Institution (HEI) Libraries in the UK. If you have several universities within fairly close vicinity it would be worth checking SUNCAT which is a catalogue that searches the periodical holdings of many UK HEIs simultaneously. Otherwise you could just check the library catalogue of an institution within easy reach of you. If you find one of these libraries has the journal you need, check on the SCONUL Access website whether that the library is a member of the scheme. If it is, follow the instructions to apply for membership, and we will authorise that application, which will generate an email which you can take along to the university library (I’m afraid we can only do this if you have no outstanding fines with the Jerwood Library though, so that’s a good reason to keep your account in good order!)

Even if the University isn’t a member of SCONUL Access, you might want to get in touch with their library, as they may offer alternative access e.g. through a paid day-pass.

Finally, another option is to investigate whether the journal is included within the Access to Research initiative, which provides walk-in access to a wide range of academic ejournals in public libraries in the UK. This includes 48 ejournals in the field of music. But first you’ll need to check that your local public library is participating in the initiative.

Of course, journals aren’t the only type of material you can find online. We have an ever-growing collection of ebooks, and also don’t forget our audio and video streaming services available to search individually or simultaneously via QuickSearch if you want to listen to / watch recordings. Or if a title isn’t available as an ebook, and your classmates have beaten you to borrowing it from the Jerwood Library, you could also make use of SCONUL Access to get hold of that from a local university library. Whether or not you can take it away will depend what programme you’re studying on – it will become clear once you complete your application. To locate a library holding the book you need, we’d recommend you search COPAC, which operates along the same lines as SUNCAT, but isn’t only limited to journals.

If you do have any difficulties whilst you’re away from college, feel free to drop us an email at and we’ll do our best to assist.



New copyright legislation applying to sound recordings and co-authored works

Back in 2011 a EU Directive was passed relating to the term of copyright in sound  recordings and co-authored works. This comes into force in the UK on 1st November 2013. I’ve summarized below some key points for music users:

The copyright term for sound recordings increases from 50 years to 70 years. This extended term only applies to sound recordings that are protected by copyright on 1st November 2013 – where copyright in a sound recording has already expired this extension will not serve to bring it back into copyright. Therefore any recording published prior to 1st November 1963 remains out of copyright. But a recording produced after this date will remain in copyright for 70 years from the date of publication.

A co-authored work is defined as one where the music and lyrics for a composition are written specifically for each other. In these instances, from 1st November the term of copyright in both the words and the music will each last until 70 years following the death of the last surviving creator. This doesn’t apply if the copyrights in both the words and music have already expired. However if copyright in the words has expired, but remains in the music (or vice versa), copyright is revived in that part of the co-authored work where copyright had expired. The term of protection for both the words and the music will then last until 70 years after the death of the last surviving creator.

In contrast to the legislation for sound recordings, in the case of co-authored works the legislation does apply retrospectively. Dvořák’s opera “Rusalka” is an example of where copyright in the music in the opera will be revived under these new regulations. Dvořák died in 1904, so the copyright in the music expired in 1974. The libretto of the opera was written by Jaroslav Kvapil who died in 1950, so the libretto will remain in copyright until 2020. Therefore, in the case of this particular opera, copyright in the music will be revived and will expire at the end of 2020, at the same time as the words.

Further detail can be found in the full text of the Statutory Instrument:

Exciting times in the world of copyright!

As Bob Dylan once said, “The Times They Are A-Changin'”!

Back in May 2011 Professor Ian Hargreaves’ Independent Review of Intellectual Property and Growth put forward recommendations to the Government, who responded in December 2012.

The report identifies the following main areas to be considered in ensuring the UK’s copyright framework is made more flexible, modern and robust:

  • Private copying
  • Quotation, reporting current events and speeches
  • Parody, caricature and pastiche
  • Research and private study
  • Data analytics for non-commercial research
  • Education
  • Copyright exceptions for people with disabilities
  • Archiving and preservation
  • Public administration

The Intellectual Property Office has in the last few weeks been releasing draft legislation for comment. IAML (UK&Irl) has been responding on behalf of music libraries in the UK, but individual institutions may also wish to submit written comments. The present batch of exceptions out for consultation is likely to be of interest to the readership of this blog as the exceptions relate to education, research, libraries and archives.

To summarize some of the main points:

  • There is a general move (with a few exceptions) toward stipulating that legislative exceptions cannot be overridden by contract terms
  • Copying for the purpose of instruction has been widened beyond educational establishments
  • There has been an expansion to the percentage of works that can be copied for instruction
  • There is no longer a distinction between “reprographic” and “non-reprographic” copying, and some exceptions have been widened to include supply via electronic means (e.g. VLEs)
  • There is greater flexibility in the format in which written declaration forms for copies made under “library privilege” can be accepted
  • There are increased possibilities for libraries to make preservation copies

The deadline for response to this technical consultation is 2nd August 2013, and replies should be sent to