Category Archives: General

Pixis and his Hommage to Clementi

johann_peter_pixis_by_august_kneiselDuring the reign of King George IV, Johann Peter Pixis wrote his Hommage a Clementi, a set of piano variations on ‘God Save the King’, op.101.  Published in 1828 by S. Chappell, and also distributed by Henry Lemoine, copies went to all the copyright libraries.  As I’m transcribing each item on the two Advocates’ Library music sales lists, I’m looking to see where copies survived, and it’s rare to trace such near-complete coverage as I did with this piece.   Playing my game of ‘Happy Families’ with the list dated March 8th, 1830, I checked off an almost complete set still extant, in Aberdeen, St Andrews, Glasgow, Oxford, Cambridge and the British Library.  Clearly, variations on ‘God Save the King’ were generally considered worth keeping.  Indeed, St Andrews and Cambridge each hold two copies.  The popularity of the tune is corroborated in a recent book, Taking it to the Bridge: Music as performance, edited by Nicholas Cook and Richard Pettengill, p.114. 

Of course, the Advocates were selling theirs, and who knows what happened to the copy that presumably also went to the University of Edinburgh (aka ‘Edinburgh College’).  As for Sion College – I haven’t started investigating what happened to their music, yet.  I hope to visit my counterparts in Lambeth Palace soon, but my travel plans are a bit up in the air at the moment …

After several hours of transcribing grey, enlarged camera photos, I thought it might be fun to play this apparently desirable score.  It’s lucky I’m visiting Glasgow University Library soon, because a quick search online didn’t turn up a digitised copy.  Admittedly, I didn’t look very hard.  However, I did find a review of the piece in The Harmonicon of 1828, the music magazine which was enormously popular with library users in St Andrews!  Two of Pixis’ sets of variations are reviewed.  Do I really want to bother with something fit only for ‘crazy amateurs of Vienna’,  or nimble-fingered pianists with no judgement?  Maybe the Edinburgh advocates knew something …

Pixis Variations op.101
“Difficult and devoid of interest”

 

Advertisements

Graduating: Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Arts Education

Technically, this post finally completes the purpose of the blog.  It began when I started the distance-learning Teaching Artist short course with my own employers, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.  And I continued it when I took my studies to the next level for the PGCert in Learning and Teaching in Higher Arts Education.

Next week, I graduate with my Postgraduate Certificate, which qualifies me as a teacher and will also make me a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy – kind of ironic, for the scholar who in 1984 took refuge in librarianship because she couldn’t imagine herself standing in front of a class.  Ironic too, because my parents were both teachers – and I was sure I would never be one.

1984-5 were pivotal years for me.  I did a Graduate traineeship in a university library, followed by a Postgraduate Diploma in Librarianship, got a Distinction, got a job, then another job, then achieved chartership with my professional association, and conceded that I’d never finish the PhD that I had begun with such hope.  I couldn’t see myself as an academic, had had no opportunities to try, and was assured by everyone that there weren’t any jobs out there anyway.  Then finally burned my boats by abandoning the PhD.  If someone had sat me down and asked why, or tried to persuade me otherwise, would I have listened?  Who knows.

Fast-forward to 2009.  I got a PhD the hard way, part-time, on a different subject which I found totally absorbing.

And fast-forward again to today.  After years of delivering user education in the library, lectures about bibliography and electronic resources and papers about a wide variety of research topics, I’ve proved to myself that I can do it, and next week I’ll have a PGCert as my reminder!

I’m not going to close down this blog, though I may only add to it infrequently.  I’ve read a massive amount of literature about educational matters, and it would be shame to lose all that commentary.  But I’d also like to leave this post with an admonition for those who have followed it:

Don’t say you can’t do something until you’ve tried.  Don’t abandon ambitions because they seem too high.

I have seven years until I can claim my pension – meanwhile, I have a lot of catching up to do!

(If you’ve enjoyed following me on this blog, you might be interested see what I’m up to now – visit ClaimedFromStationersHall.wordpress.com/– it’s the research network that I’ve recently founded, studying British early legal deposit music.)

Did I Mention GIFs?

Buffer kindly shared a useful article yesterday, which might answer the question I wrestled with in my recent PGCert project:-

The Ultimate Guide to GIFs: How to Create Them, When to Use Them and Why They’re Essential for Every Marketer

So, if students request animation and video in our instructional materials, then I could make GIFs from Screencast-o-Matic videos.  This does need a little thought, however, since I’d be producing them as part of my employed work, rather than as a student in my own time at home.  Nonetheless, I feel a little more optimistic having read this article, so I’ll do a bit of exploration back at work!

There’s also a quick videoclip outlining one approach.  I need to investigate three websites!

  • Canva
  • EZGif
  • Giphy.com

Now, don’t laugh, please! I made my first GIF.  It took literally hours, and has no artistic merit.  However, it IS a giphy gif – my firstborn.  I made a gif describing the legal deposit “lifecyle”of early 19th century music.  How arcane is that?!  And I can get it into Twitter as well!

source

Creativity

One of the most constructive articles about creativity in the educational context that I’ve seen in a long time, this came to my attention in a recent email.  First published in 2011, the edited article article appeared online three years ago.  Into my bibliography it goes, whether or not the PGCert portfolio is complete – professional development is continual, after all!

Veronica Harris, ‘So you want to be creative‘, in the Australian online magazine, Teacher. (14 June 2014)

Three roles – or is it four?

Four days a week, I’m an academic librarian.  One day, I’m a postdoctoral researcher.  In August, the emphasis will shift slightly to three and a half days and one and a half, for the duration of my AHRC network funding grant.

A couple of days ago I realised my SCONUL Focus article was now in print, describing how my three roles in librarianship, research and pedagogy serve one another.  I find it quite easy writing about process, and I’ve often been asked to write or speak about this kind of thing.   In fact, my PGCert project also had a focus on process: I was contemplating the best ways to support distance learners in their information needs and skills development, and although the project gave me insight into how social scientists conduct educational research, and conducting the survey and interviews was an unexpected eye-opener, at the end of the day I was writing not only about my research findings, but about process, ie, the best ways to support learners.

However, it’s more challenging and perhaps more satisfying to write engagingly and accessibly about my musicological research, because it goes deeper into my specialism.  I have several pieces of writing submitted and awaiting publication at the moment, but what’s missing is something actually on the drawing-board, being written right now.  That’s largely because I was completing the PGCert portfolio.  Librarianship happens four days a week, research a fifth, and the PGCert had to fit around family life and my spare time.   Which didn’t, to be truthful, leave any spare time for writing!

However, I remembered the other day that I gave a paper earlier this year for which I have not yet sought a published home.   Maybe, just maybe I ought to dig it out and see what needs to be done to turn it into a proper paper for submission.

Librarianship, research, pedagogy … and author.  Well, after my annual leave, anyway!

 

Blending Librarianship With Research and Pedagogy (SCONUL Focus 69, 56-59)

SCONUL is the Standing Conference of National and University Librarians.  SCONUL Focus online is an open access publication.  Vol.69 is dedicated to articles by librarians engaged in various aspects of research.  My line-manager suggested I should contribute something – this is it.
Karen McAulay, ‘Blending Librarianship with Research and Pedagogy‘, SCONUL 69, 56-59 (July 2017)
ABSTRACT: I contend that the combination of librarianship with research is beneficial both on a personal level and to the library and institution, but that the addition of a third element – pedagogy – brings even stronger benefits.