Today marks the 60th birthday of the UK’s number one best-selling crime writer, Ian Rankin. To celebrate Mr. Rankin’s latest milestone, we thought it appropriate to dedicate this post to his other love: music.
The year 1978 saw a changing of the guard in popular music. The decade-long dominance of heavy blues-based rock was coming to an end and in its place two new genres, new wave and disco, would rise to attain massive worldwide popularity while at the same time becoming templates for popular music up to the […]
In the 19th century many composers, including Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (1809-1847), were inspired by Scottish literature to write music based on Scottish themes. The main influences were Ossian, Robert Burns and Sir Walter Scott. Most major composers did not visit Scotland in person and so the inspiration remained cultural. However, Mendelssohn was one of the few […]
The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was released in the UK on May 26, 1967. It remains the third best selling album in the UK: only Queen’s Greatest Hits (1981) and Abba’s Gold: Greatest Hits (1992) have outsold it. To mark this anniversary, the National Library of Scotland has mounted a free display of […]
August has become a regular month for a small music display at the National Library of Scotland to coincide with the Edinburgh International Festival. A selection of items from the collections of the many musical works that will be performed over the coming month will be shown. A major theme this year is music related to the literary […]
The British public will shortly be asked to decide how they would like to participate in Europe. To help you make your decision, we would like to point you in the direction of just some of our resources on this important topic.
A recent purchase of an unrecorded broadside, printed in Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 1833, provides a few tantalising clues as to the identity of the ‘Wandering Piper‘, who roamed throughout Britain and Ireland in the 1820 and 1830s. There are several contemporary accounts of the piper in provincial newspapers, one of which, from the Bury & Norwich […]
Two hundred years ago today, at ten o’clock in the morning, musicians from London, Carlisle, Glasgow and Edinburgh gathered together for a first rehearsal to present a musical extravaganza never before heard in Scotland, a musical festival! Edinburgh enjoyed its first ‘Festival Week’. “From England, and the remotest parts of Scotland, individuals and whole families […]
(Photo credit: Insight Editions) (Image shows the cover of the book which displays a drawing of a guitar with the title ‘House of Cash: the legacies of my father, Johnny Cash’ and the name of the author: John Carter Cash) House of Cash is an unprecedented look at the life and inspirations of the Man […]
(Photo credit: Supernova Books) (Image shows pictures of various girl band members) In recent years, female artists such as Amy Winehouse, Lady Gaga and Adele have had huge commercial and critical success as well as massive media attention. As more and more female solo artists hit the mainstream the question arises: where are the girl […]