Winter sports

Spot the mistake…

My colleagues in the Japanese Department recently put up an exhibition in and around the Anderson Room / AOI Pavilion, celebrating this year’s Winter Olympics. Of course this prompted me to think about music and winter sports – surely among our massive collection of Victorian songs, we must have something to celebrate winter sports; after all the Victorians loved skating. And, yes, of course we do, but it’s also a little more complicated than you might think….

Have you spotted the mistake? The skaters, who seem to be twirling on ice, are actually roller-skating their way around the Royal Aquarium. Roller skating was enormously popular in the late nineteenth century, you can tell this by the plethora of roller skating music that litters the collections: from the skaters of the Royal Aquarium to a dedication to the ladies of the Prince’s Skating Club (each one a keen roller skater). This song substantially pre-dates the Prince’s Skating Club, which was founded in 1896 in Knightsbridge – this later club (almost certainly a development of the earlier club) was the site of the first Varsity ice-hockey match in 1900. It would later become a home to elite figure skaters, and was the base for the figure skating events at the 1908 London Olympics, the only time that Winter Olympic medals were competed for in this country. Continue reading

Advertisements
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

To the lighthouse : more music of the sea

Grace DarlingWith songs to do with the sea still fresh in my mind after last week’s post, a reader enquiry about a particular song in the MusiCB3 collections brought Grace Darling (A1892.226) to my attention. This song by Felix McGlennon tells the story of Grace, and the part she played in the rescuing of survivors of the shipwrecked steamer SS Forfarshire.

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

‘Impossible ships in impracticable positions’ : Sea songs at the UL

One afternoon in late December, the conversation at MusiCB3 turned to ships and sea songs. It was Margaret’s Christmas post (which looked at some of the nautical aspects of Christmas stories, such as Sinterklaas arriving in the Netherlands by boat) that prompted this, but it set us off thinking about sea songs in general. Numerous nautical but non-Christmassy items began to catch my attention then, so for this post I thought I’d revisit them…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Hello, G’Day, Shalom

A gift from Australia from one music librarian to another.

Sometimes you don’t always end up writing what you intended…This started out as a post for Australia Day 2018; but ended up as a rather different story. So how did MusiCB3 manage to travel from Poland to Sydney, via Canterbury and Cambridge, in the company of aristocrats, an intelligent woman, a notable disaster, and a superstar? Stopping off at London en route, and bumping into an expedition that went wrong, although it turned out right. Welcome to the sometimes topsy-turvy world of Isaac Nathan.

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

The greatest show on earth

What do Bristol, Blackpool, Norwich & Great Yarmouth, Newcastle-under-Lyme, London, and Belfast & Derry have in common? They will be the focus throughout 2018 of Circus 250. It’s 250 years this year since the modern circus was born, when Newcastle-under-Lyme horseman, Philip Astley, set up the very first modern circus. Come with MusiCB3 to celebrate “the greatest show on earth”.

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

…and welcome to 2018

First and foremost a very happy and healthy 2018 to all our devoted followers! It falls to me once again to look ahead and pick out some of the anniversaries which I am particularly looking forward to. The last few weeks have been spent working steadily through all the books in Hans Keller’s library (eh? Where is she going with this? I hear you think. Fear not, all will become clear) – that’s a different post of course, so watch this space…but, in amongst the many, many volumes was Volume 9 of the Fifth Edition of Grove’s Dictionary (Eric Blom’s masterpiece) [MR410.c.95.22]. Flicking through and noting the annotations alongside the entry for Webern, I came, at last, to Appendix I which to my delight provides a chronology of who was born and who died when. So, I have taken this as the basis for my choices. Here goes: Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Farewell to 2017

The festivities have come and gone, and it’s a brand new year. Susi will be blogging later this month about all the exciting musical things we have to look forward to in 2018 including, I suspect, a few MusiCB3 teasers; while Helen will be looking at our brand new Library Management System following the retirement of Voyager and Newton in December 2017.

The start of the year is always a good time to look back on the previous year, and its highs and lows, so here are some musical highlights and some fond farewells from 2017.

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment