A question that naturally arises when contemplating my plagiarism debacle: How does one plagiarize so that most if not all of the new text slips through the watchful eyes of plagiarism detection programs? I have parsed a sample sentence from Bratu's article to show how it is done:
The first phrase,
"Prior to the early romantic generation" is expanded to become "Prior and culminating to the early romantic generation".
In the next phrase,
"of Chopin and Schumann" the list of names is reversed and also includes a new name, "of Schumann, Liszt and Chopin."
The next phrase,
"and during so-called 'classical' times" is left out.
The next phrase is exactly the same:
"music had been considered the most romantic of the arts because"
The items in the next phrase, inset with dashes, are again reversed:
" - unlike sculpture, painting or verbal utterances - " becomes
" - unlike verbal utterance, painting or sculpture - "
The final phrase in this first sentence throws in a synonym and changes the word order:
"it was the medium of human creativity that was best able to express emotion."
"it was the human creativity's best vehicle to express Emotion."
Clearly, it must have taken a lot of time to come up with almost twenty pages of sentences like the one above. First, the plagiarist had to select all the appropriate material from a book almost 500 pages long in order to cut and paste it into a new article. This necessitated a great deal of time spent reading and choosing. Then all the sections had to be reassembled and laid down in a new and sensible order. Finally, everything had to be carefully altered in such a way that it still made some kind of sense.
Bearing the above in mind, it has become abundantly clear to me that it must have taken days if not weeks of intentional work, especially since Bratu's command of English is not strong. The obvious question is this. Why would somebody spend so much time doing this when they could be spending the same time doing their own research? She is obviously capable of it. She earned a Phd in musicology in 2010 and is now an assistant professor. She surely knows how to carry out proper research. Puzzling.
It is also clear that Bratu fully understood and deeply sympathized with my ideas and views on 20th Century music. Moreover, she is a very fine pianist and musician. Like a great many other performers, she has a natural desire to explore 20th Century repertoire along the lines I have suggested. This makes the problem all the more depressing.
It is no fun airing this sort of dirty laundry in public, but it is something I have been strongly advised to do in order to protect half a lifetime of work. If Bratu issues a formal and public apology, I will be happy to accept it and will no longer be compelled to make an issue of it. I sincerely encourage her to do that.