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Journal of Seventeenth-Century Music

Journal of Seventeenth-Century Music

Volume 19 (2013) No. 1

Published 2017

Plagiarized Book on Froberger

From Bruce Gustafson*

1.1 I feel it my unpleasant duty to call attention to a recent book that is rife with blatant plagiarism: Alberto Busettini, Johann Jacob Froberger: il mondo musicale di un compositore avventuroso, Padua: Armelin, 2015. Having been informed of the problem, the publisher is no longer selling the book, listing it as out of stock (“esaurito”), but a number of research libraries have already purchased and catalogued it. Therefore, the world should be made aware of the situation.

1.2 My involvement is that I was Editor-in-Chief of this journal in 2007 when we published three articles about Froberger, at least one of which was extensively plagiarized for this book (including stealing musical examples that I personally engraved!). I’ll give a few examples so that others can verify that I do not exaggerate. To be sure, the author translated all of the stolen material into Italian, but theft is theft.

1.3 Chapter 3, without any citation to “vA” (Bob van Asperen’s 2007 article in JSCM), is plagiarized from vA, section 7; a few specific examples:

p. 108 title taken from vA par. 7.2

p. 109, fig. 3.1 = vA fig. 2a & 2.c; fig. 3.2 = vA fig. 4a

p. 110 derived fairly literally from vA par. 7.1–2

p. 111 (par. 2), p. 112 derived from vA par. 7.3

p. 112, fig. 3.4 (repeated as 3.6) = vA fig. 4b; fig. 3.5 = vA fig. 1 (detail)

p. 113 derived from vA par. 7.4

p. 114, fig. 3.7 =  vA fig. 4c

p. 115, fig. 3.8 =  vA fig. 4d

1.4 Chapter 6 (pp. 313–58) is based on vA sections 2–6 and 8, although there is a vague and inaccurate mention of the article on p. 313. Some musical examples (figs. 6.7–6.12) appear to be photographically reproduced from vA (I engraved these, and I recognize my editorial style and the visual appearance).

1.5 To cite an example of unabashed plagiarism unrelated to JSCM, footnote 2 on p. 13 is a translation of virtually the whole article on Johann Ulrich Steigleder in Grove Music Online.

1.6 Mr. van Asperen estimates that two thirds of the book is plagiarized from as many as fourteen authors, though I have not verified all these examples. A damning review titled “Keine Empfehlung” has appeared in Concerto (v. 33, no. 266 [March–April, 2016], n.p.), in which editor Johannes Jansen, signing himself simply “jj,” points out that large portions of a Ph.D. dissertation by Linda Frances Vinke were appropriated.

1.7 I’ll not presume to tell music librarians how to manage their collections, but I wonder if this is not cause for the book to be withdrawn from trusted libraries.


*Bruce Gustafson (gustafson.musicology@gmail.com) was Reviews Editor of JSCM from 1995 to 2003, and Editor-in-Chief from 2003 to 2010, when he became Editor-in-Chief of Oxford Bibliographies in Music. He is Charles A. Dana Professor of Music at Franklin & Marshall College, emeritus.

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