Academic Clickbait

My master’s thesis is close to being submitted! Woohoo. Here’s my short 200-word abstract, since I really cannot be bothered to write anything more about it. The title is “Learning Well-tempered Behavior: The Performance of Bach’s Keyboard Works on the Ill-tempered Piano.” It is OK if you do not want to read it; I don’t either.

Temperament can provide insight into Bach interpretation style that is often overlooked by performers and scholars. Historical music performance studies has often ignored the possibility of Bach performance practice on the modern piano, dismissing it as anachronistic in baroque music.

This dissertation examines how the performance of Bach’s pieces on an equally-tempered piano can be informed by an academic study of historical well-temperaments through an autoethnographic lens. This project addresses two broad issues within temperament scholarship. First, it moves away from the search for and construction of an “authoritatively-correct” Bach tuning. Second, it attempts to reposition the study of temperament from a primarily composer-based inquiry towards one that centers on the performer.

I begin by proposing a modification of Fred Lerdahl’s hierarchical tension model to accommodate temperament and the concerns of a performer, and then apply creatively this model, negotiating the fraught junction between structural analysis, historically-informed performance and modern piano performance practice. Two case studies are presented, focusing on instances of interpretative difficulty where such a performer’s analysis proved especially illuminating. This dissertation will also contribute to an emerging discourse that centers specifically on the performer’s artistic values and sensibilities.

As you may have guessed, I have a burning passion for corny academia article titles. People who think that academic journal articles shouldn’t have silly/funny/witty/sensational/brilliant/show-stopping titles are boring/sad/meh/bleh/bleaughgaboo/no. Let’s play a game. Here are a list of academia titles (and a dumpling recipe). Guess which ones are real!!! Good luck. Answers after the recipe.

  1. Friends with Benefits: On the Positive Consequences of Pet Ownership
  2. >Greening Text and Texting Green in the Digital Age: 4chan and the (Post?-)post-modern Condition
  3. Templuralisms: The Politics of Food and Dining in 16th-Century Portuguese Nagasaki
  4. For Men Arousal Is Orientation: Bodily Truthing, Technosexual Scripts, and the Materialization of Sexualities through the Phallometric Test
  5. Cis-Hetero Selachimorphic Familial Ti(d)es: Miming Acts of Playful Cultural Resistance in “Baby Shark”
  6. Local Epistemologist Finds a Way to Instantly Stabilize All Your Unstable Particulars! The Phronimos Hates Them!
  7. A “Rose is a Rose is a Rose is a Rose,” but Exactly What is a Gastric Adenocarcinoma?
  8. Mario’s Dynamic Leaps: Musical Innovations (and the Specter of Early Cinema) in Donkey Kong and Super Mario Bros.
  9. Primal S(cream) of the Crop: SAT Adversity Scores and the Chinese-American Upper-Middle Class

Dill and Pork Dumplings (茴香饺子)DSC07657
Makes ~100 dumplings
photo by Michael Ding

2 lb ground pork
4 oz dill, finely chopped
2 packages (~50 ea.) frozen dumpling skins
2 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup of shaoxing wine
4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoon light soy sauce
2 teaspoon five spice powder
2 teaspoon white pepper
4 scallions, chopped
1 inch ginger, minced
4 garlic cloves, minced

Combine ground pork, Shaoxing wine, salt, soy sauce, five-spice powder, white pepper, scallion, ginger, and garlic in a large mixing bowl. Set aside for 10-15 minutes, covered.
2. Add vegetable oil to mixture. The mixture should seize and become less watery. Add chopped dill and combine.
3. Wrap dumplings! Get your friends* to help! Here are 
several wrapping styles.

To boil (in batches):
Bring pot of water to boil. Add dumplings.
Once the water comes to a boil again, add half a cup of cold water. Repeat.
3. Strain pot and serve with Chinese vinegar.

To fry (in batches):
1. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a hot pan. Fry dumplings for 2 minutes until one side is golden.
2. Add 1/4 cup of water and cover. Simmer on medium-low heat for 3 minutes.

*if they do not fold perfectly, however, you should no longer consider them friends.

Music Recommendation:
Sugiyama Kiyotaka and Omega Tribe – Futari No Natsu Monogatari

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