Volume 3 (2008)
ISSN 1751-7788
back to volume contents
print this article

print examples for this article:
example 1
example 3
example 4
example 5
example 6
figure 1
figure 2
figure 3

  A Becoming-Infinite-Cycle in Anne Boyd’s Music: A Feminist-Deleuzian Exploration[1]

Sally Macarthur
University of Western Sydney


The last two decades of the twentieth century witnessed the remarkable transformation of musicology by feminist scholarship in its illumination of the music of previously forgotten women composers. By the turn of the twenty-first century, however, this scholarship had become merely a phenomenon of the 1990s. [2] Women’s music, once again, has virtually disappeared from musicology in the Northern hemisphere, [3] a finding which is echoed in Australia. [4] A recent study paints a bleak picture, suggesting that women’s music is significantly under-represented in the theoretical studies of Australian tertiary music institutions. [5]




Music analysis, the staple diet of curricula in the vast majority of tertiary music institutions, has contributed to this lop-sided view of music.[6] While the discipline may appear to employ a broad range of theoretical models for studying Western art music,[7] it does not correspondingly study a broad range of music. And yet, it may be that the theoretical apparatus is also limited, for most analytical methods are designed to examine musical structure, and are employed to contemplate meaning in music. A typical approach will speculate that musical meaning will be uncovered by studying the pitch structures of a work and then proceed to prove the theory. The fundamental structure in a Schenkerian graph, for example, will demonstrate that tonal music by ‘great’ composers (on whom it tests its theory) conforms to the image produced by the graph. What this approach and others like it do not make apparent, however, is that the image presented by the graph fixes a norm against which all music is judged and, in turn, negates difference.




I argue that such approaches lead to a homogenisation of thinking which impedes the critical reception and academic study of women’s music. As Gavin Carfoot writes, such thinking denies ‘the affirmation of joyful difference’[8] and stifles the power to proliferate ‘divergent images of thought.’[9] The vast majority of approaches utilised in music analysis are typical of many areas where musical knowledge is produced. Their purpose is to get closer to the music in order to explain how it works and what it means but usually within a very narrow frame of reference, including a preoccupation with music by male composers. Carfoot argues that getting closer to ‘the way things are’ is to set in train endlessly recurring patterns of the same kinds of thought images which deny any possibility for difference.[10]






The emphasis given to structure and meaning in music analysis has had a negative impact on women’s music. Research adopting structural approaches while arguing for ‘feminine difference’ has inadvertently shown that it is ‘located in the negation of ideals normalised by male models.’[11] The very absence of women’s music from the discourses of music analysis indicates that it fails to conform to pre-existing standards. This perception positions women’s music as minor(ity) music. A tautology is launched by this idea: the concept of ‘minority’ is associated with being outside the norm, and being outside the norm produces minority music. Arguments which are locked into static, circular patterns, have no possibility of progressing beyond the boundaries in which they operate, and such formulations, in any case, will often do no more than to register a complaint that women’s music is ‘invisible’ in the eyes of musicologists.






In this paper, I disengage from these types of circular arguments, adopting instead a different strategy for studying women’s music. My aim is to show that it is possible to analyse the music of a female composer, in which it is judged on its own terms, by adopting a philosophical framework that locates ‘difference’ as a constantly changing concept that is interactive in a constantly changing environment. I will focus on the Australian woman composer, Anne Boyd (b. 1946), whose work is located in the classical, concert tradition. A former student of Australian composer Peter Sculthorpe (b. 1929), who is well known to international audiences, Boyd is one among a handful of women composers who has come to the attention of the Australian concert-going public. Her reputation overseas is less well-known, confined to pockets of the United Kingdom, where she was a former doctoral student (University of York) and lecturer (University of Sussex), and Asia. In Australia, however, she is highly regarded, having been made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for her contribution to music as a composer and educator. She currently holds the position of Professor of Music at the University of Sydney, moving into that post from the University of Hong Kong where she was reader and the inaugural Head of Music (1981-90).






I treat Boyd’s music to an interpretation which extends beyond the formalist approaches of music analysis by incorporating theories of difference drawn from feminist-Deleuzian philosophy.[12] My central argument is that Boyd’s music offers itself to a reading which associates it with the idea of the ‘feminine’ as a ‘virtual’ force. The concept ‘virtual’, as I will elaborate below, is crucial to the theoretical underpinning of my analysis. It makes possible the philosophical shift from hierarchical, representational thought, in which ‘feminine difference’ is ultimately returned to the negative ‘other’ of the (masculine) norm, to a way of thinking that is characterised by an ever-changing and interactive, limitless universe of ideas and thought patterns.






To spell out the problem with previous work in feminist theory, philosopher Elizabeth Grosz suggests that the attempts to conceive of a text as ‘feminine’ or ‘feminist’ or ‘female’ have been largely unsuccessful because, by and large, they have argued for its location in the sex of the author, or in the sex of the reader, or in the content or style of the text.[13] In Grosz’s account, the connection of the text with the sex of the author is no guarantee of its feminist or feminine or female character for, as she notes, the author ‘is not a self-contained given [...] it always requires a counter-signature, a reception.’[14] In this view, the author always exceeds the text (when the text is read by others in multiple contexts) and, in any case, a woman may write like a man. Secondly, privileging the reader merely inverts the author/reader paradigm, instating the reader as the all-knowing ‘master’ of the text but leaving the dichotomy intact. Thirdly, focusing on the content presumes that women are a homogenous group who share the same experiences. This approach assumes that all women’s representations will be concerned with ‘women’s issues’. Such an idea, however, does not account for the fact that men may have access (as experts, for example) to women’s shared concerns and that not all women are interested, in any case, in ‘women’s issues’. Following the lead of the French feminists, in particular, Irigaray and Cixous,[15] Grosz then proposes that a more fruitful approach may be yielded by analysing the ‘style’ of the text, but warns that such analysis should proceed with caution. In music, for example, women’s role models are likely to be male, making it difficult to identify the distinctive ‘nature’ of a ‘feminine style’ or ‘feminist aesthetic’. As I have argued previously, however, it may be possible to locate ‘feminine difference’ in music in the signifying space between male and female, or masculine and feminine,[16] but the stumbling block for this work is its dependence on a theoretical paradigm that polarises male and female.






Research on Boyd’s music has demonstrated its strong connection with the distinctive sound-world of Asian music.[17] Much traditional East-Asian music is structurally based on cyclical patterns.[18] This same research suggests that in its affiliation with Asian music Boyd’s music is stylistically characterised by cyclical procedures and structures. To appropriate the cycle exclusively as a woman’s symbol, however, does not take account of its application to both men and women; for example the life-cycle is concerned with the various phases of life from birth to death irrespective of gender. In music, women and men have utilised cyclical procedures; these are exhibited in the well-established forms of the fugue, canon, ground bass, and so on, and in recent compositional techniques applied to music, such as in minimalist compositions. Given the criticisms (cited above) of work which has attempted to locate ‘feminine difference’ in the text it would be futile to compare Boyd’s application of cyclical procedures with those of her contemporary male counterparts.






Rather, I shall resist positing ‘feminine difference’ as a static and universal concept and aim to show, instead, how a different philosophical orientation enables a different way of conceiving this term, theoretically freeing it from the dichotomous relations of hierarchical thinking. Rather than focusing on the ‘meaning’ of the musical work, including its structure and identification of its feminist tendencies, I will consider what the music does. I will ask: what connections does it make? I view Boyd’s music as a series of multiplicities in which multiple components interact with each other and with the external world. I am interested in the transformative affects of these multiple interactions and connections in Boyd’s music.






The concept of the ‘feminine’ in feminist-Deleuzian philosophy is viewed as a ‘virtual’ force of multiple possibilities, a provisional concept in a state of flux. According to Deleuze, because the concept of ‘male’ or ‘masculine’ is already understood as the norm, any movement away from the (male) norm is a movement towards (feminine) difference. It should be noted that it is possible for both men and women to create difference in terms of a Deleuzian conception, that is, to move towards ‘feminine difference’. Difference for Deleuze is a concept that is outside of thought in the realm of the virtual. In Deleuzian thinking, ‘difference’ is poised at any moment to become actualised as a new thought image. Deleuzian theory is deliberately elusive, a dynamic way of viewing the world.






In my analysis of Boyd’s music, I juxtapose a structural approach with the fluid image of the cycle. I argue that some reductive analysis is necessary, for the materiality of music, even when viewed as a dynamic process or concept, interacts within itself. On this level, music appears to behave like a structure; boundaries, such as a beginning and ending, enclose it as musical territory. Like Carfoot, however, I am less interested in the way music creates meaning in this way than in the ‘particular intensity of sensation that it brings about.’[19] What new affects does Boyd’s music create? How does the concept of a ‘becoming-infinite-cycle’ contribute to producing these affects? What multiple connections become possible in the concept of a ‘becoming-infinite-cycle’ and how does the pattern of the cycle mutate in the music? Further, how does Boyd’s music bridge the gap between the concept of the cycle and the compositional practice that produces it?






Territorialisation, Deterritorialisation and Activist Nomad






The ‘becoming-infinite-cycle’ is both a marker of ‘virtual feminine difference’ and an analytical strategy employed to consider Boyd’s music. I have taken up the cycle as one of the principles which I have identified as a territorial marker of difference in Boyd’s music. The ‘becoming-infinite-cycle’ is understood as a new sign or concept for Boyd’s music, suggestive of infinite possibilities for the cycle while allowing the analyst to think about the emergence of difference in the music. The analyst takes up the role of ‘activist nomad’ to produce a deterritorialisation (which is like a destabilisation) of music analysis.






In Deleuzian philosophy, life is made up of connections or territories. Music (and different musics within music) marks out territories, or produces territories through connective forces that allow music (or the particular kind of music) to become what it is – music. Adapting Colebrook, a deterritorialisation of music produces a destabilisation or allows music to become what it is not, or it changes or mutates it in such a way that it destabilises the concept of music.[20] The idea that Boyd’s music exists outside the mainstream positions it as a potential destabilising force on music in the mainstream. The analytical framework for this paper is a deterritorialisation of music analysis by insisting that structure and meaning are less important than difference created through multiple connections and transformations. The mechanism by which this is achieved is through the ‘activist nomad’.






The ‘nomad’ is a philosophical concept, drawn from Deleuze and developed by Rosi Braidotti.[21] It is an analytical device that is applicable to subjectivity and for thinking about the ways that subjects transgress boundaries and subvert conventions. The concept of ‘nomad’ evokes the image of an isolate-being. According to Elizabeth Gould, nomadism ‘includes a figuration that is at once metaphorical and embodied in an intellectual style and consciousness that suggests alternative subjectivities, making possible political agency in the context of fluid identities.’[22] Applied to the institutional setting of music, the nomad is conceived, in this instance, as a feminist who simultaneously works within and outside the conventions of institutional analytical practice. The feminist nomad musicologist is actively resistant to the authority of the institution and its practice. The ‘activist nomad’ produces work that is both political and theoretical and becomes, in Deleuzian terms, the site of ‘becoming-minoritarian’, a concept that suggests the movement away from the (male) norm. In this instance, the identities of ‘composing woman’ and ‘feminist musicologist’ challenge the hegemonic world of ‘man and his music.’ This ‘nomadic-activist’ gesture has the potential to radicalise music analysis by producing new images for music.






Virtual Feminine Difference






I argue that Boyd’s music is an exemplar of ‘virtual feminine difference’. Borrowed from feminist-Deleuzian scholarship, ‘virtual feminine difference’ is inherently anti-representational, incorporating the idea that (feminine) difference produces ‘singularities of affect’.[23] The ‘virtual’ is not imagined as a representation of an ‘actual’, such as might be imagined in the depiction of a reality (actual) by a photograph image (virtual). Rather than being constituted as separate and distinct, the ‘virtual’ and the ‘actual’ are infused with elements of each other. The concept of ‘virtual’ incorporates the idea of a multiplicity where differences are imagined to proliferate. In Claire Colebrook’s view, ‘life is a virtual multiplicity, not of things and agents but contemplations and contractions, events and responses.’[24] As she continues:






This means there is not a world (actual) that is then represented in images (virtual) by the privileged mind of man (the subject). Life is just this actual-virtual interaction of imaging: each flow of life becomes other in response to what it is not. The anticipation goes beyond what is actual, but also produces a new actual. The image is neither actual nor virtual but the interval that brings actuality out of the virtual.[25]






The ‘virtual’ implies an ‘outside of thought’, yet for Deleuze this concept does not suggest some kind of detachment from the real world and real experiences. Unlike Cartesian philosophy where God, Truth and transcendence are cast in a separate realm from reality, and as pre-existent to and presiding over life, Deleuze suggests that ‘images are constantly acting and reacting on each other, producing and consuming. There is no difference at all between images, things and motion.[26] Deleuze’s theory refuses all divisions in representation, dissolving any implied hierarchy. In representational thought, oppositional terms such as masculinity and femininity ultimately return the subject to the norm. In Deleuzian thought these terms are theoretically reconfigured: the feminine and the masculine are continually infused by constituents of the other.






With this in mind, some feminists have argued that Deleuze’s work potentially neutralises the particularities of women and femininity, suggesting that the specifics of identity, including ‘otherness’, gender, oppression, and the binary divisions of male and female, are all central preoccupations to feminist thought.[27] Alice Jardine’s misgivings are posed as a question: ‘Is it not possible that the process of ‘becoming-woman’ is but a new variation of an old allegory for the process of women becoming obsolete?’[28] Grosz (who then proposes a reconstruction of Deleuze and Guattari’s understandings of corporeality[29]) says that Jardine articulates clearly for feminists the anxieties that are posed by these theorists’ radical refiguring of ontology in terms of planes, intensities, flows, becomings (discussed below) and linkages. Yet Grosz also suggests that Deleuze and Guattari’s work has much to offer feminists if they are to seek ways to move beyond the confines of Cartesian thought with its dualist heritage.[30]






In her more recent work, Grosz argues that Deleuze’s view of the ‘virtual-actual’ dichotomy is useful because it is not constrained by a way of thinking that conceives of the future from the standpoint of the present as some kind of mirror of the present, an idea which has been privileged in representational philosophy. Rather, Deleuzian philosophy imagines how truly new futures may transpire from transformations or actualisations of virtual or unfulfilled potentialities.[31] Notions of a pre-existent patriarchy are dissipated and the ‘virtual’, as Bonshek has suggested, can be used, instead, to think of feminine difference beyond any conception we have of it.[32] If the future is not bound to the past, then by extension, as Bonshek states, ‘a feminist aesthetic need not be defined on [pre-existent] patriarchal terms.’[33] While women’s music may have no absolute connections with recognisable feminine content, as Bonshek, drawing on Grosz, argues, it is possible to conceive of sexual difference as a ‘virtual force’ – ‘a leap of innovation or creativity’ – which is registered as the experience of ‘surprise’ that the virtual leaves within the actual.[34] In her own analysis of women’s multi-media art works, Bonshek proffers the view that sexual difference is imagined as a multiplicity of possibilities.






‘Virtual feminine difference’ permits an infinite array of possibilities for thinking about women and their relationships with the world and refuses the stereotype of womanhood that has come to plague representational thought. Images of femininity or womanhood are conceived as provisional points of difference; they can appear as distinctive while in the process of producing multiple affects. In this view, ‘virtual feminine difference’ operates within a network of qualities which at any moment could be undercut by a set of other qualities. This permits an interpretation of Boyd’s music as a virtual force of sexual difference, a flow of affects which are produced on a pragmatic level while theoretically undergoing multiple transformations.












In Deleuzian philosophy, the concept of ‘becoming’ is the idea that life and systems are in flux, in a constant state of opening out to instability, and undergoing transformations and mutations of themselves. The becoming of music, to draw on Colebrook’s parallel with language, can be transformed by ‘other modes of becoming such as the becoming of organisms and social systems.’[35] In my analysis of Boyd’s music elaborated below, for example, silence is imagined to transform music into a ‘becoming-landscape’. The concept of ‘becoming’ defies a singular definition; rather, it encapsulates the dynamism and instability of thought. ‘Becoming’ is not conceived as an opposition to the stable world of ‘being’ in which the latter implies a static subject and an autonomous reality. As Colebrook states, ‘becoming […] means doing away with the opposition altogether.’[36] Becoming is a continuous flow. Life is a ‘becoming-life’ which, in the process of becoming, is conceived, to draw from Carfoot, ‘as more-or-less stable moments’ within a flux of perceptions.[37] Becoming entails always being open to what it is not yet.






The usefulness of the terms ‘becoming’ and ‘virtual feminine difference’ to the interpretation of Boyd’s music is that, rather than negating ‘feminine difference’, they keep notions of the ‘feminine’ and ‘masculine’ in play. ‘Becoming-other’ entails moving away from distinctiveness towards something else, yet it allows for an analysis of the process of how femininity becomes unstable. The concept of ‘becoming-imperceptible’ encapsulates this idea which, according to Braidotti, ‘is about reversing the subject towards the outside: a sensory and spiritual stretching of our boundaries […] It is the absolute form of deterritorialisation and its horizon is beyond the immediacy of life.’[38] For Braidotti, ‘becoming-imperceptible’ is the process of becoming other-than-itself, suspended between the no longer and the not yet.[39] At strategic moments, virtual images of feminine difference and woman composer become provisionally distinctive, making it theoretically possible to regard the works of a female composer as affects of indeterminate moments of sensory force, connected with female bodies through the ‘becoming-other’ of the composer and analyst.






A Becoming-Infinite-Cycle of Music






I use the concept of a ‘becoming-infinite-cycle’ to capture the idea of the cycle as a distinctive element in Boyd’s music and as a provisional exemplar of ‘virtual feminine difference’. A ‘becoming-infinite-cycle’ is also conceived as the ‘becoming-imperceptible’ of the music in which the analysis opens out to possibilities that extend beyond the terms of the fixed world of musical conventions.[40] Rather than discussing one of Boyd’s works, I have chosen to investigate how five works are linked in the terms suggested by a feminist-Deleuzian analysis. They are chosen because they are revealing of the composer’s evolving style, beginning with the early period (1970s), moving through an imagined middle period (1980s and 1990s), and concluding with a recent work (2006).






I discuss the following works: As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams for unaccompanied chorus (1975); Cycle of Love for countertenor, alto flute, cello and piano (1981); Black Sun for orchestra (1989); A Vision: Jesus Reassures His Mother for 6 Voices (SSATBB) (1999), and Angry Earth for Shakuhachi, two harps and orchestra (2006).[41] From their points of origins to receptions beyond in multiple contexts, each is imagined to produce proliferations of ‘feminine difference’, a term which suggests that the music is a ‘plane of becoming’, in Colebrook’s words, a ‘becoming-other’ or a ‘becoming-woman’, concepts which are understood to free the music ‘from the fixed foundations of man as the subject.’[42] The addition of each work becomes a variation of the cycle which is in a state of perpetual transformation.






Structural models have been applied to Boyd’s music, among them analyses of the South-East Asian character of her music, and of its feminist qualities.[43] In contradistinction to its use in ‘a becoming-infinite-cycle’, this research has shown the cycle to be a compositional process used to generate musical material and to create musical structure. But to dwell on the cycle as a fixed concept denies the possibility for the music to proliferate divergent musical-images in which the cycle is mobile and free from the fixed foundations of conventional analytical approaches.






The concept of the ‘virtual feminine’ makes it theoretically possible to avoid conceiving Boyd’s music as a stable and static image of femininity and cyclicity. While the flow of material (musical and otherwise) is observed to have the tendency to actualise itself as static images, such as its references to the Buddhist and Christian religions, its connections with Asian music, and with notions of Australian identity and landscape, all of which have personal significance to Boyd, these tendencies are conceived as potentialities for the music in the present analysis.






The cycle emerges as provisionally distinctive in Boyd’s music but it is always conceived as a tendency or a potentiality or intensity, yet to be actualised. In a structural analysis, it is possible to observe the operations of cyclical processes; in a Deleuzian analysis other processes and concepts become apparent as I will discuss below. In Fig. 1, a representation of an arc depicts the cyclical relationships between the works and within each work. This same image also shows how the tonal centres are conceived in cyclical relationships. The cyclical patterns emerge in Boyd’s music as:





  • iterations and reiterations of pentatonic modes from Japanese, Korean and Indonesian music which are used to underpin the thematic material
  • multiple variations of the Japanese hirajoshi mode to produce the sensory affects of grief or pain or suffering
  • silences used to mark defining moments in the music as well as performing the function of a musical backdrop
  • heterophonic textures to emphasise the cyclical nature of the melodic and rhythmic material
  • refrains, ternary and rondo patterns, and ground bass and ostinato patterns, each presenting musical images associated with the cycle






Fig. 1: The Operations of Cycles in Five Works by Anne Boyd.






While retaining elements of their distinctiveness as circular (rather than linear) patterns, I argue that Boyd’s constant re-imaging of these musical patterns gives rise to the boundless cycle which is marked by the ‘virtual feminine’.






The information contained in Fig. 1 is a useful starting point, for it immediately highlights how the cycle is a structural element both within each work and across the five under discussion. The accompanying tonal map draws attention to the way that As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams begins on A-flat and returns to A-flat through D-flat and E-flat; in this analysis, however, I view it is an A-flat of ‘difference’ because during the passage of the music this tonality has been acted upon and transformed by other tonalities. Cycle of Love similarly maps out tonal territory that returns it to a variation of itself on E (via A). The third song in Cycle of Love forms a centre-piece on A, around which the two songs flanking it rotate in semitone relationship (B-flat and B-natural). Black Sun’s cycles are mapped out in fifths while highlighting minor second intervals (such as E/E-flat) and the tritone (such as A-flat-D), intervals which, for the analysis proposed, could be suggestive of an array of affects associated with pain and suffering. A Vision: Jesus Reassures His Mother oscillates between F, D and A throughout. For the analysis proposed, each tonal centre could be understood to construct multiple variations of sensory affects before the music concludes on A. Finally, Angry Earth moves from D back to D, but from minor, which for the composer, projects despair and death at the end of the second movement, to major, as an image of hope at the end of the third movement. A feature highlighted in the macro-structural analysis in Fig. 2 is that silence is an important element. While not explicit in Fig. 2, previous analyses have argued that silence marks important moments, such as the climactic moment in the third song of Cycle of Love, and pulls the music to a central focal point.[44]






Mapping Lines of Variation






While a structural analysis is able to account for the ways in which the thematic material in a given work is developed, it does not necessarily map this material to show how other kinds of connections emerge. According to Lorraine, Deleuze suggests models of subjectivity that view the self (such as composer and analyst) as a terrain which extends out onto the surrounding terrain, always moving in uncanny directions, while retaining the specificity of the subject’s local terrain.[45] The movements across the terrain are understood as ‘lines of variation’. The ‘lines of variation’ which run transverse across Boyd’s infinite-cycle produce a multiplicity of multiplicities and actualise the movement of the ‘becoming-other’ as the ‘virtual feminine’.






(a) Mapping Silence






In this section, I map silence as ‘lines of variation’ across three of Boyd’s works, from the chronologically earliest, As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams, through a middle work, Cycle of Love, to the most recent of the works under discussion, Angry Earth. I argue that silence gives expression to pain but that it also maps a movement from a ‘becoming-landscape’ to a ‘becoming-pain’,[46] a concept that is abundant in Boyd’s output.






In As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams, landscape is given expression through the silence which infuses the music. It is the ceaseless backdrop into and out of which the three (SATB) choir groups make strategic entrances and exits as they sing musical material built on heterophonic textures and interlocking chords formed from three (Asian) pentatonic modes. Beginning and ending on A-flat, the music behaves like a ever-expanding and contracting breathing apparatus, projecting long, slow-moving, static tonal clusters, marked periodically by crushing major and minor seconds. From beginning to end, silence territorialises the piece to produce a sense of meditative stillness which connects with the ‘becoming-infinite-cycle’ of Boyd’s music. Example 1 is an illustration in the score of how the silence is territorialised: the entries and exits of the voices highlight its presence and absence, an idea which would also be revealed by a conventional analysis. A conventional analysis would also point out the operations of heterophony as a cyclical, textural pattern in this example.






Example 1: Silence as infusing music and the operations of heterophony in Anne Boyd, As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams, Bars 105-8






In feminist-Deleuzian terms, it is possible to consider how silence, in tandem with the static tonal clusters of the piece, transforms the music into landscape. The music is deterritorialised (made unstable) by its connection with the monotonous, arid landscape of Boyd’s childhood; the becoming-landscape of the music occurs through Boyd’s childhood embodiment of the land. Her music is distinctive in the connections it makes between body and landscape, in turn, an idea linked to the concept of ‘virtual feminine difference’. The becoming-landscape is further emphasised by the cyclical, slow-moving ground bass patterns which are shown in Examples 2a and 2b. Patterns like this are also found in abundance in Boyd’s dynamic cycle of musical works.








Example 2a: Ground bass pattern used between Bars 91-116 in Choir 1 of As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams.








Example 2b: Ground bass pattern used between Bars 104 -116 in Choir 3 in As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams.






Whereas silence permeates the entire score of As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams, ever present and yet never wholly present, in Cycle of Love it acts as a crucial structural element in the music. The structure of this work is set out in Fig. 2 as an amplification of its earlier presentation (in Fig. 1). The symmetry indicated by the arcs is only partially based on the tonal centres. Elsewhere I have discussed the crucial role played by the thematic and harmonic material in establishing a central structural focus for Cycle of Love, including a proportional analysis to emphasise this idea.[47]











Fig. 2: Macro-Structural Analysis of Cycle of Love.






Silence marks the climactic moment as a central point in the music of Cycle of Love, located towards the conclusion of the third song. See the minim rest following the word ‘body’ in Example 3.






Example 3: Silence as the climactic moment, concluding bars, third song, of Anne Boyd’s Cycle of Love.






The text of the third song in this cycle is concerned with the kind of emotional pain that is felt when love is rejected. The textual analysis of Cycle of Love is shown in Fig. 3. Strategically placed after the word ‘body’, created here by the prolongation of a rest, silence acts on the music to produce a sensory attenuation to the image of pain. Compared to the meditative qualities in As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams, silence in Cycle of Love performs the dual role of organising the music and affecting pain: it marks an important moment, providing a lengthy pause before the song concludes, ‘Alas, Alas, I know not how to go on’, on the despairing minor second, avoiding closure, as an expression of human suffering. Silence is the gap which is opened up by the music for the outpouring of pain.








Fig. 3: Textual Analysis of Cycle of Love.[48]






In Angry Earth, silence functions to give expression to anguish and suffering at the conclusion of the second movement (see Example 4). Here, the closing bars of the movement slip dramatically into D minor (for Boyd, symbolising the key of death). A chorale is ushered in by the brass section which concludes on a sombre D minor chord engulfed by silence.






Example 4: Silence as an experience of anguish and grief, final bars, movement 2, of Anne Boyd’s Angry Earth.






The composer remarks that the conclusion of this movement – the deeply sorrowful chorale in the low horns stated three times, emerging out of the Japanese hirajoshi scale ‘via the appearance of a searing intense C sharp, effecting a perfect cadence into D minor’ – shocked her, for she says: ‘These three phrases seemed to me to affect a kind of Abscheid – a farewell. I almost couldn’t continue.’[49]






The ‘lines of variation’ across Boyd’s treatment of silence are identified as transformations of silence into landscape, and landscape into pain. Landscape and pain intersect as multiple lines of variation through silence. The music of As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams utilises silence as the backdrop for the ‘becoming-landscape’ and is the territory out of which landscape emerges. The image of landscape is a transformation of that silence. In the third song of Cycle of Love the idea of landscape is taken up in a new way through music which is bound up with an affect of pain. In this work, the landscape of As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams is transformed into an affect of pain, which is also imagined as a ‘becoming-pain’ of the silence. The second movement of Angry Earth is also mapped as a ‘becoming-pain’ of silence which, as a deterritorialisation of its function in Cycle of Love, shifts the affect of pain into a different sphere from the earlier work.






(b) Mapping the Becoming-Christian/Becoming-Buddhist






‘Lines of variation’ can be traced across Boyd’s works to show how the programmatic material forms part of the assemblage of a ‘becoming-infinite-cycle’ of the music. The movement here is from a ‘becoming-Buddhist’ to a ‘becoming-Christian’. One of the ways in which Boyd’s music attains its feminine distinctiveness is through the composer’s interaction with concepts emerging from the two belief systems, non-theistic Buddhism and theistic Christianity. For the composer ‘Buddhist silence’ interacts with ‘Christian love’[50] which, in turn, interacts with the text and music of As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams, Cycle of Love and A Vision: Jesus Reassures His Mother. Transformations, traced as ‘lines of variation’, run through these works, from the Buddhist, ego-less text and meditative music of As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams, passing through Cycle of Love, which is chronologically and ambiguously (as a hybrid of Christian and Buddhist themes) between the two, to the more (earthly) goal-directed Christian narrative and music of A Vision: Jesus Reassures His Mother. The connection between the earlier and later work for Boyd is the idea that each gives rise to ‘personal salvation.’[51]






The narrative of As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams is drawn from the diary of an eleventh-century Japanese noblewoman, Lady Sarashina (b. 1008 CE) who recounts a sequence of spiritual journeys to Buddhist temples. Boyd maps these as three dreams which ultimately lead to ‘the idea of personal salvation linked with Light.’[52] The music acts on the text – which consists of vague, non-syllabic utterances which eventually articulate the name of two Buddhas (Amaterasu and Amida) – with its orientation to dream-like, non-goal-directed qualities (alluded to in the previous section), suggesting an impersonal timelessness.






A Vision: Jesus Reassures His Mother, composed more than twenty years later, focuses on the intimate spiritual connection between the mother (Mary) and child (Jesus). It is mapped as a vision in which the future is foreseen in the crucifixion and death of Christ. (See Appendix 1, which contains the text of this work, and Fig. 4, which presents a macro-structural analysis of the work.)


































IN:     111-56

OUT: 157-69








Fig. 4: A Macro-Structural Analysis of Anne Boyd’s A Vision: Jesus Reassures His Mother.






The refrain shown in Example 5 is adopted as the recurring idea for the music; it is modal in character and set on a rocking lullaby rhythm. For the composer, this rhythm symbolises ‘hope’, the message of the song as a whole. It makes seven appearances throughout the song.








Example 5: Seven-note refrain, opening four bars, A Vision: Jesus Reassures His Mother. © 2000 by University of York Music Press, York. Reproduced by kind permission of the publishers.






The music interacts with the text, functioning as a conduit through which the story passes. Bars 115-125 in Example 6 illustrates the way the music conveys the story in recitative-like style (alto voice) accompanied by the rocking rhythm of the refrain. In bars 125-6 the music erupts, utilising the force of a descending augmented triad on F sung forte in block harmony by the three upper voices (SSA), to enunciate the opening lines from the Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, ‘Hail, Mary Full of Grace’. This example typifies the entire work which is a setting of an anonymous lyric poem from the fourteenth century for unaccompanied choir (SSATBB).






Example 6: Interaction of Text and Music in A Vision: Jesus Reassures His Mother, bars 115-27.






Between these two works, Cycle of Love is pivotal, for I argue that its philosophical underpinning is a hybrid of Buddhist and Christian themes. Its subject matter deals with love (and pain) as concepts which are both ego-less (associated with Buddhism) and humanly grounded (associated with Christianity). The protagonists of the songs are transformed as the cycle unfolds. The text of the work explores related concepts to do with ‘time’, the ‘real’ and the ‘imaginary’ (see Fig. 3 above). The music slowly moves inwards and outwards from the central point of the third song but with greater movement and dynamic range compared with the quiet, timeless quality of As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams. While obscuring identity and navigating binary relationships within the pattern of the cycle – day/night (first song), bitter/sweet, love/dream (last song) and only in songs II-IV is there a vague sense of narrativity (winter night – sudden gust – fallen) – Cycle of Love shifts the music and text of its predecessor into a new realm. It transforms the ‘becoming-landscape’, discussed earlier, into ‘becoming-pain’.






The cycle plays a significant role, musically and textually. Time and identity are vague. The beginning and ending are marked by questions (Is it real? Is it a dream?). The textual cycle (see Fig. 3), which sets up and dissolves numerous binary relationships, is reinforced by music which operates on cyclical principles (see Example 3). While the cycle has a structural function in Boyd’s music, in its dissolution of binary relationships it transforms the music into a potential image of the ‘virtual feminine’.






I have mapped the connection of the programmatic material with the music as ‘lines of variation’. The concept of a ‘Buddhist silence’ flowing through As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams is transformed by the humanly grounded love and pain of Cycle of Love which is, in turn, morphed into an idea of ‘Christian love’ associated with ‘redemptive salvation’ in A Vision: Jesus Reassures His Mother. This is accomplished, in part, through the mediation process of the composer who imagines that she personally embodies her works. Boyd says of the later work that she projected the sorrow of her own childhood (which had seen her orphaned by the age of eleven) onto Mary’s sorrow, which then gave rise to a deeply personal work in which the composer’s love for her own mother (who had committed suicide) is echoed by Jesus’s love for his mother.[53]






Similarly, the composer’s reflecting on As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams some twenty years later could be argued to be reterritorialisation of it.[54] This reterritorialisation, in Deleuzian terms, involves a transformation of the ethos of Boyd’s current belief system in Christianity to an earlier work which she had originally associated with Buddhism. By relating it to her current belief system, she distances it from its original association. Furthermore, an account of her personal embodiment of the narrative underpinning A Vision: Jesus Reassures His Mother is transformed into a narrative which she maps back onto As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams in the following statement:






[T]he landscape of my early childhood came to stand in place of mother and so this country became etched with sorrow and beauty conjoined that I heard in music for the first time in gagaku. Thus, in an instant, my own musical aesthetic became inseparably linked to the Japanese aesthetic of yuegen (found in Zeami’s concepts of Noh) in which great sorrow and great beauty are conjoined.[55]






From the perspective of many years later (2006), Boyd views the earlier work originally connected with a Buddhist conception of silence and light as now having a Christian message to do with ‘the redemptive risen Christ who is also the Son/Sun of God.’[56]






(c) Mapping the Hirajoshi Mode






The Japanese hirajoshi mode functions across Boyd’s ‘becoming-cycle’ to present variations on themes of human sorrow. This mode is taken up as a ‘becoming-other’, giving rise to the ‘virtual feminine’. A relatively stable idea in the flow of Boyd’s music, the ‘becoming-hirajoshi-mode’ is embodied as the ‘becoming-other’ (Japanese) in the music. In these moments, intervallic relations (in upward and downward inflections) of the third, the major and minor second, and the tritone come into the foreground. Example 7 presents the pentatonic mode as it appears in Boyd’s analysis of Sculthorpe’s music.[57]  








Example 7: A standard hirajoshi mode.






Example 8 captures the operations of the hirajoshi mode in A Vision: Jesus Reassures His Mother. Here the mode is a transformation of the standard version. Mary’s (earthly) sorrow in this work is clothed in the notes of the dark hirajoshi mode, appearing three times throughout the work (see the macro-structure of the work in Fig. 4 above). The intense subject matter of the text, which is drawn into relation with the mother’s melody, is based on this doleful mode, emphasising the intense minor second interval.






hirajoshi mode in A Vision



Example 8a: Operations of the hirajoshi mode in A Vision: Jesus Reassures His Mother. Hirajoshi mode used for Mary’s melody.






Boyd Mary's melody in a Vision with text



Example 8b: Operations of the hirajoshi mode in A Vision: Jesus Reassures His Mother. Hirajoshi mode as it appears in Mary’s melody, bars 111-120.






In Cycle of Love, the hirajoshi mode makes only one appearance in the work, operating on a number of levels structurally to give focus to the third song in the cycle. The mode and excerpt from the third song are presented in Example 9. The mode itself consists of a typical hirajoshi pattern but the transformation comes about through the context in which the mode is presented, including the addition of the note ‘D’ (on the words ‘tears’ and ‘know’). Spanning a minor tenth in the counter-tenor vocal part, the melody is full of disjointed gaps and on two occasions it leaps a minor seventh to draw the text (‘tears’ and ‘sorrow’) into relationship with the mode. This is a significant departure from the use of this mode in all the other contexts of Boyd’s music. The hirajoshi mode functions to capture the deep affects of human pain and suffering.






hirajoshi Mode Cycle of Love 3rd song



Example 9a: The hirajoshi mode as the basis for the painful third song in Cycle of Love.






closing vocal part of 3rd song Cycle of Love



Example 9b: The hirajoshi mode in the concluding bars of the third song of Cycle of Love.






This passage from Cycle of Love also throws into stark relief the painful silence marked by a minim rest that follows the word ‘body’.






In more than half of the work, Black Sun is marked by what Boyd has described as the ‘grief’ motif.[58]  This descending five-note motif and its various permutations (including inversions and renditions in augmentation) also contain elements of the hirajoshi mode as shown in Example 10. But here the mode is almost unrecognisable, introducing additional notes, an appoggiatura on A-flat and A-sharp (or its enharmonic equivalent B-flat), and distorting the intervallic configuration of the standard mode. The music here is a deterritorialisation of the hirajoshi mode, embodied as grief by the composer, and set in motion by a downwardly spiralling, five-note motif, emphasising a tritone leap, which casts gloom over the music.






adaptation of hirajoshi mode Black Sun




opening bars of Black Sun



Example 10: Operations of the hirajoshi mode in Black Sun.






In Angry Earth the hirajoshi mode is absent from the first movement, becoming apparent in the second. Described by the composer as a lament, the second movement transforms the subjectivity of anger (from the first movement) into sorrow (see Example 11).






hirajoshi mode second movement angry earth








Example 11: Operations of the hirajoshi mode in the bassoons, second movement (bars 49-52) of Angry Earth.






The ‘lines of variation’ of the sorrowful hirajoshi mode which flow through all of Boyd’s music is viewed as a multplicity which branch out to proliferate difference. The ways in which the hirajoshi mode crosses Boyd’s music engendering different expressions of sorrow and grief as effects of its connections or its ‘becoming-multiple’ give rise to ‘virtual feminine difference’.






(d) Mapping the Ritornello as a ‘Line of Flight’






Deleuze uses the idea of the ‘refrain’ or ‘ritornello’ (meaning ‘little return’) to show how a codified pattern within a ‘chaotic world’ is established. He conceives of it as a territorial assemblage.[59] In music, the refrain is similarly conceived, ‘a little tune, a melodic formula that seeks recognition’,[60] that marks out the musical territory to which the music keeps returning. It appears in two of Boyd’s works as a ‘refrain’ or a ‘ritornello’: Example 5 shows the seven-note refrain that territorialises A Vision: Jesus Reassures His Mother. Example 12 shows my short score reduction of the ritornello pattern that enunciates Angry Earth.








Example 12: Short score reduction by the author of the ritornello theme, opening 4 bars, Angry Earth.






Modelled on the Baroque concerto grosso form with its three movements loosely conceived as fast-slow-fast, the principal theme of the first movement of Angry Earth is cast as a ritornello. Here it behaves like the authority figure, staking out the musical territory for the work, and for Boyd it is imagined as the protesting ‘voice of the earth’.[61]  Following a rising seven-note motif spanning just over two octaves, Angry Earth erupts into a furious, discordant outburst played at triple forte by the full orchestra. For the composer, the orchestra’s mode of subjectivity is that of anger.[62] This material is subjected to various transformations throughout the opening movement, and it is also imagined by the composer to summon up the sound of ‘brutal, distant cries of a dying and ravaged earth’.[63] The forces of the full orchestra give voice to anger as well as despair and the composer suggests that these forces are ‘the voice of the earth’.[64] The forces of the orchestra, acting as ‘the voice of the earth’, are set in opposition to an obbligato line consisting of three instruments, the shakuhachi and two harps, representing the ‘voice of the spirit’;[65] the shakuhachi is flanked by two harps resembling, in the composer’s conception, angel’s wings.[66]






I argue that the ritornello theme in this work performs a dual role: it is the governing principle while simultaneously being drawn into direct relation with and thus enacting a deterritorialisation of the Baroque concerto grosso form. The instrumental forces in Angry Earth mimic the behaviour of a typical Baroque concerto grosso while at the same time producing a transformation of that behaviour. The obbligato line is set against the forces of the symphony orchestra (ripieno). The continuo line normally present in the Baroque orchestra is absent from Boyd’s work; there is no evidence of its incorporation whereby a keyboard player improvises chords continuously over a bass line reinforced by a bass instrument. [67]  In Boyd’s music the bass line does not carry the harmony or perform continuously throughout the music. Its absence suggests that the ritornello of the first movement deterritorialises a typical Baroque ritornello by including numerous passages of repeated, circular bass-line motifs which appear to function as a continuo line through a transformation of its original function. Example 13 shows a typical circular (frequently used like a ground) bass motif found in Angry Earth, which also imitates a non-retrogradable rhythm pattern.








Example 13: Bass Line used in Movement 2 between Bars 15-48 of Angry Earth.












What I have proposed in this paper opens up new possibilities for music, an infinite array of possibilities. I have demonstrated just some of these possibilities, including thinking about how music is constituted from intersections and connections, territorialisations and deterritorialisations, becomings, planes of intensities, and lines of variation. This is a ‘nomadic’ gesture which has performed a deterritorialisation of music analysis. It has offered a new approach to thinking about Boyd’s (unfamiliar) music with the aim of judging it on its own terms. The ‘becoming-imperceptible’ of the music is suggested as a ‘becoming other-than-itself’, suspended between the ‘no longer’ and the ‘not yet’. I have introduced virtual images of feminine difference which, through their connection with the ‘becoming-other’ of the female bodies of composer and analyst, have transformed Boyd’s music into affects of indeterminate moments of sensory force.






Given that difference is always differing, the possibilities are endless for this type of analysis. By necessity, I have juxtaposed discussion of structuralist models to illustrate the fundamental differences revealed by the present analysis. But in Deleuzian philosophy, difference is primary.  Differing can sometimes mean repeating but repetition is always different – ‘differing difference’. According to Deleuze, ‘Difference must be shown differing.’[68] This is the difference of the virtual.






The concept of ‘virtual feminine difference’ is fundamental to my central argument, for it is suggestive of a virtual tendency produced by intensities. The cycle, an image for both sexes, is taken up as a feminine tendency with infinite possibilities. It emerges as a provisional marker of difference in Boyd’s music. Boyd’s music refuses comparison with music by her male counterparts, for such an approach ultimately returns the feminine (or female) to the negative other of the (male) norm. The fundamental stumbling block has been the dependence of the earlier research (discussed in my introduction), including the more radical performative metaphors developed in feminist theory in the 1990s,[69]on the hierarchical representational (binary) system of Western thought.






Deleuzian philosophy allows for possibilities which may not have been previously imagined. This work, I believe, opens up possibilities for future work in music analysis and situates the discipline at the threshold of something new, making it relevant in the wider arena of the academy. It has enormous possibility for thinking about all types of music, for considering the transformative potentialities of music in a multiplicity of environments.  In conclusion, my analysis of Boyd’s music has been offered as a creative solution to addressing the current lack of women’s music in musicological discourses. It is an expression of respect and love for the composer’s music.









Appendix: Text of A Vision: Jesus Reassures His Mother


















[1] I am indebted to Dr Linda Kouvaras, University of Melbourne, Australia, who read drafts of the manuscript as it was being developed, and offered helpful, critical suggestions, and much-appreciated support and encouragement.

[2] I am not alone in making this observation. See Suzanne G. Cusick, ‘“Eve…blowing in our ears”? Toward a history of music scholarship on women in the twentieth century’, Women & Music (2001), 125-140.

[3] In Western musicology feminist work has begun to diminish since the mid- to late-1990s and in the current time women’s music and concerns are barely registering. This is evidenced particularly in anthologies which claim a connection with the North American ‘new musicology’ and its UK counterpart, ‘critical musicology’. There was an explosion of interest in women’s music in single monograph and edited anthologies from the 1980s to the early 1990s such as: Carol Neuls-Bates (ed.), Women in Music: An Anthology of Source Readings from the Middle Ages to the Present (New York: Harper & Row, 1982); Jane Bowers and Judith Tick (eds.), Women Making Music: The Western Art Tradition, 1150-1950 (Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1986);  James R Briscoe (ed.), Historical Anthology of Music by Women (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1987); Diane Peacock Jezic, Women Composers: The Lost Tradition Found (New York: The Feminist Press, 1988; second ed. 1994);  Karin Pendle (ed.), Women and Music: A History (Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1991); Susan McClary, Feminine Endings: Music, Gender and Sexuality (Minnesota and Oxford: University of Minnesota Press, 1991); Marcia Citron, Gender and the Musical Canon (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993); and Susan C. Cook and Judy J. Tsou (eds.), Cecilia Reclaimed: Feminist Perspectives on Gender and Music (Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1994). During the 1990s this interest began to wane. Ruth A Solie’s (ed.), Musicology and Difference: Gender and Sexuality in Music Scholarship (Berkeley, Los Angeles and London: University of California Press, 1993) included a range of perspectives from male and female authors on topics covering issues to do with ‘difference’ more broadly, and specifically to do with sexuality, deconstructions of music by male composers. Only four out of a total of sixteen articles in this volume are concerned exclusively with women’s music. A book published a year earlier edited by Katherine Bergeron and Philip V. Bohlman (eds.), Disciplining Music: Musicology and its Canons (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 1992) includes only one out of eleven articles concerned with women’s music. From around the turn of the century more anthologies began to appear, reflecting the research in critical musicology. These tended to include only one or two articles on women’s music or feminist issues, such as: Nicholas Cook and Mark Everist (eds.), Rethinking Music (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999), which includes one article out of 24 devoted to gender and feminism, and a sprinkling of others which deal with feminist issues and politics in among larger discussions of music; Georgina Born and David Hesmondalgh (eds.), Western Music and its Others: Difference, Representation, and Appropriation in Music (Berkeley, Los Angeles and London: University of California Press, 2000), an anthology which appears to deal with every other ‘other’, other than women; Judy Lochhead and Joseph Auner (eds.), Postmodern Music/Postmodern Thought (New York and London: Routledge, 2002), which includes two articles on Kagel, and two out of a total of seventeen articles on women’s music or music and feminism. In this book the first of the feminist articles is written by a male author whose title suggests that the feminine/feminist experience is still lacking. See Martin Scherzinger, ‘Feminine/Feminist? In Quest of Names with No Experience (Yet)’, 141-173. A book that includes a number of articles on popular music and ethnomusicological issues does not correspondingly discuss women’s issues or music: see Martin Clayton, Trevor Herbert and Richard Middleton (eds.) The Cultural Study of Music: a Critical Introduction (New York and London: Routledge, 2003). There are no articles on women or feminist issues in Andrew Dell’Antonio (ed.), Beyond Structural Listening? Postmodern Modes of Hearing (Berkeley, Los Angeles and London: University of California Press, 2004).

[4] Feminist and women’s issues have been aired at conferences attached to four composing women’s music festivals held in Australia (Adelaide in 1991, Melbourne in 1994, Sydney in 1999, and Canberra in 2001).Three of these had refereed publication outcomes: Thérèse Radic (ed.), Repercussions: Australian Composing Women’s Festival and Conference, 1994 (Melbourne: National Centre for Australian Studies, Monash University, 1995); Sally Macarthur and Cate Poynton (eds.), Musics and Feminisms (Sydney: Australian Music Centre, 1999); and Linda Kouvaras, Ruth Lee Martin and Graham Hair (eds.), Loose Canons: Papers from the National Festival of Women’s Music Canberra, 2001 (Ameroo, ACT: Southern Voices, 2004). Apart from these publications, there has been some feminist and poststructuralist work on music included in the Musicological Society of Australia conferences since the 1990s. Feminist and poststructuralist work is included in some music curricula in Australia: Linda Kouvaras (University of Melbourne) teaches a number of musicology subjects which are informed by feminist, postmodernist, and critical theories, as well as drawing on a range of music from the classical and popular repertories, while Suzanne Robinson (University of Melbourne) teaches a women and music elective; Cecilia Sun (Sydney University) teaches subjects informed by postmodern theories and includes a unit on gender and music; Brydie-Leigh Bartleet (Queensland Conservatorium) and Sally Macarthur (University of Western Sydney) include similar content in musicology subjects. However, a recent survey of the tertiary music sector in Australia revealed that this work represents the minority. See Sally Macarthur, ‘Gender and the Tertiary Music Curriculum’, Music in Australian Tertiary Institutions: Issues for the 21st Century http://www.nactmus.org.au/NACTMUS2007/musical_culture_of_australia.html, 2007. A number of doctoral theses dealing with feminist issues have been flowing from Australian music institutions since the late 1990s but very few of the successful completions have led to tenured positions in Australian universities.

[5] See Sally Macarthur, ‘Gender and the Tertiary Music Curriculum’.  While the institutions in the survey are not identified (for ethical reasons), they represent a diverse group, including traditional universities (‘sandstones’), conservatoriums and new universities. The survey reports that theoretical studies are dominated by men’s music, even in those institutions where some effort has been made to incorporate women’s music, yet there is an increase in the number of women composers represented by the Australian Music Centre which is up from 16% in 1995 to 24% in 2007. More women are composing music but their numbers have dwindled on the concert platform (from 2% in 1995 to 1% in 2004-05). Drawing on Green’s studies of gender in primary and secondary education in the United Kingdom, the findings of the Australian survey suggest a strong link between institutional learning in the tertiary music sector and the concert hall, arguing that students who are shaped by their music education will go on endlessly to reproduce the practices of their training in later life. See Lucy Green, Music, Gender, Education (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997).

[6]  Analyses of music and the historical overviews of analysis in the following early publications support this view. Significant among these are Nicholas Cook’s A Guide to Musical Analysis (London and Melbourne: J M Dent & Sons Ltd, 1987) and Allen Forte’s The Structure of Atonal Music (New Haven and London: Yale University, 1977), which continue to be widely used as analytical textbooks, the former canvassing some of the major analytical methods that have been applied to music, the latter presenting a method which can be applied to atonal music in the early twentieth century. Both are focused on music of the Western tradition and its male composers. Fred Maus’s more recent critique of analysis likens it to a science-oriented theory which excludes women’s music and he argues for a more inclusive methodological view of music. See Fred Everett Maus, ‘Masculine Discourse in Music Theory,’ Perspectives of New Music, Vol. 13, No. 2 (Summer 1993), 264-293. Anthony Pople (ed.), Theory, Analysis & Meaning in Music (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994) lacks discussion of women’s music and while a more inclusive approach to music analysis is adopted in Elizabeth West Marvin and Richard Herman (eds.), Concert Music, Rock and Jazz Since 1945: Essays and Analytical Studies (New York: University of Rochester Press, 1995), there is only one article in this book about a female composer by Ellie M Hisama, ‘The Question of Climax in Ruth Crawford’s String Quartet, Mvt. 3’, 285-312. The 2004 edition of Music Analysis, Vol. 23, recent issues of Perspectives of New Music (Vol. 43, No. 2 (Summer 2005) and Vol. 44, No. 1 (Winter 2006)) and those dating back to 2003 do not include discussion of women’s music, a finding which is echoed in Music Theory Spectrum, Vol. 28, No. 2 (Oct 2006). In the latter, however, here there is an attempt to recognise the work being undertaken in ‘new’ and ‘critical’ musicology. See Judy Lochhead’s ‘How does it Work?: Challenges to Analytic Explanation,’ 233-254. Nonetheless, women’s music itself is virtually invisible in this and other analytical journals and books.

[7] Ian Bent’s somewhat outdated survey of analysis, The New Grove Handbooks in Music: Analysis (UK: Macmillan Press, 1987) suggests that analysis has been preoccupied with form and structure. According to Bent, the methods used by analysts are classified as follows: reduction and comparative methods; different types of segmentation, category measurement and feature counting; syntax formulation, probability measurement and set-theory analysis. Jim Samson, ‘Analysis in Context’ in Cook and Everist, Rethinking Music, 35-54, provides a recent account of the discipline and its relationship with science models, and includes a critique of the ways in which postmodernism has unsettled the discipline. But in the conclusion of his overview, he points out that the main contribution of postmodernism has been its reorientation of critical focus which challenges the motivations of theorists – which he sees as a good thing – rather than challenging the methods themselves.

[8] Gavin Carfoot, Deleuze and Music: A Creative Approach to the Study of Music, Master of Music (Research) Thesis, University of Queensland, 2004, 11. Carfoot notes that Deleuze here is referring to Nietzsche’s preoccupation with life’s suffering in the Christian tradition, which they see as a form of perversion in which life’s joy is denied. See Gilles Deleuze, Nietzsche and Philosophy, tr. Hugh Tomlinson (London: Athlone, 1983). As Carfoot continues, ‘for Deleuze, a denial of life’s joy is a denial of life’s positive tendency to create difference. This becomes manifest in the formation of one dominant type of thought, where differences in thinking are eschewed’ (12).

[9] Ibid. 12.

[10] Ibid.

[11] See Corrina Bonshek, Australian ‘Deterritorialised’ Music Theatre: A Theoretical and Creative Exploration, Doctoral Dissertation, University of Western Sydney, 2007, 113-14. Also see Sally Macarthur’s Feminist Aesthetics in Music (Westport, CT. & London: Greenwood Press, 2002), which, utilising a Golden Sectional analysis (among other types of approaches), shows that women’s music does not conform to the prescribed norm, in this case, suggested by the Golden Section as an ‘ideal’ structure. This ‘ideal’ proportion has been demonstrated to fit music by male composers. For women, the orientation of the musical material is often toward the centre of the work. In hindsight, it would appear that this work, which argues for a different (feminist) aesthetic for women’s music, is based on the idea of its negation of the male aesthetic.

[12] See, in particular, Dorothea Olkowski, Gilles Deleuze and the Ruin of Representation (Berkeley: University of California Press, c1999); Ian Buchannan and Claire Colebrook (eds.), Deleuze and Feminist Theory (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2000); and Tamsin E. Lorraine, Irigaray & Deleuze: Experiments in Visceral Philosophy (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1999).

[13] See Elizabeth Grosz, ‘Sexual Signatures: Feminism after the Death of the Author’ in Space, Time and Perversion (Sydney: Allen and Unwin, 1995), 9-24.

[14] Grosz, ‘Sexual Signatures’, 13-14.

[15] See, for example, Luce Irigaray, This Sex Which Is Not One, tr. Catherine Porter and Carolyn Burke (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1985), and Hélène Cixous and Catherine Clément, The Newly Born Woman, tr. Betsy Wing (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1986).

[16] See Sally Macarthur, conclusion, ‘This Music Which is Between Two’ in Feminist Aesthetics, 173-183.

[17] See, for example, Deborah Crisp, Elements of Gagaku in the Music of Anne Boyd, Honours Thesis, University of Sydney, 1978; Kathryn Tibbs, East and West in the Music of Anne Boyd, Honours Thesis, University of Sydney, 1989; Joy Sotheran, Concepts as Organising Elements in Selected Works of Anne Boyd, Master of Music Thesis, University of New South Wales, 1992; and Rita Williams, Asian Influences are Integral to the Music of Anne Boyd, Honours Thesis, University of Sydney, 1996. See also Sally Macarthur, ‘Women, Spirituality, Landscape: The Music of Anne Boyd, Sarah Hopkins and Moya Henderson’ in Fiona Richards (ed.), The Soundscapes of Australia: Music, Place and Spirituality (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2007), 51-74.

[18] For example, Balinese and Javanese gamelan musics are defined by heterophonic textures, cycle lengths and colotomic patterns (subdivisions of the cycle). As I have demonstrated elsewhere, Boyd’s Cycle of Love adopts these patterns as a structuring principle. See Macarthur, Feminist Aesthetics, 107-128.

[19] Carfoot, Deleuze and Music, 21.

[20] Claire Colebrook, Understanding Deleuze (Sydney: Allen & Unwin, 2002), xxii-xxiii.

[21] See Rosi Braidotti, Nomadic Subjects: Embodiment and Sexual Difference in Contemporary Feminist Theory (New York: Columbia University Press, 1994).

[22] Elizabeth Gould, ‘Feminist Theory in Music Education Research: Grrl-illa Games as Nomadic Practice (or How Music Education Fell from Grace)’, Music Education Research, Vol. 6, No. 1 (March 2004), 68.

[23] According to Claire Colebrook, the concept of ‘singularities’ accounts for all those differences which we fail to notice, recognise, or conceptualise. See Claire Colebrook, Gilles Deleuze (London and New York: Routledge, 2002), 21.

[24] Colebrook, Gilles Deleuze, 87.

[25] Ibid. 87-88.

[26] Giles Deleuze, Negotiations 1972-1990, tr. Martin Joughin (New York: Columbia University Press, 1995), 42.

[27] See Elizabeth Grosz’s discussion of this in Volatile Bodies: Toward a Corporeal Feminism (Sydney: Allen & Unwin, 1994), in particular 160-62.

[28] Alice Jardine, Gynesis: Configurations of Woman and Modernity (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1985), 217.

[29] Grosz, Volatile Bodies, 160-83.

[30] Ibid. 160-2.

[31] See Elizabeth Grosz, Time Travels: Feminism, Nature, Power (Durham: Duke University Press, 2005), 110.

[32] Bonshek, ‘Deterritorialised’. See also Colebrook, Understanding Deleuze, 171.

[33] Grosz, Time Travels, 108-110, cited in Bonshek, ‘Deterritorialised’, 117.

[34] Ibid.

[35] Colebrook, Gilles Deleuze, 4.

[36] Ibid. 125.

[37] Carfoot, Deleuze and Music, 66.

[38] Rosi Braidotti, ‘The Ethics of Becoming-Imperceptible’, in Constantin V. Boundas (ed.), Deleuze and Philosophy (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2006), 156.

[39] Ibid.

[40] I am using Braidotti’s idea to suggest that the ‘becoming-infinite-cycle’ is in constant flux. The music is in a state of constant transformation by its multiple and limitless performance and analytical contexts; what a work was, including its connection with the composer’s intention, can be no longer; what each composition will be in the future has limitless possibilities. Further, new works which will be added to the cycle are yet to be composed.

[41] Scores for these works are available as follows: Anne Boyd, As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams for unaccompanied chorus (London: Faber,1977); Cycle of Love for countertenor, alto flute, cello and piano (London: Faber, 1981); Black Sun for orchestra (York: University of York Music Press, 1989); A Vision: Jesus Reassures His Mother for six voices (SSATBB) (Sydney: Australian Music Centre, 1999), and Angry Earth for Shakuhachi, two harps and orchestra (Unpublished score, available from the composer, 2006). Commercial CD recordings are only available for two of the works as follows: Anne Boyd, ‘As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams’ in Crossing a Bridge of Dreams (Glebe, NSW: Tall Poppies Records, 2000); Anne Boyd, ‘As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams’ in Jo-wha = Oneness (Wollongong, NSW: Wirripang, 2006); Anne Boyd, ‘As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams’ in Sydney Dreaming (Australia: Australia Broadcasting Corporation, 1996); Anne Boyd, ‘Cycle of Love’ in Hermit of the Green Light (St. Leonards, NSW: MBS Records, 1990). Some of Boyd’s music (scores and CDs) is commercially available to purchase and other material (including unpublished scores and recordings) can be borrowed from the Australian Music Centre at the following web address: http://www.amcoz.com.au/musicsaleslib/. The details of Boyd’s biography and compositions are posted at the following web address: http://www.amcoz.com.au/composers/composer.asp?id=3393.

[42] Colebrook, Understanding Deleuze, xx-xxi.

[43] Some analyses using a structural approach are as follows: Crisp, Elements of Gagaku; Tibbs, East and West; Sotheran, Concepts as Organising Elements; Williams, Asian Influences; Macarthur, Feminist Aesthetics; Sally Macarthur and Rosemary Schaffler, ‘Visions of a New Spirituality in Australia’ in Linda Kouvaras, Ruth Lee Martin and Graham Hair (eds.), Loose Canons: Papers from the National Festival of Women’s Music Canberra, 2001 (Ameroo, ACT: Southern Voices, 2004),121-140; Ruth Lee Martin, ‘Anne Boyd’s Black Sun’ in Loose Canons, 147-158; and Macarthur, ‘Women, Spirituality, Landscape’.

[44] See Macarthur, Feminist Aesthetics, 107-128.

[45] Lorraine, Irigaray & Deleuze, 134.

[46] The concept ‘becoming-pain’, which is a draws an emotion into a becoming or tendency, is not generally acceptable in Deleuzian philosophy. According to Colebrook, plants, animals, humans and atoms all possess different powers of becoming. See Colebrook, Gilles Deleuze, 59. I am, however, adapting the normal usage of the terminology of ‘becoming’ as a ‘becoming-pain’ because Boyd’s music requires this: my argument is that the ‘becoming-landscape’ is taken up in a new way as the concept of a ‘becoming-pain’.

[47] See Macarthur, Feminist Aesthetics, 107-128.

[48] This analysis by the author is published in Macarthur, Feminist Aesthetics, 120. I have inserted ‘silence’ in to the time-line in this version.

[49] See Anne Boyd, program note, Angry Earth, Sydney Youth Orchestra, City Recital Hall Angel Place, Thursday 28 September 2006.

[50] Anne Boyd, ‘“Cycle of Love”, A quest for Wholeness’ in Sally Macarthur (ed.), The Composer Speaks III, Proceedings of the New Music Australia Conference 1992 Conference (Sydney: Australian Music Centre, 1998), 52.

[51] Boyd discusses this idea in Anne Boyd, ‘Dreaming Voices: Australia and Japan’ in Sally Macarthur, Bruce Crossman and Ronaldo Morelos (eds.), Intercultural Music: Creation and Interpretation (Sydney: Australian Music Centre, 2006), 12.

[52] Ibid.

[53] See Macarthur and Schaffler, ‘Visions’, 128.

[54] See Boyd, ‘Dreaming Voices’, 12.

[55] Ibid. 10.

[56] Ibid.

[57] See Anne Boyd, ‘Landscape, Spirit, Music: An Australian Story’ in Richards, Soundscapes, 24.

[58] The programmatic themes for many of Boyd’s works are concerned with relevant and significant social issues circulating in the wider sphere. Black Sun is a musical reflection on the horrific Tiannamen Square massacre.

[59] Gilles Deleuze, ‘Music and Ritornello’ in Constantin V. Boundas (ed. with intro.), The Deleuze Reader (New York: Columbia University Press, 1993), 203.

[60] Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, tr. Brian Massumi (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1987), 312.

[61] See Anne Boyd, programme note, Angry Earth.

[62] Anne Boyd, Interview on Radio National, Australia, with Andrew Ford, Saturday 16 September 2006. The programmatic underpinning which evokes the anger described by the composer is inspired by the topical issue of global warming. The work’s extra-musical reference are specifically concerned with the catastrophic natural disasters that involved heavy loss of life and devastation of homes, villages, towns and cities in the Asian tsunami, the earthquake in Kashmir and the ‘horrendous Hurricane Katrina’, events which all occurred within a very short time-span of a single year (2005).

[63] Ibid.

[64] Boyd, programme note, Angry Earth.

[65] Ibid.

[66] Ibid.

[67] I use the term ‘continuo line’ as defined by the Grove Dictionary (Grove Music online) as fundamental to music of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries as follows: ‘A basso continuo (through bass or thoroughbass; Fr. basse continue; Ger. Generalbass) is an instrumental bass line which runs throughout a piece, over which the player improvises (‘realizes’) a chordal accompaniment. The bass may be figured, with accidentals and numerals (‘figures’) placed over or under it to indicate the harmonies required. Continuo realization is essentially an improvised art.’ The instruments include keyboard and bass instrument, usually string.

[68] Gilles Deleuze, Difference and Repetition, tr. Paul Patton (New York: Columbia University Press, 1994), 56.

[69] See, for example, the work of Judith Butler, Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity (New York and London: Routledge, 1990), whose performative metaphors serve to construct multiple versions of gender. Despite the slipperiness of the subject in this work, however, its foundation on the paradigm of representational philosophy ultimately returns the subjects male and female to variations of the (male) norm.