Free Improvised Music as a Deleuzian "Body Without Organs": An Interview-Based Engagement with Free Improvised Musical Practices

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McGrath, Nicholas




This thesis engages with the nature of free improvised music as represented by a subset of the current community of free improvising musicians in Montreal. Through interview dialogue with a set of four free improvisers participating in this community, I trace an understanding of their varied musical practices in order to examine how free improvised music—with particular attention to the listening and creative practices highlighted by this group—promotes unique forms of musical subjectivity. Drawing on post-Deleuzian scholarship around sonic experience, difference, and identity, I argue that free improvised music stands in a historically distinct location in relation to the 'musical text'. Furthermore—and drawing on the Deleuzian concepts of the "Body without Organs," and "the refrain"—I argue that the creative practices demonstrated by this set of improvisers highlight the capacity of free improvised music to confound conventional notions of musical subjectivity and selfhood.






Carleton University

Thesis Degree Name: 

Master of Arts: 

Thesis Degree Level: 


Thesis Degree Discipline: 

Music and Culture

Parent Collection: 

Theses and Dissertations

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