Intertextual Observations of Jimmy Boyle’s Handwritten Manuscripts


  • Cheong Jan Chan Music Department, Faculty of Human Ecology, Universiti Putra Malaysia,Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
  • Chiou Yueh Kwan Music Department, Faculty of Human Ecology, Universiti Putra Malaysia,Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
  • Sze May Lee Music Department, Faculty of Human Ecology, Universiti Putra Malaysia,Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
  • James Boyle Faculty of Music, National Academy of Arts,Culture and Heritage (ASWARA) 464, Jalan Tun Ismail, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia



Jimmy Boyle, composer, catalogue, music manuscripts, intertextuality


Our study on Jimmy Boyle (1922-1971) has been one that attempts to unfold the many facets of his creativity against the single-dimensional image of a patriotic songwriter. His sentiments as songwriters of many kind, a jazzman, and a cultural enthusiast have been proven through his different branches of work that are at times seem contrasting with each other in compositional styles. As a result of a long term archiving project, this paper reveals the entire set of handwritten artefact left after his death in 1971 and was recovered in Universiti Putra Malaysia in 2014, namely some 177 items of Boyle’s handwritten manuscript, that contains unpublished, published compositions as well as hand copy of others’ compositions. Main methods employed were that of the construct of taxonomy, and some cross-examination of the items covered within the catalogue mooted by the concept of intertextuality. Through narrating the interlinks between multiple manuscripts surrounding ‘Mutiara Ku’, ‘Pulau Pinang’ and ‘Medhini’, the process of composition was brought to life in displaying the all rounded capacity of Boyle.


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Author Biographies

Cheong Jan Chan, Music Department, Faculty of Human Ecology, Universiti Putra Malaysia,Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia

Chan Cheong Jan is an associate professor at Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM). He trains the jazz majors of the undergraduate programme and supervises postgraduate music research. He obtained Doctor of Literature in Ethnomusicology from Osaka University, Japan in 2002.

Chiou Yueh Kwan, Music Department, Faculty of Human Ecology, Universiti Putra Malaysia,Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia

Kwan Chiou Yueh obtained her Bachelor of Music from Universiti Putra Malaysia in 2018, and is currently a graduate research assistant at UPM for a project on local jazz composers under Fundamental Research Grant Scheme sponsored by the Ministry of Education, Malaysia.

Sze May Lee, Music Department, Faculty of Human Ecology, Universiti Putra Malaysia,Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia

Lee Sze May obtained her Master of Science (Music) degree from Universiti Putra Malaysia in 2017. She was awarded UPM Graduate Research Fellowship in working for a project on archiving Jimmy Boyle’s work funded under the scheme of Science Fund by Ministry of Science, Information and Technology, Malaysia. 

James Boyle, Faculty of Music, National Academy of Arts,Culture and Heritage (ASWARA) 464, Jalan Tun Ismail, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

James P. S. Boyle is a lecturer at Faculty of Music, the National Academy of Arts, Culture and Heritage of Malaysia, an award-winning composer and pianist, the son of the late Jimmy Boyle.


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How to Cite

Chan, C. J., Kwan, C. Y., Lee, S. M., & Boyle, J. (2020). Intertextual Observations of Jimmy Boyle’s Handwritten Manuscripts. Malaysian Journal of Music, 9, 138–168.