Book Source: Digital Library of India Item : Joseph ioned. Schillinger System of Musical Composition Book I. Uploaded by Santiago Beis. Schillinger System of Musical Composition Book I Joseph Schillinger Joseph Schillinger spent his entire life formulating the Schillinger System of Musical Composition (SSMC), in an attempt to assert a break from the conservative.

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The Schillinger System of Musical Compositionnamed after Joseph Schillinger — is a method of musical composition based on mathematical processes. It comprises theories of rhythmharmonymelodycounterpointform, and semantics emotional meaning, as in movie music. It offers compositikn systematic and non-genre specific approach to music analysis and composition, a descriptive rather than prescriptive grammar of music.

Systrm Schillinger System might have served as a road map for many later developments in music theory and composition.

Instead, it languished in relative obscurity. Schillinger’s celebrity status made him suspect, and his ideas were treated with skepticism. He died early from stomach cancer.

He did not finish work on the texts he hoped would advance his theories in the realm of academia. His widow and biographer, Frances Schillinger, hired editors to complete and musucal a text. They pulled together his unfinished monograph with parts of his correspondence courses.

Despite its length, it presents only a partial exposition of the system. For example, Schillinger’s theory of counterpoint covers only two-part counterpoint.

It is marred by a wildly uneven tone, at times neutral and objective, at times vehement and polemical. His method remained difficult and obscure for the uninitiated. His flamboyant manner based on extreme assertions is evident in his writings: Schillinger’s System of Musical Composition is an attempt to create a comprehensive and definitive treatise on music and number.

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This has the disadvantage of resulting in a treatise of great length and elaborate nomenclature. By revealing principles of the organization of sound through scientific analysis, Schillinger hoped to free the composer from the shackles of tradition. Although the system is forward-looking, couched in an apparently modern form, it also clarifies traditional music theory by debunking misconceptions from the past.

My system does not circumscribe the composer’s freedom, but merely points out the methodological way to arrive at a decision. Any decision, which results in a harmonic relation, is fully acceptable.

We are opposed only to vagueness and haphazard speculation. Schillinger rarely attempts to predict the ot consequences of his system, but instead offers generalized pattern-making techniques, free of stylistic bias. The thesis underlying Schillinger’s research is that music is a form of movement.

Any physical action or process has its equivalent form of expression in music. Both movement and music are understandable with our existing knowledge of science. His contribution was intuitively recognizing how to apply everyday mathematics to the making of music. He expressed the belief that certain patterns were universal, and common to both music and the very structure of our nervous system.

The Schillinger System Of Musical Composition Volume I Books I Vii Volume Ii Books Viii Xii

Schillinger’s style can induce a resistance, appearing at times relentlessly dry, favoring algebra and music notation above words. Occasionally the text is deliberately provocative. The techniques are tools: The techniques in the field of rhythm to some extent compensate for an imbalance in composition literature, largely dominated by considerations of pitch.

Many of the techniques and procedures were later independently advocated by others, whom history remembers as their creators. Furthermore, Schillinger pioneered advanced algorithmic compositional techniques long before the work of Iannis Xenakis and other later compossition. The uncompromising tone is due partly to the background from which he emerged. During the s, he was amongst those who called for science to sweep away outdated practices.


For all its rigour, repetition and challenge, the System was enjoyed and apparently used with great success for many years after its author’s death. Schillinger had a profound effect on the world of jazz education. Schillinger House opened in and later became the Berklee Schilkinger of Music where the Schillinger System survived in the curriculum until the s. Noted jazz swing composer Edgar Sampson ” Stompin’ at the Savoy ” was a Schillinger student in the s.

Yet another admirer and former student of Schillinger’s system was veteran movie composer, John Barry. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources.

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Schillinger System – Wikipedia

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