The Schillinger System of Music Composition

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- Meredith College

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Feb 8, 1995, 12:16:31 AM2/8/95
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Charles Lucy

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Feb 8, 1995, 12:17:44 PM2/8/95
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- Meredith College (gond...@mercury.interpath.net) wrote:
??????
There seems to be no message here.

Yet......
The Schillinger System is wonderful, except that it is all
in twelve note equal temperament.
I've bought the whole set from Patelson's in NYC twice,
and lost them both in
moving unfortunately.

Well worth studying if you are interest in composition/arranging etc.

- Meredith College

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Feb 8, 1995, 8:32:20 PM2/8/95
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For years I have studied with interest The Schillinger System of Music
Composition. As many of you may know, Joseph Schillinger was a physicist
from Russia who developed a mathematical basis for composition as well as
the arts. He would employ "rhythmic resultants of interference" as a
basis for developing different strata for an orchestral score. He would
then apply both clockwise and counterclockwise permutations to a rhythmic
set in order to develop greater variety for a specific composition. He
applied mathematical techniques to all parameters of music, i.e., rhythm,
melody, harmony, orchestration, etc.

One of Schillinger's renowned students was George Gershwin. Gershwin was
an avid fan of mathematics and enjoyed the challenge and variety which
The Schillinger System provided. In fact, "Porgy & Bess" was written
while Gershwin was studying with Schillinger in New York City. Gershwin
enjoyed applying the principle of "projective geometry" to melody and
employed it in many of his works.

Analyzing compositions according to The Schillinger System is much
different than traditional analysis. Looking for a geometrical
projection of melody based upon a fibonacci series requires a different
mindset! This is not traditional analysis but the results can be very
rewarding.

I am interested if any of you have had experience with the Schillinger
System of Composition and if you have done analysis in this area.
Specifically, are you aware of any analysis of Gershwin's music based
upon the Schillinger System?

Thanks,

Tony

Jeff Fried

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Feb 10, 1995, 4:39:40 PM2/10/95
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In article <3hbrb4$9...@mercury.interpath.net> gond...@mercury.interpath.net (- Meredith College) writes:

> I am interested if any of you have had experience with the Schillinger
> System of Composition and if you have done analysis in this area.
> Specifically, are you aware of any analysis of Gershwin's music based
> upon the Schillinger System?

My first composition teacher was Rudy Schramm who I think was a
staff arranger/conductor with the NBC orchestra during the 1940s. He
taught me what I believe was the Schillinger system. For example, we
examined various meters and the various permutations of rhythm within
that meter. In 2/4:

H = half note Q = quarter E = eighth Q. = dotted quarter

|H |Q Q | Q. E | E Q. | Q Q | Q E E | E Q E | E E Q | E E E E |

Further permutations are available by substituting rests for each of
the durations in turn and using smaller sub-metrical divisions.

With melody, he emphasized the shape of lines with particular emotional
connations for each one (something like up is happy, down is sad, but
it was more complicated than that). He also had a concept of a "boss tone"
that controlled the tonal focus.

I'm sure that melodic ideas were not Schillinger, but what about the
rhythmic ones?

-- Jeff.

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