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Topic: Intro/Schillinger

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  1. #1

    Intro/Schillinger

    After lurking for a while I decided to introduce myself.
    I am a Schillinger researcher/student and have learned the System as it was taught by a few of the teachers years ago.
    I have searched some Schillinger threads that seemed to have died out. I was wondering if any of you have made progress in your Schillinger studies.

    Phil

  2. #2
    Senior Member Leaf's Avatar
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    Re: Intro/Schillinger

    Welcome Phil. I was not familiar with him, but just read up at a Schillinger.com, sounds like he and his system are very interesting subjects of study. Glad you brought him to this forum.

    David

  3. #3

    Re: Intro/Schillinger

    Quote Originally Posted by d2leo
    I am a Schillinger researcher/student and have learned the System as it was taught by a few of the teachers years ago.
    Phil
    I must confess that I was ignorant of Schillinger and his system until I saw your post. I read a bit about it at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schillinger_System

    And to think it was involved in the founding of the Berklee School of Music.

    Are you using notation software and Garritan sound libraries to further work in the Schillinger system? Given his focus on algorithmic composition in the 1930s, is there now computer software that can be used according to his methods to generate new music?
    Wheat Williams
    Atlanta, Georgia, USA
    Music Copyist in Sibelius
    Apple MacBook Pro, Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion
    Apple Certified Support Professional. I also work with Windows.

  4. #4
    Senior Member rwayland's Avatar
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    Re: Intro/Schillinger

    Quote Originally Posted by d2leo
    After lurking for a while I decided to introduce myself.
    I am a Schillinger researcher/student and have learned the System as it was taught by a few of the teachers years ago.
    I have searched some Schillinger threads that seemed to have died out. I was wondering if any of you have made progress in your Schillinger studies.

    Phil
    Well, I am one who broached the subject previously. I have not pursued the matter at all for a long time. I think the time required for a thorough study is more than I care to devote to it, although I still have not ruled it out.

    Is Berklee still teaching the Schillinger method?

    Richard

  5. #5

    Re: Intro/Schillinger

    I came here because I was interested in Jazz band for some arranging I was learning and seeing what people thought of it.

    Well it is great to see that is some interest. I never understood what made this System fall out of favor.
    Especially when the music industry was needed most,during the time of radio movies, Schillinger practitioners were given the call. Composers could write for any combination of sounds and any emotion fast and efficiently. Along with Gershwin the most popular Schillinger student Lieth Stevens, Alan Breeze,Rudolf Schramm,Lyn Murray, Vic Mizzy (GreenAcres,Addams Family to name a few) Ted Royal, Carmine Cappola and too numerous to mention first call studio composers were all Schillinger devotees.
    Then Joseph died at age 47 with so much of his work unfinished.
    Larry Berk an MIT engineer couldn't find work so he went to NY and studied with Joseph. Seeing the need for composers as I stated the demand for composers was great at this fertle time of radio, television and the movies.
    When Joseph died Larry went to Mrs. Schillinger and asked her for her blessing on opening a school to teach her husbands System. She gave her blessing and also was the one who named the scholl Schillinger House. A falling out ensued when her soon to be husband Arnold Shaw took over the job of trying to piece together Josephs writings to publish the System books. He also thought that she should get some compensation from Berk.
    A lawsuit ensued and Berk was asked to remove the name and any mention of Schillinger.
    Schillinger's System no longer exists at Berklee today. the System was taught at NYU, Westlake in California, and a few other schools around the country. The books became the only source of study and they were not user friendly. Years past and the System became passe and considered to time consuming to attempt to learn.
    What i found by looking through the notes and courses of a few of the teachers and the Schillinger House Courses is that the System isn't hard to learn and that a few key principles can give your music a fresh new feeling.
    Schillinger spoke of automatic music where you could dial in a feeling and set a style and it could compose it self but I find the human choices the System gives me makes my music more me than a regurgitation of my musical memory.


    Phil
    Schillinger has changed my life.

  6. #6

    Re: Intro/Schillinger

    I once found this:

    http://www.ssm.uk.net/ (The Schillinger School Of Music)

    Don't know much about this school, just collected the bookmark because I am interested in Schillinger, but haven't had time yet to dive more into it. Got his book The Schillinger System Vol I&II.

    There is also a forum at
    http://www.schillingersystem.com/phpBB2/

    Mats

  7. #7
    Senior Member Leaf's Avatar
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    Re: Intro/Schillinger

    Quote Originally Posted by Tangram
    I once found this:

    http://www.ssm.uk.net/ (The Schillinger School Of Music)

    Don't know much about this school, just collected the bookmark because I am interested in Schillinger, but haven't had time yet to dive more into it. Got his book The Schillinger System Vol I&II.

    There is also a forum at
    http://www.schillingersystem.com/phpBB2/

    Mats
    Cool find! I just downloaded the two course zips. i too can't get into them yet, because presently i'm behind in my Rimsky studies, but have them ready for when i can. Thanks.

    David

  8. #8

    Lightbulb Re: Intro/Schillinger

    Quote Originally Posted by d2leo
    I never understood what made this System fall out of favor.
    I could go on and on about the reasons, but it boils down to this - it never lived up to the marketing hype. The Schillinger system was billed as a musical panacea - but in truth it relied on people already having a solid grounding in music before approaching its methodology, and even then the system was only as good as the student's natural talents, previous training and ambition to use the system.

    The most important thing about the Schillinger System is to understand that it is a descriptive system, not a prescriptive system. It can show you a great many of the "whats" of a particular piece of music or even the broader scope of a composer's work, but it can't show you the "whys" of a piece of music in a way to maps to the creative process.

    As a student/practicianer it can help you get from point A to point B, as long as you possess a strong intuitive sense of how the Schillinger system will lead you there. However, it seeme to only hold up at one level or strata - because as soon as you begin pre-emptively imposing one pattern from one aspect of a piece of music onto the others, it can fall apart pretty quickly, and the music emerges as something very mechanical. In the end, it doesn't always scale well. This can be to a lack of deftness in using the system, but then again, if the system was as objectively simple as it was billed, then this wouldn't be an issue, would it?

    For the Schillinger system to "work", it has to rely on the composer knowing intuitively when to abandon the math and just follow "musical sense" tells him or her. Then the composer can go back and re-tread what was done to see the "new" pattern as it emerged - to see if it sheds light on where the composition can go (and possibly steer the arrangement back into more sensible territory). But to use it effectively, you really must "pick your spots". It's a great tool for getting past writer's block, and as you look at the patterns as they extrapolate out (Slominsky's Thesaurus of Scales and Melodic Patterns was inspired by Schillinger's Kaliedphone) you can stumble across some truly magical passages (both Charlie Parker and Leonard Bernstein found inspiration in Slonimsky's tome) but I've found that the system itself is brittle enough that it tends to force people back on previous training to see them through the end of a piece of music.

    Mind you - I've never studied with a direct Schillinger acolyte, although I have interviewed a few that have - and have conducted my own reseach of Schillinger's published works in a university setting for several years. So take anything I have to say with a grain of salt. To me, the most impressive facet of the Schillinger system is that it "wakes up" the other half of the brain to the creative process, and it has certainly had a positive influence on my composition and orchestration skills.

    I think that in the end the system *would* have reached a level of maturity in its pedagogy that it would have gotten enough legs to stand on it's own. If it weren't for the untimely death of Joseph Schillinger, it could have reached a critical mass of teachers and professional adherents that it would have made it a sustainable methodology, albeit an advanced one. So many things that Schillinger did on paper are now what we do on-screen, I can't help but think what music-making would be like if Schillinger had been raised in the computer age.
    Houston Haynes - Titan Line Music

  9. #9

    Re: Intro/Schillinger

    I have to study the Schillinger books as well as the books by Messaien and Hindemith (which are great) for my comprehensives for my Masters in Composition next semester.
    Unfortunatley the Schillinger is so expensive right now I guess I will be living in the library. LOL
    Jess Hendricks
    DMA Student and Teaching Asst in Music Theory/ Composition at the University of Miami
    Personal Website

  10. #10

    Re: Intro/Schillinger

    I also have my own theories as to why the System has vanished. Carl Fischer who published the books realized they weren't going to sell these tombs without some sort of promotion or interpretation. Some major points of the System are glossed over. We have to remember Arnold Shaw was Mrs. Schillingers' husband he wasn't a student. Carl Fischer started the Schillinger Society that certified teachers in the System. There are or were hundreds of certified teachers. Richard Benda, Clarence Cox, Rudolf Schramm, Earl Brown, Bert Henry, Asher Zlotnick to name a few they had studios all over the country.
    The System isn't as brittle as what might be thought. People trying to gleen the System from studying of the books alone may feel that as I did untill I uncovered the courses of these certified teachers and the System became more apparent.

    Phil
    Schillinger has changed my life.

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