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Who Is Joseph Schillinger?

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About This Website


Hello, and welcome to www.schillingersystem.com.

We have set up this website with two initial aims in mind.

 Firstly, to introduce the ideas of Joseph Schillinger to those who are interested in knowing more. It is notoriously difficult to find anything on Schillinger when you first begin looking. Even his books, "The Schillinger System of Musical Composition" and "Mathematical Basis of the Arts" can take an age to track down. We hope that this site can become a good place to start for those who have heard his name mentioned here and there, and would like to know more.

 Secondly, we aim to bring together those who already have some experience of studying Schillinger's ideas. It seems we are few and far between, and hopefully our community forum can become a place to swap interpretations and opinions on Schillinger's work, with a view to taking them once more to a wider audience.

 At one time, Schillinger was highly respected amongst composers. His ideas and techniques were studied and employed by George Gershwin, Glen Miller, Benny Goodman and  John Barry to name but a few. All appear to have placed the highest value on what they learned from him. Berklee College was originally set up as a place to study his ideas, starting out its life under the name of "Shillinger House", and Schillinger also put together a very popular correspondence course for those interested in studying his system at home and abroad.

 Now, seventy years on, when the use of computers would seem to have brought about the perfect environment for using Schillinger's methods, they have all but disappeared from view. A handful of people around the globe struggle to hunt down his books with their "coffee coloured pages", paying small fortunes for battered volumes, and straining to understand butchered versions of his ideas in these volumes that have been cobbled together from the original correspondence courses.

 It is our hope that together we can throw some new light on this subject. That we can perhaps unearth some composers who originally studied at "Schillinger House", or who perhaps still own a rare version of the correspondence course. We would also be very interested to hear from visual artists who have studied Schillinger's ideas in "The Mathematical Basis of the Arts".

 Finally, we would like to thank Eric Taxier, who has provided a great deal of the original content on this site, including the pieces "What is the Schillinger System?", "Who is Joseph Schillinger?", "A Brief Outline of the System in Practice", as well as his more in-depth paper, which he has made available to download here.

 We hope you enjoy the site, that you contribute to the forum, and if you would like to contribute any more detailed papers or articles please get in touch.