Schillinger System for the Layman

The Schillinger System has fallen into disuse. Many musicians thoroughly trained in advanced contemporary music theory scoff at the technique, or else are scared off by the mathematical terminology. Many don’t know what it has to offer them.

The vast strides in musical software development during the last thirty years have yet to integrate the benefits of a system which had already systematized many of the musical processes that composers spend much of their time with.

The Schillinger system uses a graphical notation nearly identical with that of MIDI sequences, yet Schillinger didn’t have the advantage of a computer to implement his system, and most sequencer programmers don’t know what benefits it could offer them.

Theorists who discuss the system often are so intellectually entranced by analyses of classical works that they fail to consider its potential implementation in a contemporary setting.

I hope to begin to consider some of the potential uses of the system, and to see how the mathematical language could be made transparent to a musician.

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