Rudolf Schramm

A Comparative Study of Josef Schillinger’s Approach to Musical Composition and of the Traditional Academic Approach


Rudolf Schramm

When a new book on the subject of harmony, counterpoint, fugue, melody writing, musical form or orchestration appears in print, it is proper to make a comparative analysis. If the new book turns out to be an improvement over existing method, it will be worthy of serious consideration as educational material for students of music. So far no one book has succeeded in teaching all of the above mentioned or anything resembling a complete method or system of composition. It is therefore rather difficult to compare the newly arriving book “A SYSTEM OF MUSICAL COMPOSITION BY JOSEPH SCHILLINGER’ published by Carl Fisher, Inc.. with any other system.

A general comparison with other previously published books on all branches of musical theory would bring out the following points of difference.

  1. Schillinger adequately covers all branches of musical theory necessary to the successful composition of music; others do not.
  2. Schillinger actually teaches’ how’ to compose as a rational science to any person who can think intellectually; others do not.
  3. The difference between Schillinger and other theorists lies in Schillinger’s entirely new concept of presenting all his findings and facts in a basic, fundamental order, and in showing the simple, as well as the complex natural patterns music, may adopt.