Create an Account

Registering for this site is easy. Just fill in the fields below, and we'll get a new account set up for you in no time.

Account Details

Profile Details

Name (required)

This field can be seen by: Everyone

Who can see this field?

0 thoughts on “Create an Account”

  1. Stacy Gray says:

    A great phrase for introducing tension over a dominant chord.

  2. Frank P says:

    Thanks Phil.

    I think part of the resistance to a scientific or constructivist attitude towards creating music is that ‘it sounds too hard!’ as opposed to the romantic stereotype of dreamily waiting around for divine intervention. We’re taught to trust instincts and value ‘what comes easily’ as being somehow more natural and authentic than what’s contrived by science – in spite of the fact we live in a world enjoying advances made possible by the most painstaking scientific work.

    Schillinger’s approach is not binary – it’s not all scientific and predeterministic versus fully intuitive and improvisatory. That’s an unfortunate misreading that continues to this day. I think his goal was to provide tools for people to build upon and supplement – not replace – their innate musical ideas and abilities.

    Schillinger’s toolkit largely revolves around high-school math – basic algebra – as a straightforward way to express musical quantities more clearly than traditional music notation. And It’s not far removed from today’s software-based ‘piano rolls’ and ‘wave clip’ views – that are, ironically, less often criticized for being ‘too-scientific’.

    Counter to another misreading that his methods produce only one kind of music, Schillinger seems to go out of his way to employ popular music examples of his day side-by-side with classical ‘art’ music and regional folk musics.

    I don’t think genre or musical ‘stature’ was especially important to Schillinger; he seems to have scoped-out the commonality of music across cultures and eras and devised tools to extract those principles and combine them in virtually countless ways – always based solely upon the desires of the musician.

  3. luc says:

    I am convinced that the Dubussy chromatic and dichromatic scales has influenced schillinger to play this sentences. It opens defenitely new ways to thinking theorie and harmonise scales. Especially some chormatic tensions above the fith note of the major triad.

  4. David Kane says:

    The second piece, as interesting as it was, sounds like a MIDI performance- is it really Schillinger playing?

  5. David Kane says:

    Well said!

  6. Phil says:

    I believe it is Schillinger. I will ask Lou Pine.

  7. Glenn Tomassi says:

    Totally agree with Prof. Cowell. We spend most of our time learning from the conventional wokrs and than as we produce and create we fall into the trap of sounding like…. It is time to seek further and find new approaches to compose and create…. Schilligers’s approach opens a door to a totally new set of parameter and posibilities…let;s not be afraid to go in and find out!!!what is there….

  8. Philip DiTullio says:

    Glenn, for the musicians/composers who want to be a true artist and express themselves in a unique way.

  9. punchin says:

    Absolutely right on. You are doing a great job Philip.

    Jerome Walman

  10. Hal Galper says:

    I studied the Schillinger System at Berklee in the mid 50’s. It taught me that were underlying reasons why some music sounded good and some didn’t. It wasn’t until decades later I realized how much the system had shaped my thinking about music. Schillinger gave me a methodology for analyzing music far beyond mere transcription and copying.

    Hal Galper

    1. Phil says:

      Hi Hal,
      I agree totally! What then begs the question is without this insight would your music have changed?
      I know it is a bit philosophical but an interesting question.


  11. David Kane says:

    All good points- to that I can add that my longtime teacher, Dr. Asher Zlotnik, was profoundly influenced by his Schillinger studies and his students included, Gil Goldstein, Jamie Aebersold, Emil Richards, Paul Bollenback, Chris Bacas and many I’m forgetting. Also, Zlotnik left a permanent impact on the music departments he taught in: University of Indiana, Boston University, Manhattan School of Music, University of Maryland and Peabody Conservatory.

    1. Phil says:

      Absolutely! I believe many of us can add our influences also. I didn’t know about Jamie Aebersold that is also quite an influence on many musicians. Asher Zlotnick has also quite a web of students.

  12. jesscast999 says:

    And what about Dick Groove who studied the Schillinger Boocks for about 9 years and based all his theories on it!!!

    1. Phil says:

      I agree but later on Dick had said Schillinger was not much of an influence. He studied with Earle Brown in Bolder Colorado. I see many Schillinger theories in Dick Groves teachings.


  13. Bobby Sanabria says:

    What if Tito Puente and Eddie Palmieri hadn’t studied the Schillinger System?

    1. Phil says:


      Absolutely! Eddie and Tito spoke about the influence Schillinger had on their development. What would their music sound like with out Schillinger’s influence?

  14. Chromatic Cube says:


    Everything would be different!

  15. David Masters Olney says:

    What If…:
    …Pythagoras never knew of Plato – then combining Ethos with Scientia, Properties of Nature, Oracles and Nine Muses?
    There may be no such thing as “attenuative frequency” or “Interrelative Modality.”

    …Cantus Pulchra of ST Cecilia + Cantus Augustus of ST Gregory had never been defined?
    There may be no conventional scale structure – from Ionian to Locrian – upon which to build numerological definitions.

    …J.S.BACH never went into a Church and found an Organ?
    The Choralegesang may have waited another 1,000 years.

    …Martin Luther had never met Gutenberg and Dürer?
    There would (still) be nothing but Roman Rule, and no Gottspiel to attest in German or English.

    …life without Brahms?
    There may be a severe lack of Ravel, Debussey, R. Strauss…Gil Evans… Brian Wilson…

    The generational progression of Musical Freedom and its gift bespeaks the ordination of its’ _Discipline and its’ _Language.
    The true phenomenon of Music may belong to Hegelian revelations and scolarships, while the indispensability of Mind relies on proof – Logos – of which Herr Schillenger’s was a timely + propitiously necessary master with an intrinsic solution.
    The special niche of making connections upon a singular locus [of Geist] is the mete kindred reckoning of Albrecht Schweitzer.
    The great credit may further go to the practitioners and teaching instructors of Berklee who get it.

    1. Phil says:


      That is so true.
      This is telling with regards to everyone’s choices as small and trivial as they may seem.
      With regards to music an infinite amount of outcome of where we might be today.


      1. David Kane says:

        Yep- it’s like the Butterfly Effect in Chaos Theory.

  16. Frank says:

    Thanks Phil. A good read. Surprisingly even-handed review – and Nick didn’t even work in a plug for his Thesaurus!

    – Frank

  17. David Kane says:

    What frank said- he did a good job of balancing criticisms of the work (warranted, IMO) with the many positives of the System. BTW, when is someone going to rewrite this book?

  18. David Kane says:

    To be honest, I’m not exactly sure how to read this chart. I’m familiar with the symmetric division of octaves into various parts ala Schillinger/Slonimsky/Collichio but I’m not sure what’s going on here. If you have a moment, I would appreciate a brief word on how to read this. I’m also a little confused by the division into 16 parts. I understand 3 octaves into 4 parts of 9 semitones but I don’t know where the 16 comes from. Maybe I need to reread that section 🙂

    Also, of you don’t mind me saying, you might want to experiment with some other colors as on my monitor some of them are a bit headache-inducing.
    Thanks for the post- I’m sure I’ll find it interesting once I understand it!

  19. David Kane says:

    Great! Thanks for this. I was wondering if you have IDed any SS processes in this piece yet?

  20. Phil says:

    I haven’t pulled this one apart yet, David.

  21. Chromatic Cube says:


    this stuff is a wee bit outside the box for me also, so bear with me. as you say, “3 octaves into 4 parts of 9 semitones” becomes (starting on the guitar’s low E) E c# a# g1 e2, etc… if we further divide the major sixths into “whole step whole step whole step minor third” or {2,2,2,3} we end up dividing three octaves into 16 nearly equal parts, or E F# G# A# c# d# f g a# c1 d1 e1 g1 a1 b1 c2 e2, etc…

    mathematically, this can be represented as:

    3/16 or three octaves in 16 parts, or more concisely

    4/9 or four tones per none semitones.

    there are nine such groups shown in nine rows. sorry about the colors and the headaches; this is probably because i chose the brightest colors equally spaced around the RGB color wheel – i guess that would make it hard to focus on :o)

    if you’d like, i could PM you the other groups i’ve worked out as an excel spreadsheet so that you could change the colors to your liking. lemme know,


  22. Chromatic Cube says:

    sp: oops, that’s “4/9 or four tones per nine semitones”

  23. David Kane says:

    So it seems we can draw a line from Schillinger to Coltrane and perhaps even Zappa.

    1. Cameron says:

      A mention of Allan Holdsworth is needed here.

  24. David Kane says:

    We forgot Schillinger-Slonimsky-Coltrane- “Giant Steps”.

  25. David Kane says:

    For your convenience I have assembled the above pamphlet into a single PDF file. You can obtain it here:

  26. Phil says:

    Thank you David for the pdf combining. There are many ‘6 degrees of the Schillinger System” throughout music. I have been researching Robert Fripp’s connection.

  27. Phil says:

    Giant Steps Symmetric construction 4 Tonics.

  28. Christopher Burnett says:

    I have been working with creating alternative chord progression cycles in a parallel symmetrical fashion for the last dozen years or so. Your work looks interesting.

  29. JESS CASTANEDA says:

    I think we’re just getting the time to understand the thought Schillinger, He was 100 years ahead.
    Thank you Fhilip for making it known

  30. Patrick Littlejohn says:

    I love Gershwin, I knew that he was a student of Joseph Schillinger. I am a student of the Schillinger system of composition and theory. I am now attending The Practical Schillinger School of music. Phil Ditullio is the founder and instructor of the school. I will be learning how to integrate the Schillinger system of composition with my style of composition.

  31. Ray Cervenka says:

    The ƒormula here is simple: Sit back and let the math do all the heavy lifting – and this applies to all aspects of life – not just music. JS has truly awakened my temporal sensibilities – almost like learning to think, see and hear again but on an entirely different level. 25th yr of JS and its only just started!

  32. Phil says:

    I agree Ray, the study/practice truly is a lifelong adventure. I have learned so much with regards to music and life by learning the systematic approach.

  33. Michael Redmond says:

    My father, Edgar Redmond, was a certified teacher of the Schillinger System of Composition who used his knowledge of the system to work as a Composer/Arranger/Orchestrator and Musician in Hollywood, California between the years 1959 – 1984. His training and studies of this system allowed him to compose and arrange music of all genres for Artists like Billy Preston, Diana Ross, The Diamonds,
    Sandy Nelson, Fifth Dimension, Jan Davis, Sam Cooke, Jaques Cousteau,
    Edwin Hawkins in performance with the Oakland Symphony, The Los Angeles Philharmonic and many more.
    When it is stated that the system equips Composers for old and new styles of music as well as popular and serious compositions, my dad was a living example and testament to this truth.

  34. Michael Redmond says:

    If Edgar Redmond never studied and became a certified teacher of the Schillinger System of Composition, the anthem song to the Civil Rights movement ‘A Change Is Gonna Come’ by Sam Cooke
    might not have become the iconic song it became.
    The credit for arrangement of song was credited to Rene Hall but my research shows where the Arrangement was taken from an Orchestral Suite entitled ‘Transition In Black’ composed by Edgar Redmond in 1961 with Rene Hall Music as Publisher. ‘Transition In Black’ was performed and world premiered by the Los Angeles Philharmonic with Zubin Mehta as Conductor at the Music Center in Los Angeles on April 7, 1973.

  35. JoseLuis Sandoval says:

    I’d like to learn the Schillinger system…

  36. Phil says:

    Jose Luis,
    We have a few ways. The traditional classes as well as technique classes. First, check out our Free Power of Permutations. Check out
    our school here:


  37. Florian Schneider says:

    Concerning note duration names in the “classical” music:
    it is obvious, that these names derive from one of the standard rhythms, the 4/4 – time/measure.
    It is true, that from baroque music, there have been much more variations of time.
    But before that, even in church music, where it was/is crucial to simplify the musical speech to get all people to take part of the ceremony, one of the standards ( probably THE standard) is
    the 4/4.

Comments are closed.

Skip to toolbar