the logic of music blog
In the 1930s Joseph Schillinger wrote that years from now Orchestral instruments will become obsolete. The author of The Schillinger System of Musical Composition and The Mathematical Basis of the Arts stated that sonically the instruments in the orchestra have flaws. The combination of these instruments was the best they had at the time to cover all frequencies and they did not do that effectively. He was a friend of Lev Theremin and he wrote the first piece for the Theremin. He was also involved in the conception of the Rhythmicon. He envisioned the onset of instruments that could electronically create any frequency and timbre. He believed that this would make our antiquated orchestral instruments obsolete. He wrote an article on ELECTRICITY, A MUSICAL LIBERATOR. In it, you can hear his own thoughts.
As a researcher and teacher of the Schillinger System, I can see not only Schillinger’s vision of electronic instruments but also his composition theory that can be realized with the various function generators and computer implementation.
Through the years, for various reasons, Schillinger has become a side note. Schools that taught the System have distanced themselves from their own history and other teachers called the theories their own. Schillinger had the vision to see where music was going and his theories will take music to areas we have not even dreamed of.