The following points highlight my paper that Phil DiTullio will read for me on Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2008 at 6pm (EST) at the Berklee College of Music, 1140 Boylston St, Room 2E, in Boston.

“Investigating the Berklee-Schillinger Connection” by Lou Pine

  • Learning about Joseph Schillinger’s system of musical composition from researching Gershwin’s music in 1983.
  • The problems with trying to read the two-volume set of The Schillinger System of Musical Composition.
  • Becoming a historian of Schillinger’s life and work, by compiling printed materials and conducting interviews over the past 25 years.
  • Verifying aspects of Schillinger’s life and work.
  • Schillinger’s death in 1943 and what Mrs. Schillinger did to earn an income.
  • Signing a contract with Carl Fischer, Inc., to publish the Schillinger system and how well the two volumes sold.
  • Possible reasons for declining sales of The Schillinger System of Musical Composition and why.
  • Interviewing Lawrence Berk by way of his son Lee Berk in thanks for materials Lou provided for Berklee’s 50th anniversary of being in business.
  • Lawrence Berk’s educational background and study with Joseph Schillinger.
  • Schillinger House and its connection to the Schillinger system.
  • Renaming the school and the reason why.
  • Pulling away from using the Schillinger system in the curriculum at Berklee and the reason why.
  • Interviewing former students to learn what, if any, of the Schillinger system was taught after Schillinger House became the Berklee School of Music.
  • Conclusion: The connection between the Schillinger system, Schillinger House and the early years of the Berklee School of Music was significant.
  • Investigating the System’s influence is an aspect that the newly reorganized Schillinger Society is promoting.
  • Determining how much of the System is being taught at Berklee today is one aspect of the Schillinger Society’s investigation into the System’s influence.

Some of you might have wondered how to correctly pronounce Schillinger’s last name. Is the “-ger” at the end of it pronounced with a soft “g” sound, as in “giant,” or with a hard “g,” as in “gain”? I asked Mrs. Schillinger this question in 1996, and she said it always annoyed her when people used the soft “g” sound. She said it was with a hard “g.” Thus, it is “Schill-ing-ger,” as if you are growling at the end.