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Digital Collections in the Friedheim Library

About this collection

The Joseph and Frances Schillinger Collection includes the materials of composer, teacher, and music theorist Joseph Schillinger (1895–1943), who developed what he called a "mathematical basis for the arts." The materials digitized here include composition charts handmade by Schillinger, correspondence, photographs, and manuscripts. Of special interest are a number of original artworks (many in crayon) and a manuscript score for Schillinger’s Opus 11, done in the composer’s hand. 

 

Born in Russia, Schillinger studied at the St. Petersburg Conservatory of Music. After emigrating to the United States, he influenced composers such as George Gershwin through public lectures, concerts, and teaching. Following his death in 1943, Frances Schillinger Shaw devoted herself to promoting both Schillinger's legacy and his methods through the publication of his work, the Schillinger Society, and through granting licenses to individuals and institutions to teach the Schillinger Method. Among those licensed was Lawrence Berk, whose institution would later become the Berklee School of Music. Shaw had a diverse range of correspondents (including the photographer Richard Avedon, the musicologist Charles Seeger, and the composer Henry Cowell) and her letters reflect her untiring belief in the value of Schillinger's work. In the later years of her life, Shaw donated materials documenting Schillinger's life and work to a number of cultural institutions. In addition to the Peabody Institute, Schillinger materials can be found at the American Heritage Center at the University of Wyoming, the New York Public Library, the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Guggenheim Museum, the Smithsonian Institution, the Library of Congress and others.

 

An online finding aid to the Joseph Schillinger papers is available here: http://aspace.library.jhu.edu/repositories/4/resources/1231.

 
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