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Jerome Gross and Bert Henry papers on the Schillinger System, 1940-1957

Identifier: BCA-006

Scope and Contents

This collection is comprised of materials documenting correspondence, coursework, and memorabilia produced and collected by Bert Henry and Dr. Jerome Gross, as students and proponents of the Schillinger System of Musical Composition (SSOMC). The Schillinger System of Musical Composition, was invented by Russian composer and theorist Joseph Schillinger. The system is modeled on mathematical processes and includes theories of rhythm, harmony, melody, counterpoint, form, and semantics.

The bulk of these papers consists of correspondence coursework undertaken by Dr. Jerome Gross under the direct tutelage of Joseph Schillinger, although not all lessons are accounted for here. Related materials include theory exercises by both Dr. Gross and Mr. Henry, clippings and pamphlets on the Schillinger method, and correspondence. Correspondence includes exchanges between Dr. Gross and the Schillingers regarding his progress, as well as Mr. Henry’s Schillinger-related educational ventures.


  • 1940-1957


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research by appointment. Advance notice is required for access because materials are stored offsite.

Selected materials have been digitized and are available online here

Biographical Note

Dr. Jerome Gross (1904-1969) was born in Russia, but spent most of his life in Cleveland, OH. A surgeon by trade, he was also an accomplished violinist whose musical studies included composition with Joseph Schillinger. A great friend of the arts, he received a posthumous Special Citation for Distinguished Service to the Arts in 1969, and the Cleveland Institute of Music established an annual violin prize in his name.

Bert Henry also studied under Joseph Schillinger. He was an authorized teacher of the Schillinger System of Musical Composition (SSMOC) who, among other things, directed the now-defunct Schillinger Center of Cleveland.


1 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials



This collection has been organized into four series as follows:

Series I: Correspondence and Schillinger memorabilia; Series II: Schillinger Correspondence Course lessons; Series III: Exercises; Series IV: Other materials

Series were based on the original order, perceived provenance, and type of materials. The files within Series II reflect the original grouping of those course materials into individual 3-ring binders.

Custodial History

These materials were donated by Tom Letizia of Cleveland, OH in January 2013. Letizia studied under authorized Schillinger instructor Bert Henry, who bequeathed him his personal papers related to the Schillinger Method, as well as additional papers created and collected by Dr. Jerome Gross from his own course of study with Schillinger. Based on correspondence included in this collection, at least some of Dr. Gross' materials appear to have been passed on to Mr. Henry posthumously by Dr. Gross' widow. Both men appear to have resided in Cleveland, OH, but otherwise little else is known about the connection between Dr. Gross and Mr. Henry beyond their exposure to the Schillinger Method.

Digitized Materials

Selected materials have been digitized and are available online here

Related Materials

Related materials may be found in the following collection in this repository: BCA-007 Lawrence Berk papers on the Schillinger System.

These papers consist of Lawrence Berk's (1908-1995) notes from his studies under Joseph Schillinger. Based on these studies, Berk founded Schillinger House in 1945, now known as Berklee College of Music. Also included in this collection is a related course in introductory arranging written by Berk, presumably in collaboration with others.

Processing Information

These materials were processed with interpretive and descriptive assistance from Phil DiTullio of the Schillinger Society, who provided the bulk of the folder-level notes.

  • 1 pocket score (Aaron Coplan/Appalachian Spring); selections from unrelated part-writing textbook; 4 copies of article "Music by Slide Rule;"


Jerome Gross and Bert Henry papers on the Schillinger System, 1940-1957
Sofía Becerra-Licha
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
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The processing of this collection and the creation of this finding aid were completed with support from a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).

Repository Details

Part of the Berklee Archives Repository

Berklee College of Music
1140 Boylston St
Boston MA 02215 USA