The Equal Interval System of Horizontal Composition was developed to satisfy the working musician’s need for a theory method which would enable one to express, freely, their own musical ideas. It is a simplified and highly accurate method of counting, or spacing, all of the horizontal and vertical intervals used in modern music. Of greatest importance to the creative musician is the fact that it is designed to utilize, in every possible form, any or all of the intervals found in music including any of the structures employed in the regular systems. This makes it possible to write music in any accepted idiom or to deviate from it in any degree from slightly to completely. Therefore, it can be applied to any existing type of music or it can be the basis for complete originality… it is merely a question of musical architecture. A student of this system has a wide range for self-expression, from conforming to standard practices, or unhampered by the usual restrictions, to composing in extremely free forms.
Composing should be fun and with this method it is. We have no need of mental blocks of any kind. We are supposed to have complete freedom when we have finished the text. It will give us the most pleasure we’ll ever receive from any musical activity involving study.
A musical system, if it is to have any value to a composer, must have a unifying principal. The conventional system does this through the use of a “key” which stresses the strong intervals. But the patterns from which one has to work are limited and have been exploited to the point of exhaustion. Some modern writing is a mixture of diatonic patterns liberally sprinkled with experiments by the composer and these do not always gel, as there is no real unifying principle involved. The unifying principle of this system is the use of Equal Intervals plus upper partials and the patterns are therefore unlimited. This method is not experimental since it has proved completely successful on numerous recordings and in television and motion picture scores.
Whoever absorbs the knowledge available in the course and masters the method of producing patterns will evolve his or her own style of playing or writing music. The graduates of this system are creative individualists.
-Lyle “Spud” Murphy
Composer, Arranger, Musician, Author