Slonimsky-inspired Musical Robot Helmet | Ideas For Dozens
Slonimsky’s Thesaurus is a monument from the era of Modernism in music when composers explored the formal and mathematical relationships inherent in the tempered scale and the intervalic relationships that constitute it. It achieved wider fame later on when John Coltrane professed its importance in developing his “sheets of sound” style (see the wikipedia entry on the Coltrane Changes for more info).
The Thesaurus proceeds systematically through every possible equal sub-division of the octave to define a series of scales and then explores a set of patterns and arpeggiations on those scales. Put another way, Slonimsky provides an exhaustive exploration of the mathematical patterns and symmetries within the tempered scale beyond the traditional major, minor, and other modes.