Other Harmony: Slonimsky


Nicolas Slonimsky was born in Saint Petersburg in 1894 but spent most of his life in the United States. He had a rather illustrious career as a young conductor, but became best known later as a musicologist, particularly because of his Thesaurus of Scales and Melodic Patterns (Scribner and Sons, 1947). This remarkable book compiles all sorts of scales in all sorts of lengths calculated in all sorts of ways, not always ascending, not always one octave long, and often reflecting the influences of Indian music and other ethnic traditions that Slonimsky studied extensively. (...) As an example, one of the many categories listed in this book is that of pentatonic scales, beginning with these three, none of which I have ever found in the pentatonic literature I know, and all of which might just as well be considered five-note chords.(...)
Three scales of the Thesaurus