What method of harmonization is Slonimsky using to generate the seven chord progression that belongs to pattern 10? My understanding so far is that the pitches that divide the octave C-F#-C into equal distances are ornamented with 2 notes in between (interpolation) and the first chord C Major outlines SATB, with the ascending form of pattern 10 in the S.

Thesaurus of Scales and Melodic Patterns p.4

From: Nicolas Slonimsky, Thesaurus of Scales and Melodic Patterns, page 4. (pdf)

2 Answers 2


It looks like root movements: down a P4, up a d5, up an A3.

The pattern is elided where the ending F# chord of the first four chord group becomes the first chord of the next four chord set. Like this...

C G Db F#
       F# C# G C

In the second group the final root movement changes the A3 to the enharmonic equivalent P4.

If you then elide the ending C chord, the pattern repeats at the octave.

P4 = perfect fourth
d5 = diminished fifth
A3 = augmented third

All chords are in root position. The treble part above uses this sequence of chord tones relative to each root: root, fifth, third. That pattern is sequenced at the tritone and the two groups form the scale.


Learned both of the following from Mr. Sloninmsky in the 1970s:

The scale shown is alternating major second, augmented second, minor second -- this gives us both the tritone and the octave.

The harmonization is simply taking the scale and using the reverse triad harmonization (I forget the name, if any, assigned) where the first upper note is the same as the bass note, the next with the upper note a fifth of the bass note, then with the upper note as a third of that bass note (the bass is always in root positions) and then repeating this pattern (root, fifth, third) for the rest of the notes being harmonized.

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