"The continuing vitality of mathematical music is also evident in the emergence of the ars combinatioria as compositional method. in the words of Mersenne, who treated it first, "The ordinary rules of combinations teach how many songs can be made out of a certain number of notes, provided that one always retains the same number of notes and one does not repeat the note two or more times" [...] The idea led Mersenne to prepare extensive combinatorial-compositional tables of sounds and Kircher to construct a composing machine, the "musurgia mirifica". These apparently naive attempts at a mechanical construction of complex structures from simple elements are versions of the Leibnizian ars inveniendi, which Foucault has rightly posited as the conceptual background of the "classical age". The same principle underlies serial music today."
(John Neubauer, The Emancipation of Music from Language - Departure from Mimesis in Eighteenth-Century aesthetics, p. 17.)