You can create OK-sounding rows with serialism. Just split the row into subsets of diatonic or 'nice'-sounding sequences then begin applying all the other stuff.

I think an interesting idea would be to determine the orbit of a single permutation, and apply the different powers of the permutation to different musical elements or facets (rhythm, pitch, dynamics...). You could maybe even apply the same permutation to the powers of the permutations, so the orbit would also change the musical aspects each power of the permutaton applies to.

At our university, there is a public lecture by one of our professors, Dave Benson, on Music and Math's coming on November 17th. Although I am making the worthy skip to go and see Cynic in Glasgow on the same day.