An article targeted to the film scoring professional, the use of climbing scales to create tension in music is discussed. The predictability of them is not considered to be a detriment, but rather an asset, as the recognition of an associated emotional expectation. For example playing well known song sequence but then leaving off the last bit creates the tension of waiting for the last bit to be played.
Some good points. Read in full:
How to Create Tension with Climbing Scales