Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Music (MM)



First Advisor

Dr. Michael Schelle

Second Advisor

Dr. Frank Felice


This composition for Wind Ensemble (like Concert Band but usually only one player on a part) was Scott Master's Thesis for completing a Master of Music degree in Composition at Butler University. Written in 2010, the piece is a combination of styles, philosophies, and techniques, all in balance with each other. Avant-garde and traditional techniques are used; tonality and atonality vie with each other, resulting in a combination of the two; specific musical directions are balanced by a degree of choice available to each participant.

“The Memory of Persistence” is about a journey. No specific personal story is presented, nor is the piece programmatic, but the progress and development of the piece could mirror many life situations and be accessible to anyone from that point of view. There is a progression from simple to complex, from innocence to maturity, that is demonstrated in the instrumentation as well as the melodic and harmonic elements.

The title of the composition is an allusion to Salvador Dali’s painting called “The Persistence of Memory.” Even the font of the score’s title page is based on Dali’s own handwriting. Dali was a major player in the Surrealism movement of the twentieth century, combining classical elements of art with unusual, surprising, or even outrageous twists. “The Memory of Persistence” does the same thing in a musical setting. Yet, even without knowledge of Dali, the listener can understand the title because the piece demonstrates persistence through difficulty while retaining the memory of the past and incorporating it into current life.


Please see accompanying paper and MP3.

THESIS PAPER.pdf (1086 kB)
Paper that accompanies the score

The Memory of Persistence.mp3 (13292 kB)
"The Memory of Persistence" MP3

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