Date of Award

Spring 2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Music (MM)


Music Theory and Composition

Committee Chairperson

Kevin Stahl, M.M.

Committee Member

Jacob Cooper, D.M.A.

Committee Member

Robert Maggio, Ph. D.


This thesis examines Buster Keaton’s The Goat (1921) and provides insight into the methods used to rescore the music of this classic silent film. After a brief review of Keaton’s life and career, I will discuss each step in the process of understanding this film and determining the best methods of implementing music to enhance the film. This process includes creating detailed spotting notes for each scene, sketching most of the central musical themes using my preferred traditional composition software, Sibelius, and finally transferring this musical information into my preferred digital audio workstation, Logic, in order to sync all aspects of the music with the film.

Each theme will receive a thorough dissection to analyze the compositional techniques used to implement each creative decision. These include the “Downtrodden” theme in the opening scene, the “Deadshot Dan'' theme in scene 2, the contrasting “My Lucky Day” and “Tough Luck” themes, the “Sweet Lady” theme for the police chief's daughter, as well as any areas of chase music, including the final train scene. Lastly, I will reflect upon my process and the choices made. I will also consider how the rescoring might be performed by live musicians in the future.