You are here

Daniel J. Thompson

Daniel Thompson
Visiting Assistant Professor
Office: Phone:
(319) 384-3365
Area: High Resolution Photo:

Daniel J. Thompson is an interdisciplinary researcher, computer-music specialist, composer, and jazz pianist currently serving as Visiting Assistant Professor of Music Theory at the University of Iowa School of Music. He completed the Ph.D. in Music Theory and Composition at Florida State University shortly before joining the UI faculty in August of 2017.

The primary agenda of Daniel’s research the application of machine learning and artificial intelligence to musical style modeling—processes which his Python API “scorespeak” will optimize and greatly simplify upon its initial stable release. (See GitHub link below to access the API’s source code in its current state.) In addition to tech development, Daniel regularly presents research in semiotics and critical theory that prods the metatheoretical facets of “music” (or “musicking”) as ontologically confined to aesthetic, social, political, and other ideologies.

Daniel has delivered talks across the United States, Canada, and Mexico—including refereed presentations at the Society for Music Theory annual meeting (SMT), the Semiotic Society of America annual meeting (SSA), and the Biennial Žižek Studies Conference. In the spring semester of 2018, he gave a guest lecture to the Electronic Media II class on implementing the SuperCollider programming language for audio synthesis, live signal processing, and algorithmic composition.

Notable performances of Daniel’s compositions include the Biennial Florida State University Festival of New Music, the Queens New Music Festival, and chamber performances at the Dimenna Center for Classical Music and Spectrum in New York City. In 2014, his piano etude electronumbcomfy was recognized as a finalist for the BMI student composer awards. He has studied composition with Ladislav Kubík, Robert Mueller, and Ellen Taaffe Zwilich; computer music with Clifton Callender and Mark Wingate; and jazz piano with Bill Peterson.

On the first Tuesday of each month, Daniel can often be found playing keys with the UI jazz faculty at George’s (312 E Market St): otherwise, he is likely enjoying time at his home in Solon with his wife Neely and their children Olivia, Rosemary, and Ethan.


“scorespeak: A Python3 API for wrangling musical score data” on GitHub (pre-alpha)
Three Texture Studies for Disklavier
, No. 2: “none or several glissandi” on Soundcloud

Three Texture Studies for Disklavier
, source code on GitHub

Courses taught:

Musicianship and Theory I
Musicianship and Theory II
Musicianship and Theory III
Advanced Post-Tonal Theory and Analysis
Counterpoint after 1600
Tonal Analysis
Advanced Jazz Improvisation
Fundamentals of Music for Non-Majors