Dan DiPiero

Assistant Professor, Music Theory, History Composition
School: School of Music, Theatre, and Dance
Office: 2309
Specialty: Musicology, Jazz Studies, Cultural Studies

Dan DiPiero is a musician and Visiting Assistant Professor of Musicology at Ithaca College. His research focuses on the affective connections between aesthetics and politics, with a particular emphasis in U.S. improvised and popular music.

Dan's first book, Contingent Encounters: Improvisation in Music and Everyday Life (University of Michigan Press, 2022) is an interdisciplinary exploration of improvisation as it appears across contexts. Through a series of nested comparisons, it aims to explicate a more nuanced understanding of what improvisation is, how it appears, and what it helps us to think about, socially, musically, and politically. Dan is also developing work on "Big Feelings," which tracks feminist affect in post-2000s indie rock; his video lecture on this topic was recently published in the Journal of Popular Music Studies.

Other writing has appeared in Critical Studies in Improvisation/Études critiques en improvisation, Rancière and Music (Edinburgh University Press), the Los Angeles Review of BooksSounding Out!, the Cleveland Review of Books, the Journal of Popular Music Studiesboundary 2 onlineand more. Dan's essay, "Race, Gender, and Jazz School: Chord-Scale Theory as White Masculine Technology," is forthcoming in Jazz and Culture.

In 2022, Dan co-founded and currently co-chairs the Music and Sound Studies Working Group at the Cultural Studies Association. He also regularly presents research at conferences such as the International Association for the Study of Popular Music (US), the American Studies Association, and the American Musicological Society. 

An award-winning teacher, Dan has taught interdisciplinary courses across the humanities. At Ithaca, he teaches Western music history, African American popular music, and other courses on music's various roles in society. Prior to Ithaca, Dan taught at Miami University and the Ohio State University, where he earned his PhD in the Department of Comparative Studies in 2019. He also holds degrees from the California Institute of the Arts (MA, MFA) and Capital University’s Conservatory (BM). His principal drum teachers are Joe La Barbera, Bob Breithaupt, and Bill Ransom. He continues to perform, write, and record music between Columbus, Ohio and New York.