Daniel Tacke

Daniel Tacke

Associate Professor of Music
“My ultimate goal in teaching is very simple: to broaden and deepen my students’ love of music. The demands that music makes upon one’s powers of engagement and memory define it as an expressive art, and the better one can learn to develop these abilities, the richer one’s listening and the more compelling one’s music-making will be.”


B.M. in Composition, Oberlin Conservatory of Music

M.A. in Music, University of California at San Diego

Ph.D. in Music, University of California at San Diego


Associate Professor of Music Daniel Tacke teaches theory, musicianship, composition, and harpsichord, and he coaches student performances of solo and chamber music. He joined the music faculty at Hillsdale College in 2016 after holding professorships at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and Arkansas State University.

As an active composer, his work is focused on explorations of musical memory, instrumental idiom, the poetics of notation, and meeting points between contemporary and historical practices of composition and performance. A member of the American Composers Alliance, his music has been performed by a variety of professional musicians and ensembles, and featured at a number of important festivals and concert venues in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and abroad.

He studied composition at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, where he was awarded the Robert E. Aschaffenburg Grand Prize in Composition, and then at the University of California at San Diego. A lifelong performer of keyboard instruments, he was also awarded the Advanced Certificate, with Distinction, by the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music.

His research and writing have focused on the philosophy and practice of notation as well as the expressive rhetoric of experimental materials and structures. As a harpsichordist, he works in a variety of historical idioms, with a special focus on the music of J. S. Bach, an area of research and performance that resonates deeply with his activities as a composer.