Archibald T. Davison, Jr., 1883-1961

Archibald T. Davison, Jr.  was a member of the Boston School Committee and lived at 394 Washington St. in 1898…

No. 12654 Archibald T. Davison, Jr.

Archibald Thompson Davison (11 October 1883 – 6 February 1961) was an American musicologist, conductor, composer and music educator.

Davison lived with his parents and siblings at 394 Washington Street, Dorchester.  His father was a doctor as was one of his brothers.

Dr. Archibald T. Davison (a Dorchester native) left his position as Organist & Choirmaster at All Saints, Ashmont, to take the post of University Organist and Choirmaster at Harvard. He coached the Harvard Glee Club in the 19 teens and became its first conductor.  The Club under his direction, from 1920 to 1933, came to be regarded as the best amateur chorus in the United States.

Davison completed his studies in music at Harvard University, where he was awarded a PhD in 1908.  He is best remembered for his work as co-editor of the two volumes of The Historical Anthology of Music, along with Willi Appel.

He taught at Harvard for forty-one years

His compositions were completed early in life, and none of them are part of the standard repertoire.

His musicology writings include:

  • The Harmonic Contributions of Claude Debussy, 1908
  • Choral Conducting, 1940
  • The Technique of Choral Composition, 1945
  • The Historical Anthology of Music Volume I: Oriental, Medieval and Renaissance Music, 1949
  • The Historical Anthology of Music Volume II: Baroque, Rococo and Pre-Classical Music, 1950

For a much longer description of Davison’s life, check out his obituary in the Harvard Crimson.



Posted on

November 17, 2022

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