Ananias Davisson Photo

Ananias Davisson

Born: Feb 2, 1780

Death: Oct 21, 1857

Birthplace: Virginia

Nationality: United States

Ananias Davisson

Date of Birth : Feb 2, 1780
Date of Death : Oct 21, 1857
Birth Place : Virginia

Ananias Davisson was a singing school teacher, printer and compiler of shape note tunebooks. Davisson was born February 2, 1780 in Shenandoah County, Virginia. He spent his last years living on a farm at Weyer's Cave, about 14 miles from Dayton, Virginia, and died October 21, 1857. He is buried in the Massanutten-Cross Keys Cemetery, Rockingham County, Virginia. Davisson was a member and ruling elder of the Presbyterian Church. He is best known for his 1816 compilation the Kentucky Harmony, which is generally considered the first Southern shape-note tunebook. Composer and publisher William B. Blake said it was "a book characteristic of that period, abounding in minor tunes." Other books published by Davisson were A Supplement to the Kentucky Harmony, Introduction to Sacred Music, Extracted from the Kentucky Harmony and Chiefly Intended for the Benefit of Young Scholars, and A Small Collection of Sacred Music. According to musicologist George Pullen Jackson, Davisson's compilations are "pioneer repositories of a sort of song that the rural South really liked."

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