Professor Feature: Dr. Andy Davis

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Article by Nico Yanzaguano <>

Only three professors in the music department?! Talk about a small liberal arts school! A recent addition to the music department as of 2022 is Dr. Andy Davis who is an Assistant Professor of Music and Technology.

Dr. Davis comes from a background in both computer science and music, and offers an impressive and insightful perspective in the realm of music technology. He obtained his B.A in music, M.M in music composition, and his Ph.D. in music composition. While pursuing his Ph.D. in music composition, Dr. Davis sought after programming languages to gain a greater grasp of how exactly modern technology is being used to develop and manipulate elements of music that you love and maybe don’t even recognize from your favorite artists. Just a year after receiving his Ph.D. he obtained his M.S in computer science. With an extensive background in music composition and computer science, Dr. Davis has a truly impressive understanding of music technology. 

During the semester, I took his Music Technology 1 course, and on multiple occasions Dr. Davis developed programs to showcase how specific elements of the effects we used in the program Logic functioned, how certain sounds are perceptual, and technical tricks to develop your own samples from scratch.

When asked why he chose Ursinus, he described the experience of sitting in a massive lecture hall that would host several hundreds of students, stating that if he were to profess to a sea of students he would feel like “I am just here to deliver information and walk out of the door. That doesn’t seem exciting to me.” Just as you chose Ursinus for the strong and intimate nature of relationships you can have with professors, Dr. Davis is committed to the individual student’s creative desires, curiosity, understanding of material, and most importantly creating space for students to form their own opinions. The world of music is so large and ever growing that arguably not one artist or song is better than another. Dr. Davis says he tries to hide his interests when showcasing songs because of that fact.

Courses Dr. Davis is currently teaching are Foundations in Theory (Music Theory), Music Technology 1, and a song writing course. In his courses you will become familiar with the digital audio workspace (DAWS), Logic, by navigating universal tools that DAWS are equipped with. You will learn how to mix, how to craft unique samples and synths, production, loop-based composition, and basic music theory and digital audio theory. I regret to inform you all that music technology is not exam heavy, but instead you have to sit around and play with music and music technology instead. 

Today Dr. Davis’s office is in what he and other music faculty call the “tundra of Bomberger,” aka the basement of Bomberger. Tomorrow may you consider taking a peek at just what musical magic he has to offer. For the future, Dr. Davis says he will be offering a second semester of Music Technology. This course will be focused on hands-on work with music hardware, like learning how exactly to use microphones and equipment to record specific kinds of instruments. The type of experience you can expect out of his courses is enough to pursue internships at recording studios, graduate work, and beyond experience, you will have tools you can navigate to round you out as a musician to feel more confident playing and exploring how you would like to express yourself. 

Dr. Davis grew up with a strong passion for music, and in previous conversations has stated his doubts about figuring out how to pursue a career in music. In this interview, he said if he was being true with himself, he was putting in the leg work, musical and non-musical to get to this point. Our Music Technology professor has arrived. “I always had music as the goal.” – Dr. Andy Davis