Born in London in 1924, David studied at the Royal College of Music with Gordon Jacob and Frank Merrick. Whilst at the RCM he was awarded the Cobbett Prize and Alfred J. Clements Prize for his first full length chamber work, a Clarinet Quintet. Later as an external student of Durham University, he obtained his b. Mus and m. Mus.
After college he taught for the WEA and the Extra Mural Departments of Oxford and London until he obtained a full time teaching appointment in London in 1962. In 1970 he moved to Wiltshire on his appointment as Lecturer in Music at the Swindon College where he remained until his retirement in 1986. He was also closely involved with the Open University from its inception in 1969.