Recordings of world’s oldest computer music released

June 18th, 2008 - 3:29 pm ICT by ANI  

London, June 18 (ANI): Recordings of a Ferranti Mark 1 computer playing Baa Baa Black Sheep and In the Mood, thought to be the oldest recordings of computer generated music in existence, have been released.

The scratchy songs were captured by the BBC in the Autumn of 1951 during a visit to the University of Manchester.

The recording has now been unveiled as part of the 60th Anniversary of Baby, the forerunner of all modern computers.

“I think it’s historically significant,” BBC quoted Paul Doornbusch, a computer music composer and historian at the New Zealand School of Music, as saying.

“As far as I know it’s the earliest recording of a computer playing music in the world, probably by quite a wide margin, he added.

The previous oldest known recordings were made on an IBM mainframe computer at Bell Labs in the US in 1957, he said.

“That’s where the whole computer music thing started but they were not the first to have a computer play music,” said Doornbusch.

That honour goes to a third machine called CSIRAC, Australia’s first digital computer, which “stunned” audiences with a rendition of Colonel Bogey.

Baby was the forerunner of the Ferranti Mark 1 and was the first computer to contain a memory device that could store a program. (ANI)

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