Author Topic: 'OLDEST' COMPUTER MUSIC UNVEILED  (Read 2545 times)

Offline furtune

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'OLDEST' COMPUTER MUSIC UNVEILED
« on: June 18, 2008, 07:27:49 PM »

A scratchy recording of Baa Baa Black Sheep and a truncated version of In the Mood are thought to be the oldest known recordings of computer generated music.

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

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

The tunes were played on a Ferranti Mark 1 computer, a commercial version of the Baby Machine.

"I think it's historically significant," Paul Doornbusch, a computer music composer and historian at the New Zealand School of Music, told BBC News.

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

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 Mr Doornbusch.

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

"It played music months or weeks before [the Manchester] recording," said Mr Doornbusch.

However, no one has yet unearthed a recording of CSIRAC in action.

Mood machine

Documentary evidence of the Manchester machine's musical abilities exists thanks to a BBC outside broadcasting team who had gone to the University to record an edition of Children's Hour.

At the time Manchester was home to a Ferranti Mark 1, the first commercially available general purpose computer.

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'OLDEST' COMPUTER MUSIC UNVEILED
« on: June 18, 2008, 07:27:49 PM »

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