BBC Discovers Earliest Computer Music Recordings
By James Grahame
The BBC recently unearthed computer-synthesized music recorded at the University of Manchester on a Ferranti Mark 1 computer in Autumn, 1951. The first tunes immortalized by computer were Baa Baa Black Sheep, God Save the King and a fragment of In the Mood.
These acetate disks are now the oldest known recordings, although Create Digital Music's Peter Kirn points out that there were earlier computer-synthesis experiments performed on Australia’s CSIRAC in the summer of 1951.
Kirn has compiled a brief timeline that explains things far better than I could. He concludes that the first real digital music was composed and recorded by Max Matthews on an IBM 704 sometime in 1957: "The key is the content: early computers could
make noise, but Mathews’ team at Bell could (ahem) create digital music."
New Early Computer Music Discovered; What Was the First Digital Synth? [CDM]