Earliest computer music recovered–BBC was making chiptunes in 1951

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The BBC says that it’s recovered the earliest computer music ever recorded, renditions of Baa Baa Black Sheep and In the Mood from more than half a century ago.

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.

The Beeb thinks it now hold a record previously attributed to IBM and Bell Labs, for a recording made in 1957.
Follow the link for samples, including a horrendous version of God Save the Robot Masters.

‘Oldest’ computer music unveiled [BBC]

About Rob Beschizza

Rob Beschizza is the Managing Editor of Boing Boing. He's @beschizza on Twitter and can be found on Facebook too. Try your luck at besc...@gmail.com

 

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2 Responses to Earliest computer music recovered–BBC was making chiptunes in 1951

  1. annoyingmouse says:

    This is surely a bit misleading, is it not? I mean granted it’s the first “computer” music in the modern sense of the word but if you consider the definition of what a computer is then this is not even remotely the first “computer music”. I mean just off the top of my head the pianola/player piano could be considered “computer music” given that it is essentially a programmed musical device.

    Sorry just a bit of daily nerd pedantry.

  2. Anonymous says:

    A bit off topic, but I love how the volume controls for the new video players on BBC News’s website go to 11. Cheeky.

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