Oldest Recorded Computer Music


The BBC has unearthed the what is thought to be the oldest recordings of computer-synthesized music, recorded on a Ferranti Mark 1 computer, at the University of Manchester in Autumn, 1951.

The recording has been unveiled as part of the 60th Anniversary of "Baby", the forerunner of all modern computers. The Ferranti Mark 1 is a commercial version of the Baby Machine.

The music program was written by a friend of computing legend Alan Turing called Christopher Strachey, a maths master at Harrow.

Recordings were made by the of the machine playing Baa Baa Black Sheep, God Save the King and part of In the Mood.

Recorded to acetate disks during a BBC outside broadcast, they are now the oldest known recordings of computer generated music.  It believed the first computer to have played music is CSIRAC, Australia's first digital computer, with a rendition of Colonel Bogey in 1951, but the music was never recorded.

'Oldest' computer music unveiled