First ever Computer Music from 1951 revived
Computer music from as early as 1951 has been unearthed by researchers in New Zealand. They have managed to restore computer generated music that was made back then. It was created using an invention by Alan Turing, the British genius.
This computer music invention is considered to be instrumental in the development of everything from synthesisers to modern electronic music.
According to the University of Canterbury… “Alan Turing’s pioneering work in the late 1940s on transforming the computer into a musical instrument has been largely overlooked.”
Made 65 years ago
This special computer music recording was made sixty five years ago by a BBC outside-broadcast unit at the Computing Machine Laboratory in Manchester, northern England.
This machine took up nearly all the space of the laboratory’s ground floor. It was used to generate three melodies “God Save the King”, “Baa Baa Black Sheep” and “In the Mood” by Glenn Miller.
When Professor Jack Copeland of UC and composer Jason Long examined the 12-inch disc containing the music, they found that the audio was distorted.
“The frequencies in the recording were not accurate. The recording gave at best only a rough impression of how the computer sounded,” they said.
They got it working by altering the speed of the audio, this compensated for the wobble in the recording and they filtered out extraneous noise.
“It was a beautiful moment when we first heard the true sound of Turing’s computer,” said Copeland.
Alan Turing may have programmed the first musical notes into a computer, but he didn’t have much interest in putting them together in tracks.
That task was carried by Christopher Strachey, a school teacher who also went on to become a renowned scientist.
When Turing heard the music that his machine had made all he said in response was… “good show”
Listen to the two minute recording of the computer music here.