BBC reports that the oldest ever recording of a computer playing music was recently found. In 1951, hot databoys at the University of Manchester made computer music on a Ferranti Mark 1 – and recorded it! As expected, it’s not jaw-dropping mega rave, but sweet covers of “God Save the King”, “Baa Baa Black Sheep” and a bit of “In the Mood”. There’s an audio-recording at the BBC-page, and also a video recording of the previous computer at the university – “Baby”. Maybe the best name ever for a computer (Dragon32? Laser200? PET 2001? Tomy Tutor? Visual Commuter?) and is actually argued to be the first ever universal computer.
Also interviewed in this article is the Australian composer Paul Doornbusch – the author of “The Music of CSIRAC”. This book destroyed the myth of IBM being the first to play computer music in 1957, which should now instead be credited to Geoff Hill and his colleauges in Sydney, Australia. According to Doornbusch, this event was also a few weeks before computer music was heard in Manchester – but there is no recording to prove it, albeit a very ambitious reconstruction. So, chipmusic might not have got older in the end. Oh well.
But, I have updated the TIMELINE. I’m still nowhere near of pretending to be able to say that it’s possible to talk about me getting close to almost being near of reaching a state of saying I am semi-quasi-finished with this list….. Please help!!?!