First Recording of Computer Music Found. Verdict: Catchy, But You Can't Dance to It

A recent dig around in the BBC's archives has resulted in an unexpected find: recordings made in 1951 of a Ferranti Mark 1 computer playing tunes. Predating what was thought previously to be the first (on a Bell Labs IBM mainframe in 1957) the tapes were made during a recording of Children's Hour in Manchester University. The Ferranti was the first commercially available general purpose computer, and can be heard beeping through God Save the King, Baa Baa Black Sheep and In the Mood... slowly, and a bit scratchily since the recordings are 57 years old. Interestingly, the software was written by a chap called Christopher Strachey, a friend of Alan Turing. Click on to the BBC link to hear this bit of History in action, and marvel how far we've come since. [BBC via The Inquirer]

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