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Fentari Mk1

In August of 1951, BBC reporters travelled to the University of Manchester and captured what is now believed to be the earliest recording of computer generated music. The performer featured was a Ferranti Mark 1 computer -

During the session, the temperamental machine managed to work its way through Baa Baa Black Sheep, God Save the King and part of In the Mood.

Following one aborted attempt, a laughing presenter says: “The machine’s obviously not in the mood.”

Beyond the charming human incedintals, the machine’s voice is surprisingly pleasant – starting out sounding like a slightly uptight bassoon. Time to start on that commemorative Fentari sound-a-like synth. Listen to the recording – ‘Oldest’ computer music unveiled

Collin Cunningham

Born, drew a lot, made video, made music on 4-track, then computer, more songwriting, met future wife, went to art school for video major, made websites, toured in a band, worked as web media tech, discovered electronics, taught myself electronics, blogged about DIY electronics, made web videos about electronics and made music for them … and I still do!

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