Computers & Mobile Music
Oldest known computer music

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

4 thoughts on “Oldest known computer music

  1. When i worked at a publishing house just outside of Manchester, we published the complete history of Ferranti… a top company for making things in general.

    this was one of my favourite pieces of trivia, though I didn’t get to hear it at the time.

    It sounds pretty good.

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