Researchers Restore the First Computer-Generated Music Ever Made

Anna Green
Cambridge University, YouTube
Cambridge University, YouTube / Cambridge University, YouTube

Alan Turing isn’t just the father of computer science and artificial intelligence. He’s also the father of computer-generated music. In 1951, Turing made history by becoming the first person to record music generated by a computer. Now, Gizmodo reports, researchers from the University of Canterbury in New Zealand have restored that recording, which includes three simple melodies, for the world to hear.

Turing, along with assistance from the BBC, recorded “God Save the King,” “Ba Baa Black Sheep,” and “In the Mood” by Glenn Miller onto a 12-inch acetate disc. Over the course of six decades, the sound quality of the disc degraded, and the audio became distorted. Researchers restored the tunes to their original frequencies, so that they can now be heard as they sounded in 1951. The recording, which was produced at the Computing Machine Laboratory in Manchester, England, is an important historical artifact and a testament to Turing’s impact not only on computer science, but on electronic music.

"Alan Turing's pioneering work in the late 1940s on transforming the computer into a musical instrument has been largely overlooked," the researchers tell CTV. Listen to Turing’s computer-generated tunes below.

[h/t Gizmodo]

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