PDA

View Full Version : earliest "computer music" (???) recordings



nige the hippy
June 19th, 2008, 03:10 AM
link to the BBC of "god save the king "(he was on his last legs), "baa baa black sheep" & "in the mood".
recorded in the autumn of 1951 from a Ferranti Mark One.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/7458479.stm


And a picture of a Ferranti mark one being made.
I was really pleased to find this, because I used to work here!!!
As far as I can see it's the building that's now the modelmaker's workshop at Siemens Measurements in Manchester, it's the only bit of the original factory still (hopefully) standing, just behind the Ferranti's house and factory offices. I hope it's got a preservation order on it.

apparently the mark one was the worlds 3rd commercially available computer, beating the UNIVAC out of the traps by a month.

Micom 2000
June 26th, 2008, 11:48 PM
IIRC there was a discusson some years ago about that on classiccomp. ISTR that some of the DEC people programmed a music program based on the Mark 1 event. If you are interested you might search the CC archves. I think Allison one of the CP/M gurus was involved in it and gave an account.

Lawrence

cl3mens
September 11th, 2008, 12:35 PM
Not as early at 1951, but this piece dates back to 1961: http://audio.textfiles.com/sounds/daisy.mp3

An IBM 7094 "singing" A Bicycle Built for Two (Daisy). Truly amazing. :)

edit: Here is some more, from Datasaab models D21 and D22: http://www.datasaab.se/D21_D22_musik/musik.htm Dated 1967.

Ole Juul
September 11th, 2008, 02:32 PM
I've actually got an original record with that on it somewhere. It came with The Nonsuch Guide To Electronic Music. The record that came with the thin book is one of those very thin floppy ones. It must have been early 60s when I got that. I was studying violin in those days and thought it sounded pretty stupid ... but I was amazed that a computer could do that and wanted to get into it. Now I think it sounds pretty cool. Thanks for the nostalgia!

Thrashbarg
September 26th, 2008, 04:45 PM
An IBM 7094 "singing" A Bicycle Built for Two (Daisy). Truly amazing. :)

That wouldn't be where they got the idea for HAL would it?

Edit: Indeed it was :)

chuckcmagee
September 26th, 2008, 05:17 PM
Yep, as HAL had his "mind" turned off, he regressed to his Daisy days. I still need to get that 1963 speech synth hand wired. You go thru all that work and it does ONE sound, like ooooooo, or ahhhhhhh. I remember the science teacher letting me take one home and put it together long ago.

nige the hippy
September 27th, 2008, 01:03 AM
Chuck, could you not wire it into a set of relays, for a "once & for all" programmable solution?

I missed out on the daisy daisy post, just played it, lovely!

Terry Yager
September 27th, 2008, 08:05 AM
I remember my first-grade teacher dragging a record player into the room and playing the Daisy record for the class. That would have been 1961 (She also dragged in a TV when John Glenn's rocket (Friendship Seven?) was launched). I also recall having to explain the connection to a lot of other people who hadn't heard the song, after 2001 came out.

--T

tezza
September 27th, 2008, 11:14 AM
Not as early at 1951, but this piece dates back to 1961: http://audio.textfiles.com/sounds/daisy.mp3

An IBM 7094 "singing" A Bicycle Built for Two (Daisy). Truly amazing. :)



LOl! That's great, thanks for sharing. Back from the days when computers sounded like computers :D

Tez

Terry Yager
September 27th, 2008, 11:58 AM
IIRC, the IBM's claim to fame was that although music and speech had both been previously accomplished, the Daisy recording was the first to combine the two into "singing(?)"...

--T

chuckcmagee
September 27th, 2008, 02:19 PM
Nige, nope, it uses inductors and caps to simulate the resonance in a person's throat. I suppose if you had about 40 or 50 of them, you could use a bunch of relays to program it. This thing uses no ICs at all, just a few transistors.

Mike Chambers
October 11th, 2008, 09:36 PM
Not as early at 1951, but this piece dates back to 1961: http://audio.textfiles.com/sounds/daisy.mp3

that's incredible! can it play MP3's?

John Laury
October 29th, 2008, 08:57 AM
Those are really interesting. A guy (who I didn't know personally, but a friend did) from my hometown used to write software for the Radio Shack (Mod I), and the Mod I through off so much RF that it would create high pitched whines if it was near a radio tuned to AM. This guy realized the pitch changed as various routines executed, and wrote a program that would generate various tones (probably using ML loops of various delay lengths) to generate specific pitches. So, in the late 70's early 80's he had a program that (wirelessly!!!)played music on a radio placed near the computer. I'm not sure if he ever released the software, but I do remember my friend telling me about it. The mod I itself had no sound built in, but it was able to generate sound via the cassette port's DAC as well, including digitized (albeit 'grainy') sounds.

barythrin
October 29th, 2008, 11:06 AM
Those are both really cool. The old one I know of that I've found impressive/interesting was the IBM 1403 printer playing music (different characters make different sounds hitting the paper). http://staging.computerhistory.org/exhibits/highlights/

I still remember hearing the PDP-1 playing music at the Computer History Museum too. I was impressed with the quality and multiple tracks being played. I think I missed out on that growing up with just a PC until my parents finally bought me ProStudio to record my music via midi. Cost us quite a bit on our 486 but was amazing to hear that sort of synthesis coming out of our computer for the first time.

Is there any existing footage of the original computer club playing music on their Altairs or anything? I remember hearing how everyone wanted a computer but had no use for it yet so a lot of folks started coming up with different things they could do, one being music.

Druid6900
October 29th, 2008, 12:13 PM
Those are really interesting. A guy (who I didn't know personally, but a friend did) from my hometown used to write software for the Radio Shack (Mod I), and the Mod I through off so much RF that it would create high pitched whines if it was near a radio tuned to AM. This guy realized the pitch changed as various routines executed, and wrote a program that would generate various tones (probably using ML loops of various delay lengths) to generate specific pitches. So, in the late 70's early 80's he had a program that (wirelessly!!!)played music on a radio placed near the computer. I'm not sure if he ever released the software, but I do remember my friend telling me about it. The mod I itself had no sound built in, but it was able to generate sound via the cassette port's DAC as well, including digitized (albeit 'grainy') sounds.

Yes, I remember those types of programs that used to either use a speaker connected to the Cass_Out port or modulated the RF output in the AM band.

We had one (non-RS) program that played a selection of classical music and when we had local "Meet The TRS-80"thing at the Holiday Inn (always a WONDERFUL time for those of us in the Radio Shack Computer Support division) it used to wow the crowd.

I know it was single "voice", but, with really tight ML code, it sounded multi-voice and damn good.

barythrin
October 29th, 2008, 12:20 PM
Crap.. that reminded me. Last year we thought about writing some holiday music on the Kim-1 for our Amiga (CTACS) group election meeting. Wonder if I need to whip out the 6502 ML book and get started on that soon.

Curiously has anyone else done something like that on vintage gear for a group they're in?

nige the hippy
October 29th, 2008, 02:56 PM
yes,
somewhere in the apple ][ reference manual (available online, a google away) there's a code snippet for generating tones, I used it to play tunes nearly 30 years ago! (Good God, I suddenly feel REALLY old)

That's 6502 & will probably be a help

patscc
December 19th, 2008, 03:20 AM
Sorry about the stale response.

I dug through the thread, and it seems the focus is on the servant in the hands of the master. But what of the servant playing hooky ?

For earliest computer musik, my guess would be Xenakis's 1955 "La Crise de la musique sérielle”. I will concede it depends on your definition of music. If you insist on listening to it, I would recomend warming up with Stockhausen. If you can't warm up to Stockhausen,forget it. Take that your local BestBuy and have them Diggit.

patsc

Ole Juul
December 19th, 2008, 03:11 PM
Stockhausen rocks! I've been listning to Stockhausen since I was a kid. Yes, that is what music is really about. I see the relationship between serious music and popular music as being like comparing programming to configuring your desktop. Both are good, of course, it just depends how involved you want to get. "I don't know much about programming, but I know what I like" doesn't cut it in some circles. :)