They’re not saying it’s the oldest computer music. That honor reportedly goes to an Australian machine called CSIRAC, an Australian computer that plated “Colonel Bogey March” in 1951 – but no recording of that exists. But Baby, called the forerunner of all modern computers by the BBC, apparently made the oldest recorded computer-generated music. Those pieces, a snippet of “In The Mood” and “Baa Baa Black Sheep” were recorded by the BBC in the fall of 1951 and have been unveiled as part of Baby’s 60th anniversary.
Previously, the oldest recordings came from an IBM computer in 1957.
Computer music composer and historian at the New Zealand School of Music Paul Doornbusch, told the BBC:
“I think it’s historically significant. As far as I know it’s the earliest recording of a computer playing music in the world, probably by quite a wide margin."
The recording, which was a copy of one used for broadcast by the BBC, was given to the Computer Conservation Society, which is staging the celebration of Baby.