Oldest known digital recording unearthed

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The earliest known recordings of computer-generated music have come to light in the form of a patchy rendition of Baa Baa Black Sheep and a shortened version of In the Mood..

The tracks were recorded by the BBC at Manchester University in 1951 capturing the songs from a Ferranti Mark 1 computer, a commercial version of the 60 year-old Baby Machine.

Ferranti Mark 1 was the immediate successor to the renowned Baby computer, generally regarded as the forerunner of all modern computers.

The recording was unearthed as part of the preparations for Friday's Digital 60 Day to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the birth of the 'Baby' or Small Scale Experimental Machine.

The tracks were found in the archives of the Computer Conservation Society, making digital recording an official UK first.

Previously the oldest recordings were thought to have been in the US on an IBM mainframe computer at Bell Labs in 1957.

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