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First recording of computer-generated music, created by Alan Turing, restored and released

First recording of computer-generated music, created by Alan Turing, restored and released

Alan Turing: Gay, a war hero and the father of computing

Many people believe if Alan Turing, the father of computer science, was alive today he would be the Bill Gates of his time.

But it turns out he may in fact have more interest in DJ-ing after it appears the gay World War 2 genius and codebreaker was also a musical innovator.

New Zealand researchers have said thy have restored the first recording of computer-generated music. It was created in 1951 on a gigantic contraption built by Turing himself after the second World War.

‘Alan Turing’s pioneering work in the late 1940s on transforming the computer into a musical instrument has been largely overlooked,’ they said.

The machine was used to imitate three songs: God Save The King, Baa Baa Black Sheep, and Glenn Miller’s In The Mood.

The clip is available courtesy of Guardian Australia.

University of Canterbury at Christchurch professor Jack Copeland and composer Jason Long found the disc, which contained the music, contained distorted audio.

‘The frequencies in the recording were not accurate. The recording gave at best only a rough impression of how the computer sounded’ they said in a blog on the British Library website.

‘It was a beautiful moment when we first heard the true sound of Turing’s computer.’

While Turing programmed the musical notes into the computer, it was computer scientist Christopher Strachey made them into songs.

Turing was persecuted and convicted of his sexuality in 1952. Forced to undergo chemical castration, he committed suicide in 1954.