Early computer-generated music fascinates international virtual audience

University of Canterbury (UC) Distinguished Professor Jack Copeland is delighted his work on the restoration of the earliest known recording of computer-generated music – created 70 years ago using note-playing routines devised by Alan Turing – has been selected for the Geneva-based World Intellectual Property Organisation’s (WIPO) virtual exhibition on Artificial Intelligence, which opened a few days ago.

  • Jason Long & Jack Copeland

    UC graduate and composer Jason Long (left) and UC Distinguished Professor Jack Copeland are delighted their restoration of the earliest known recording of computer-generated music is currently available to an international, online and virtual audience.

Distinguished Professor Copeland’s research with UC graduate and composer Jason Long sparked international attention in 2016. They discovered that the 1951 recording in the UK National Sound Archive had been distorted by the acetate disc-cutter recording technology of the day. They were able to create a programme to correct the distortions and the result was an accurate rendition of music created on the first modern computer. The computer was built during 1948-1950 and filled a large room at Manchester University.

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