ABC Science Show – CSIRAC the first computer to play music
On Saturday 22 June 2019, the ABC Science Show had a special feature Recreating the first digital computer music. Presented by Carl Smith in the second half of the podcast (31 minute mark).
In 1949, Australia leapt into the digital age when the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research Automatic Computer (CSIRAC) began running its first stored programs. Computer scientists and programmers used the machine to generate some of the first numerical weather forecasts, to design electrical grids, and to run nuclear physics calculations.
They didn’t stop there though – some wanted to teach the computer how to sing. History almost forgot about Australia’s place in creating the world’s first digital computer music. But a music historian and a team of researchers have recreated those first early bleeps, and restored CSIRAC’s place in the history books.
For more information, see also:
CSIRAC Melbourne Museum
- Who came to the first computer conference?
- The beginning of a new science in Australia
- CSIRAC: How to name your computer
- The media takes a ride on the digital superhighway
- A letter to my younger self, Helen Vorrath
- A letter to my younger self, Ann Moffatt
- A legacy of computing excellence – Jan Kornweibel
- The rise and fall of semiconductor manufacturing in Australia
- The Role of the ICT Community in the Future Resilience and Self-Reliance of Australia
- Book Review – A Thread Across The Ocean: The Heroic Story of the Transatlantic Cable. By John Steele Gordon