“Csound is a sound design, music synthesis and signal processing system, providing facilities for composition and performance over a wide range of platforms. It is not restricted to any style of music, having been used for many years in the creation of classical, pop, techno, ambient, experimental, and (of course) computer music, as well as music for film and television.”
UbuWeb: Link Here: Music From Mathematics
“Music From Mathematics” was an album of early electronic music, programmed by the boffins (very likely in authentic period white coats and glasses) at Bell Laboratories way back in the early 1960s, using the then-new IBM 7090 computer and an “electronic to sound transducer”. The music on the album, about half of which is included here, is a mixture of strange, other-worldly blips, rushing white noise, tootly reworkings of classical pieces and a marvellous period “singing computer” version of “A Bicycle Made For Two” (already featured on the 365 Days Project, #62, and so not included again). Full marks to Decca Records for releasing the record – remember that in 1962, these alien sounds would have been totally new, and suitably space-age in their sound.
It’s also interesting to think about the computer technology used to create the record, especially when viewed from forty years on. A little web research revealrs that the IBM 7090 series was the company’s first commercial solid-state (transistorised) computer, its predecessor the 700 series having been based around vacuum tube technology (imagine running a tube-based computer! fantastic!). The new system was of course a huge piece of machinery, requiring its own air-conditioned computer room and a team of technicians to operate it. It had a whole 32KB of core store memory, I/O would usually have been through punched cards or paper tape (no display screen, of course) and yes, it featured lots of suitably impressive flashing lights and whirring tape drives too – see the film “Dr Strangelove” and admire the same technology in action.”
– Phil Clark
TT-11:24 / 10.4MB / 128kbps 44.1khz (MONO)
from the LP “Music From Mathematics” Brunswick (UK) 1962
Breakage: the intelligent drum machine for intelligent breaks
Breakage is an intelligent drum machine designed to make it easy and fun to play complex, live breakbeat performances. A step-sequencer pattern editor and previewer, database, sample browser, neural network, pattern morphs, statistics and probabilistic pattern generator give you the tools to work with breaks on a higher level than ever before.
The Ferranti Mark 1, also known as the Manchester Electronic Computer in its sales literature, and thus sometimes called the Manchester Ferranti, was the world’s first commercially available general-purpose electronic computer. Included in the Ferranti Mark 1’s instruction set was a hoot command, which enabled the machine to give auditory feedback to its operators. The sound generated could be altered in pitch, a feature which was exploited when the Mark 1 made the earliest known recording of computer music, playing a medley which included “God Save the King“, “Baa Baa Black Sheep“, and “In the Mood”. The recording was made by the BBC towards the end of 1951, and the programming was done by Christopher Strachey, a maths teacher at Harrow and a friend of Alan Turing. It was not however the first computer to have played music – CSIRAC, Australia’s first digital computer, achieved that with a rendition of Colonel Bogey.
The IBM 7090 was a second-generation transistorized version of the earlier IBM 709 vacuum tube mainframe computers and was designed for “large-scale scientific and technological applications”. The 7090 was the third member of the IBM 700/7000 series scientific computers. The first 7090 installation was in November 1959. In 1960, a typical system sold for $2,900,000 or could be rented for $63,500 a month.
The 7090 used a 36-bit word length, with an address-space of 32K (32,768) words. It operated with a basic memory cycle of 2.18 μs, using the IBM 7302 Core Storage core memory technology from the IBM 7030 (Stretch) project.
Daisy Bell 1895 Version
IBM 7090 Version
Lejaren Arthur Hiller (February 23, 1924, New York City – January 26, 1994, Buffalo, New York) was an American composer who founded the Experimental Music Studio at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1958 and collaborated on the first significant computer music composition, 1957’s Illiac Suite, with Leonard Issacson. This was his fourth string quartet.
He originally trained as a chemist, and worked as a research chemist for DuPont in Waynesboro, Virginia from 1947 to 1952. He developed the first reliable process for dyeing Orlon and coauthored a popular textbook. 
He played piano, oboe, clarinet, and saxophone as a child. He also studied composition with Roger Sessions and Milton Babbitt while earning his chemistry degree at Princeton University. His father, Lejaren Hiller, Sr., was a well-known art photographer who specialized in lurid historical tableaux.
He wrote an article on the Illiac Suite for Scientific American, which led a lot of attention from the press, and a storm of controversy. The musical establishment was so hostile to this interloper scientist that both Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of Musicians and the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians refused to include him until shortly before his death.
A majority of Hiller’s works after 1957, do not involve computers at all, but might include stochastic music, indeterminacy, serialism, Brahmsian traditionalism, jazz, performance art, folksong and counterpoint mixed together. He also collaborated with John Cage for HPSCHD and taught James Tenney. In 1968, he joined the faculty at University at Buffalo as Slee Professor of Composition, where he established the first computer music facility and codirected with Lukas Foss the celebrated Center for the Creative and Performing Arts. His illness forced him to retire in 1989. He died from Alzheimer’s disease in 1994.
One of many Mac software applications on this great music site.
KYMA: A SUPERCOMPUTER FOR SOUND