Undated: 'Music From Mathematics'

From the November 17, 1962, issue of Billboard magazine (the article uses the spelling "computor"):

"Decca Records introduces two new artists in its 'Music From Mathematics' LP this week when the IBM 7090 computor and the Digital to Sound Transducer make their disk debuts. The electronic duo are the stars of the new Decca album and the results of their rapid and unerring calculations make the music heard on this disk.
"The process of composing music for the computor is described by the label as 'outlining musical sounds by ascribing to them mathematical sequences of numbers. The numerical descriptions are the equivalent of musical sounds.' These numerical sequences are punched up on IBM cards and, upon instructions from the composer, the cards are fed into the machine which transfers them into sounds which are amplified and recorded on to the usual tape recording console.
"Decca notes that the composer is still the controlling factor and, in so many words, without the man, the machines can't go. So far this kind of music has been produced instrumentally, but it is also known that the Bell Laboratories have a produced a singing voice through electronic manipulation. It shouldn't be too long before card-feeding composers create tomorrow's singing idol."

The album features otherworldly sounds alongside musical renditions of the well-known songs "Frere Jacques" and "Joy to the World." But the most memorable piece by far is "Daisy Bell (Bicycle Built for Two)," with the computer singing the last verse. From the National Recording Preservation Board of the Library of Congress: "This recording, made at Bell Laboratories on an IBM 704 mainframe computer, is the earliest known recording of a computer-synthesized voice singing a song. The recording was created by John L. Kelly Jr. and Carol Lochbaum and featured musical accompaniment written by Max Mathews." (The song was later used in the 1968 movie "2001: A Space Odyssey"; the computer known as HAL sings "Daisy" while in its death throes.)

Notes on "Daisy":
The reason this post is listed as "undated" is that there's a bit of discrepancy as to when "Daisy" was actually completed. A different version of "Music From Mathematics" was released as a 10-inch album in 1961 by Bell Telephone Labs, but the track listing does not include "Daisy." (Click here for the entry from discogs.com.)
However, United Press International's year in review for 1961 includes the song. (Click here to read transcript and listen.) The National Recording Registry also puts the year as 1961.
"Daisy" also appears on a magazine insert called "Synthesized Speech" from June 1962. (Click here for details, and here to listen.)
I emailed Max Mathews in 2011 to try to pin down the date. His reply, dated March 28, reads as follows: "The best date I have is sometime in 1962. The piece was made in two parts. Kelly and Lochbaum made the singing voice first with a singing voice synthesis program they wrote. I made the accompaniment later using my Music 3 program." (Mathews died on April 21, 2011.) Bell Labs also says it was recorded in 1962. (Click here for summary.)

* Listen to album (from Computer History Museum): @ and @
* Album liner notes: @
* Back cover: @
* Max Mathews obituary (New York Times, April 2011): @
* "The First Computer Musician" (New York Times, June 2011): @
* "Max Mathews Makes Music" (from Computer History Museum): @
* "The Computer Music Tutorial" (book by Curtis Roads): @
* "HAL's Legacy: 2001's Computer as Dream and Reality" (from MIT Press): @

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