Singing "Daisy Bell" - IBM 7094 (1961)

“Daisy Bell” was composed by Harry Dacre in 1892.
In 1961, the IBM 7094 became the first computer to sing, singing the song Daisy Bell. Vocals were programmed by John Kelly and Carol Lockbaum and the accompanying music was programmed by Max Mathews that ran on another computer alongside the vocals.



… My instructor was Mr. Langley, and he taught me to sing a song. If you’d like to hear it I can sing it for you.

– HAL 9000

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The voice sounds quite similar to the one from the Bell System kit I assembled and tested in the late 1970s as an early teen:

The kit made many different vowel sounds, but lacked most consonants. I think “err” was about the limit there. I have zero knowledge of that kit’s present location.


Wonderful! Found a little more info here
Speech Synthesis by Bell Labs at Levitation Fun
and I see the kit is also included in

The 140 page manual can be read here as PDF.

A couple of very very short video clips:

and from one of her playlists, this AT&T explanation of speech, including a sonogram at around the 8 minute mark and computer speech around 17 mins:

But there’s more: a vinyl recording of which some 5 mins survives. Liner notes and mp3 link here.

(transcript here)


I have the original paper and ink version of that exact manual still on my bedroom bookshelf, in nice condition with only a bit of yellowing. Unlike the rest of the kit, it somehow managed to tag along with me through six address changes in 40+ years.

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Sorry, but I can’t help commenting on the “Days Bell” video itself: A broadband distributed unrolled video stream of an animated GIF, delivering a 60 years old recording of an electronically reproduced tune reminiscent of the days of the pianola and its charms. — Computers are great things! :slight_smile: