Father of Digital Music, Max Mathews, Dies at 84
The forerunner to Dan Deacon, Project Jenny, Project Jan and myriad other bands of that ilk has passed away. Max Mathews, widely known as the progenitor of digital music, died Thursday of pneumonia.
Mathews wrote a program called “Music” in 1957 that allowed an IBM 704 mainframe computer to play a 17-second jam. He also developed other electronic music software and devices as an engineer at Bell Laboratories.
Since Mathew’s death, Mashable reporter Jolie O’Dell recalled a video she made at the SF MusicTech Summit last year in which Mathew spoke about innovation. We felt the video is worthy of sharing again.
“The future will lie in better understanding of what sounds or what sound sequences turn on the pleasure center in the human brain. And the answer to finding this out will lie not in the technology of the machines, the instruments, the computers, but rather will lie in understanding how our brains interpret music,” Mathews said at the time.