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the band  I   the theremin  I
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T H E   T H E R E M I N

The theremin was the world’s first electronic musical instrument, invented in 1919 by the Russian scientist Leon Theremin. The theremin is the only musical instrument that is played without actually touching any part of the instrument itself. The theremin creates an electromagnetic field around the instrument, which can be controlled using the two protruding antennas. By moving ones hands through the field, one can control the pitch and volume, and create music.

A horizontal loop antenna controls the volume, while the vertical antenna controls the pitch. Because there is no physical contact with the instrument, the theremin is notoriously difficult to control and play with accuracy.

The theremin became widely used in science fiction movies in the 1950s and 1960s, where its haunting sounds created the perfect backdrop for flying saucers and robots.

For more information about the theremin, see the excellent documentary by acclaimed Director Steven M. Martin, entitled “Theremin – An Electronic Odyssey.” The film concentrates on the history of the instrument and its fascinating inventor.

If you’re interested in purchasing a theremin, they are available from Moog Music.




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