What is a theremin?

Leon Theremin and theremin
Leon Theremin and theremin

Theremin (etnerofon, thereminvox, literally – “The Voice of Theremin”) Theremin

Monophonic space-controlled electro- musical instrument, created in 1919 by the Russian inventor Leon Theremin.

On the theremin are playing with movements of the hands in the air, near the two antennas.
Vertical line antenna is responsible for the tone of the sound, horizontal – for its volume.

Theremin was the first concert elecrtro-musical instrument. And up to our days theremin is the only instrument in the world, which sound is created by just movements of hands in air – without touching.

Thanks to the invention of Leo Theremin all over the world began to appear new music instruments – so theremin is often called the world’s first electro-musical instrument (which is false), and Lev Theremin is considered the “father of electronic musi”c.

Throughout the XX century theremin used in a variety of musical styles – academic music, jazz, blues, experimental music, space music, ambient.

Some players prefer to use a theremin as an experimental noise instrument (Led Zeppelin, Beatles, Pink Floyd, Sting,
et al.)

Also, theremin appears in performative works of P. Granger and various theatrical productions.

Notable academic performers: Clara Rockmore, Lucy Rosen, Michael Tulin, Konstantin Kowalski, Natasha Theremin,.
Music for theremin wrote: Joseph Schillinger, Dmitri Shostakovich, Gavriil Popov, Bohuslav Martinu, Dmitri Kabalevsky, Alfred Schnittke and others.


Theremins of different systems:

Classic theremin
Theremin “system of Kowalsky”
“Led theremin”
theremin Gibson