Theremin


Theremin

The theremin is one of the earliest electronic musical instruments, and the first musical instrument played without being touched (originally pronounced|ˈteremin but often anglicized as IPAEng|ˈθɛrəmɪn [ [http://www.thereminworld.com/faq.asp Theremin World ] ] , theramin, [ [http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A520831 BBC - h2g2 - Theramin ] ] or thereminvox, it is also known as an aetherphone.) It was invented by Russian inventor Léon Theremin (Russian: Лев Сергеевич Термен) in 1919 [ [http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A520831 "Theremin", BBC h2g2 encyclopaedia project, Undated] . Accessed: 05-20-2008.] . The controlling section usually consists of two metal antennae which sense the position of the player's hands and control radio frequency oscillator(s) for frequency with one hand, and volume with the other. The electric signals from the theremin are amplified and sent to a loudspeaker. The theremin is an electrophone, a subset of the quintephone family.

To play, the player moves his or her hands around the antennas, controlling frequency (pitch) and amplitude (volume). The theremin is associated with an "" sound, which has led to its use in movie soundtracks such as those in "Spellbound", "The Lost Weekend", and "The Day the Earth Stood Still". Theremins are also used in art music (especially avant-garde and 20th century "new music") and in popular music genres such as rock.

History

The theremin was originally the product of Russian government-sponsored research into proximity sensors. The instrument was invented by a young Russian physicist named Lev Sergeivich Termen (known in the West as Léon Theremin) in 1919 after the outbreak of the Russian civil war. After positive reviews at Moscow electronics conferences, Theremin demonstrated the device to Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin. Lenin was so impressed with the device that he began taking lessons in playing it, [ [http://www2.unt.se/avd/1,1786,MC=5-AV_ID=629334,00.html UNT: Strupsång, theremin och vägen inåt] ] commissioned six hundred of the instruments for distribution throughout the Soviet Union, and sent Theremin on a trip around the world to demonstrate the latest Soviet technology and the invention of electronic music. After a lengthy tour of Europe, during which time he demonstrated his invention to packed houses, Theremin found his way to the United States, where he patented his invention in 1928 (US patent|1661058|US1661058). Subsequently, Theremin granted commercial production rights to RCA.

Although the RCA Thereminvox, released immediately following the Stock Market Crash of 1929, was not a commercial success, it fascinated audiences in America and abroad. Clara Rockmore, a well-known thereminist, toured to wide acclaim, performing a classical repertoire in concert halls around the United States, often sharing the bill with Paul Robeson. In 1938, Theremin left the United States, though the circumstances related to his departure are in dispute. Many accounts claim he was taken from his New York City apartment by KGB agents [ [http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A520831 "Tell Me More", BBC, h2g2 project, Undated] .Accessed:05-20-2008.] , taken back to the Soviet Union and made to work in a "sharashka" laboratory prison camp. He reappeared 30 years later. In his 2000 biography of the inventor, "Theremin: Ether Music and Espionage", Albert Glinsky suggested the Russian had fled to escape crushing personal debts, and was then caught up in Stalin's political purges. In any case, Theremin did not return to the United States until 1991. [ [http://moogmusic.com/history.php?cat_id=2 "History of the Theremin", Moog Music, Undated] .Accessed:05-20-2008.] After a flurry of interest in America following the end of the Second World War, the theremin soon fell into disuse with serious musicians, mainly because newer electronic instruments were introduced that were easier to play. However, a niche interest in the theremin persisted, mostly among electronics enthusiasts and kit-building hobbyists. One of these electronics enthusiasts, Robert Moog, began building theremins in the 1950s, while he was a high-school student. Moog subsequently published a number of articles about building theremins, and sold theremin kits which were intended to be assembled by the customer. Moog credited what he learned from the experience as leading directly to his groundbreaking synthesizer, the Moog.

Since the release of the film "" in 1994 (one year after the death of Léon Theremin), the instrument has enjoyed a resurgence in interest and has become more widely used by contemporary musicians. Even though many theremin sounds can be approximated on many modern synthesizers, some musicians continue to appreciate the expressiveness, novelty and uniqueness of using an actual theremin. The film itself has garnered excellent reviews. [ [http://www.mrqe.com/lookup?Theremin MRQE - Movie Review Query Engine - Theremin] , see also the rare 100% score at [http://uk.rottentomatoes.com/m/theremin_an_electronic_odyssey/ Rotten Tomatoes] ]

Today Moog Music, Dan Burns of soundslikeburns.com [ [http://theremin.tomfarrell.org/buyThereminFeatureChart.html Theremin Comparison Chart] ] Chuck Collins of theremaniacs.com [ [http://theremin.tomfarrell.org/buyThereminFeatureChart.html Theremin Comparison Chart] ] Wavefront Technologies, Kees Enkelaar [ [http://theremin.tomfarrell.org/buyTheremin.html#Kees A review for the Enkelaar Theremin (and others)] ] and Harrison Instruments manufacture performance-quality theremins. Theremin kit building remains popular with electronics buffs; kits are available from Moog Music, Theremaniacs, Harrison Instruments, PAiA Electronics, and Jaycar. On the other end of the scale, many low-end Theremins, some of which have only pitch control, are offered online and offline, sometimes advertised as toys.

Some enthusiasts prefer to go the "old fashioned" route and design and build their own vacuum tube theremins, given the relatively high prices and rarity of RCA originals. Notable designers are Art Harrison and Mark Keppinger. Design schematics are available on the internet for the interested hobbyist. Vacuum tube theremins are difficult projects and should not be undertaken lightly by beginners.

Operating principles

A theremin is unique among musical instruments in that it is performed without being touched by the operator. The musician stands in front of the instrument and moves his or her hands in the proximity of two metal antennas. The distance from one antenna determines frequency (pitch), and the distance from the other controls amplitude (volume). Most frequently, the right hand controls the pitch and the left controls the volume, although some performers reverse this arrangement. Additionally, some theremins use a volume dial and have only one antenna.

A theremin uses the heterodyne principle to generate an audio signal. The instrument's circuitry includes two radio frequency oscillators. One oscillator operates at a fixed frequency. The other is a variable frequency oscillator, the frequency of which is controlled by the performer's distance from the frequency control antenna. The performer's hand acts as the grounded plate (the performer's body being the connection to ground) of a variable capacitor in an L-C (inductance-capacitance) circuit. The difference between the frequencies of the two oscillators at each moment allows the creation of a difference tone in the audio frequency range, resulting in audio signals that are amplified and sent to a loudspeaker.

To control volume, the performer's hand acts as the grounded plate of another variable capacitor. In this case, the capacitor detunes another oscillator, which affects the amplifier circuit. The distance between the performer's hand and the volume control antenna determines the capacitor's value, which regulates the theremin's volume.

Performance technique

Easy to learn but notoriously difficult to master, theremin performance presents two challenges: reliable control of the instrument's pitch with no guidance (no keys, valves, frets, or finger-board positions), and minimizing undesired portamento that is inherent in the instrument's microtonal design.

Pitch control is challenging because, like a violin or trombone, a theremin generates tones of any pitch throughout its entire range, including those that lie between the conventional notes. In the case of some string instruments, the range is divided along the strings by use of length divisions (e.g., frets on a guitar). By contrast, in the case of the theremin, the entire range of pitches is controlled by the distance of the performer's hand or fingers to the pitch antenna in mid-air. Precise control of manual position coupled with an excellent sense of pitch is required, since the electromagnetic field around the antenna tends to change slowly over time, resulting in changing positions of individual pitches.

Also, the theremin's continuous range of pitches lends itself to glissando playing, which can be inappropriate to the piece being performed. Skilled performers, through rapid and exact hand movements, minimize undesired portamento and glissando to play individual notes and can even achieve staccato effects. Small and rapid movements of the hands can create tremolo or vibrato effects.

Although pitch is governed primarily by the distance of the performer's hand to the pitch antenna, most precision thereminists augment their playing techniques with a system called "aerial fingering", largely devised by Clara Rockmore and subsequently adapted by Leon Theremin and his protege, Lydia Kavina. It employs specific hand and finger positions to alter slightly the amount of capacitance relative to the pitch antenna to produce small changes in tone quickly and in a manner that can be reliably reproduced.

An alternate and controversial "hands on" technique is called "angling" in which the pitch control hand is actually set on the top of the theremin which violates the "no touch" creed of traditionalists. It employs changing the angle of the hand and fingers to alter the pitch and repositioning the hand if the pitch interval is too large for "angling". By touching the instrument, the effect on pitch of extraneous movement is dampened. This permits the use of steady pitches without vibrato and without remaining perfectly still.

Equally important in theremin articulation is the use of the volume control antenna. Unlike touched instruments, where simply halting play or damping a resonator silences the instrument, the thereminist must "play the rests, as well as the notes", as Ms. Rockmore observes. [ [http://www.thereminvox.com/article/articleview/21/1/22/ Theremin Vox - In Clara's Words] ] Although volume technique is less developed than pitch technique, some thereminists have worked to extend it, especially Pamelia Kurstin's "walking bass" technique.

Skilled players who overcome these challenges by a precisely controlled combination of movements can achieve complex and expressive performances, and thus realize a theremin's potential.

Some thereminists in the avant-garde openly rebel against developing any formalized technique, viewing it as imposing traditional limitations on an instrument that is inherently free form. These players choose to develop their own highly personalized techniques. The question of the relative value of formal technique versus free form performances is hotly debated among thereminists. Theremin artist Anthony Ptak uses antenna interference in live performance.

Uses

Artistic music

Theremins are popular instruments among avant-garde and new music artists because of their perceived freedom from traditional compositional structures. It is also performed as a classical instrument, and is occasionally used in jazz improvisation.

Classical composers who have written for theremin include Lera Auerbach, Bohuslav Martinů, Dmitri Shostakovich, Percy Grainger, Christian Wolff, Joseph Schillinger, Alan Hovhaness, Edgar Varese, Moritz Eggert, Iraida Yusupova, Jorge Antunes, Vladimir Komarov, Anis Fuleihan [ [http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00004SD1E Amazon.com: Ionisation: Thomas Arne, Ludwig van Beethoven, Edward Elgar, Anis Fuleihan, Jean Sibelius, Edgard Varese, Arturo Toscanini, Henry J. Wood, Jean Sibelius, Leopold Stokowski, Nicolas Slonimsky, Wilhelm Furtwängler, BBC Symphony Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, New York Symphony Orchestra, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Clara Rockmore: Music ] ] and Dalit Warshaw.

A recent classical composition utilizing the Theremin is Lera Auerbach's ballet "The Little Mermaid", a three hour production featuring the theremin as the mermaid's voice throughout. The Royal Danish Ballet commissioned Russian- North American composer Lera Auerbach to make a modern rendition of this fairy tale. It premiered on April fifteenth, 2005 with Lydia Kavina as the theremin soloist. Lydia Kavina also performed in Olga Neuwirth's opera "Bählamms Fest" (after Leonora Carrington's "Baa-Lamb's Holiday"), which premiered in 1999. Elizabeth Brown composed "Rural Electrification", a chamber opera for voice, theremin and recorded sound, as well as "Piranesi" for theremin and string quartet and "Atlantis" for theremin and guitar.

Dalit Warshaw, a student of Clara Rockmore, is a composer, pianist and thereminist who has performed on the instrument with such ensembles as the New York Philharmonic and the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, among others. Works written for theremin by Dalit Warshaw have been performed at Lincoln Center, Steinway Hall and at the L.A. Philharmonic's Disney Hall.

Russian thereminist and composer Lydia Kavina is widely regarded as the greatest living theremin virtuoso. She is the niece of one of Léon Theremin's first-degree cousins. Kavina was Theremin's protégé. Her repertoire consists primarily of classical and neo-classical compositions, many of which were written for the instrument. Many thereminists have studied under or played Ms. Kavina, including German thereminists Barbara Buchholz and Carolina Eyck, English thereminists Bruce Woolley and Charlie Draper (both of The Radio Science Orchestra), Miss Hypnotique, and Japanese thereminist Masami Takeuchi.

In the United States, Pamelia Kurstin performs as a thereminist whose eclectic styles and innovations continue to expand the instrument's range. Her performances encompass the classical and jazz idioms, as well as in ethnic and avant-rock music with the band Barbez. More recently, the Armenian thereminist Armen Ra (also based in the United States) has promoted the instrument by performing popular, classical and Armenian music on the instruments. Other American performers of note include: jazz thereminists Eric Ross and Kip Rosser, Canadian singer-songwriter Peter Pringle, Missouri-based thereminist and organist Kevin Kissinger, Charles Richard Lester, Rupert Chappelle and Thomas Grillo based in Mississippi, Dorit Chrysler, Rob Schwimmer, and John Hoge all three in New York City.

Popular music

Theremin sounds have been incorporated into many popular music songs from the 1960s through the present.

Theremins have also been used in live concerts and in the studio by artists such as Somekindawonderful, The Beach Boys, The Legendary Pink Dots, Béla Fleck and the Flecktones, Freezepop, The Gathering, Lothar and the Hand People, Gabby La La, Les Claypool's Fancy Band, Calle 13, Chimaira, Muse, Street Drum Corps, Olivia Tremor Control, Phish, The Cramps, Pixies, The Flaming Lips, Tripod, Clinic, Chris Funk (The Decemberists), The Mars Volta, The Polyphonic Spree, The Family Jewels, Fishbone, Jean Michel Jarre, Portishead, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Trent Reznor & Charlie Clouser (Nine Inch Nails), Madonna Wayne Gacy (Marilyn Manson), Natalie Naveira (Lendi Vexer), Bill Bailey, Nikki Sixx, Rocket Science, Pere Ubu, Keller Williams, Michael Hearst, One Ring Zero, The Damned (by Dave Vanian), Green Carnation, Gandalf Murphy and the Slambovian Circus of Dreams, Russian duet Messer Chups, Patrick Wolf, Pineapple Thief, DeVotchKa, Roy Harter, Pram, Soular, The Phenomenauts, DragonForce, Black Moth Super Rainbow (in certain tracks), Chris Kilmore (Incubus), The Octopus Project (by Yvonne Lambert), Wolf Parade (by Hadji Bakara), Coheed and Cambria, [http://www.alymysto.com/ Älymystö] , Seeed, They Might Be Giants, Cherry Poppin' Daddies, Serj Tankian, H.I.M., and Tesla.

French electronic musician Jean Michel Jarre is a particularly enthusiastic user of the Theramin, and while he has only recorded one album track for the instrument, he often performs lengthy solo passages on it during concerts.

Brian Jones, founder of The Rolling Stones, used a theremin for the song "Please Go Home" off the 1967 albums Between the Buttons (UK version only) and Flowers.

A theremin solo was featured in live versions of the song "Whole Lotta Love" by the band Led Zeppelin, the instrument being played by the band's guitarist, Jimmy Page.

The Lothars are a Boston-area band whose CDs have featured as many as four theremins played at once. [Citation
last=Pomerantz
first=Dorothy
author-link=Dorothy Pomerantz
title=The Lothars revive the spooky sounds of the theremin
newspaper= [The Somerville Journal]
year=1998
date=September 17, 1998
]

IQU's Kento Oiwa is a virtuoso thereminist and has used the instrument in the recording of many of their songs, as well as to cover Minnie Riperton's "Lovin' You."

Other bands and artists occasionally using a theremin are Alison Goldfrapp in the song "Train", [ [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YHKurlu-I7g Goldfrapp on BBC's Top of the Pops] Youtube video: theremin starts at 2:31] , Nine Inch Nails in 2000/2001-era live versions of Just Like You Imagined in which it replaces various piano runs, Marilyn Manson in "Dope Hat", Finnish band H.I.M. in their songs "When Love and Death Embrace" and "The Sacrament" among others, Les Claypool's Fancy Band in "Of Whales and Woe", Simon and Garfunkel on the album "" (played by keyboardist Rob Schwimmer), Supergrass in the song "Richard III", Ulver on the album "Shadows of the Sun", Tiamat on the album "A Deeper Kind of Slumber", Brazilian psychedelic band Os Mutantes, "Project: Pimento", John Otway, [The Mad, The Bad & The Dangerous] and Timbaland on the album "Shock Value". Roger Ruskin Spear of the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band uses a theremin "leg" in the song "Noises for the Leg" on their album "Keynsham", whereas Rapper Paul Wall features a looped (screwed and chopped) theremin on his single "I'm Throwed" (featuring Jermaine Dupri.)

Contrary to popular belief, the theremin was not used on the 1966 recording of "Good Vibrations" by The Beach Boys, which featured Paul Tanner's "box", later called the electro-theremin. However, for concert appearances, an oscillator slide-controller was designed and built for Wilson by Robert Moog. Wilson helped to popularize the instrument when he recorded Paul Tanner playing his electro-theremin -- for the first time in recorded music history -- on the song "I Just Wasn't Made For These Times." The song appeared on The Beach Boys' 1966 album Pet Sounds, considered one of the most influential albums in popular music history.

Even though credited with a "theramin" on the album "Dummy", Portishead use a monophonic synthesizer to achieve theremin-like effects, and not a theremin. [ [http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/1995_articles/jun95/portishead.html?print=yes Interview with David Utley on Soundonsound, June 1995] ]

In the Aesop Rock track "39 Thieves" off of the album "None Shall Pass", DJ Big Wiz uses a theremin hooked up to a DJ mixer during the break. He controls the frequency of the theremin with one hand, and manipulates the cross fader with the other resulting in a very original sound.

Dead To Fall used a theremin on the recording of their track, "The Future" on their 2008 album, "Are You Serious?". Arthur Harrison of The Cassettes was recruited to perform with it on the recording.

"Weird Al" Yankovic used a theremin in the studio to record the track "Slime Creatures from Outer Space" for his third album.

Both Tim Blake and Dave Brock from Hawkwind currently use theremins on tour.

The guitarist for Southern California based band the Phenomenauts plays a home-made theremin built into a space helmet worn atop his head during live shows.

Movies and movie soundtracks

The Russian Dmitri Shostakovich was one of the first composers to include parts for the theremin in orchestral pieces, including a use in his score for the 1931 film "Odna". While the theremin was not widely used in classical music performances, the instrument found great success as the 'eerie' background sound in countless motion pictures, notably, "Spellbound", "The Red House", "The Lost Weekend", "The Spiral Staircase", "The Day the Earth Stood Still", "The Thing (From Another World)", "The Ten Commandments" (the 1956 DeMille film). The theremin is used as a melodic solo instrument, rather than as a sound effect, in the soundtracks of "Raw Deal", "Bartleby", "Monster House", "Ed Wood", and "The Machinist" [ cite web|url=http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0361862/fullcredits |title=Full cast and crew for Maquinista, El |accessdate=2007-09-01 |work=Internet Movie Database ] (both featuring Lydia Kavina). The DVDs for "Ed Wood" and "Bartleby" both contain short features on the theremin. Robby Virus, the founder and theremin player of the band "", was featured on the soundtrack to the movie "Hellboy" (2004). [ [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0167190 "Hellboy"] cast list]

Throughout the theremin's use in film music from the 1940s to the 1960s, its sound was equated with the bizarre and alien. Because of Clara Rockmore's professed distaste for such projects, the thereminist most commonly enlisted to perform anything from haunting melodies to eerie sound effects was Dr. Samuel Hoffman, whose performances can be heard most prominently in the soundtracks for "Spellbound" (1945) and "The Day the Earth Stood Still" (1951). Ronald Stein was a composer of soundtracks who also played theremin for movies such as "The She Creature" (1956) and the "Queen of Blood" (1966).

Actor Jerry Lewis plays a theremin briefly in the 1957 Paramount film "The Delicate Delinquent". The latter part of the scene actually uses thereminist Samuel Hoffman in the soundtrack, to which Jerry Lewis mimes the motions of playing the instrument.

It is often believed that the theremin was used for the soundtrack of "Forbidden Planet".Fact|date=August 2007 In fact, Louis and Bebe Barron built oscillator circuits and a ring modulator to create the 'electronic tonalities' for the film. [see Forbidden Planet article]

Bruce Woolley provided all the Theremin parts for "Storm" the title song of The Avengers movie and also the 'Sound Of Music' sequence in Baz Luhrmann's Moulin Rouge!

Philadelphia thereminist, Howard Mossman provided the theremin music for Jens Lien's 2006 award winning film "The Bothersome Man" using an RCA theremin.

Los Angeles-based thereminist Charles Richard Lester is featured on the soundtrack of "Monster House" [ [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0385880/ imdb details for "Monster House"] ] and has performed the US premiere of Gavriil Popov's 1932 score for "Komsomol--Patron of Electrification" with the L. A. Philharmonic and Esa-Pekka Salonen in 2007. [ [http://www.laphil.com/music/piece_detail.cfm?id=2377 L. A. Philharmonic concert details] ]

In the 2007 biopic parody film , Dewey Cox suggests to one of his band members that he open his mind, and learn to play the Theremin. It comes at a time when Dewey is using LSD pretty heavily, and has been working on his "masterpiece" album which is one very long song with countless obscure instruments, a full symphony, a vocal accompaniment of indigenous Australians and a goat.

Television

*The classic sci-fi anthology series "The Outer Limits" used the theremin in its second season opening theme.
*Coloratura soprano Loulie Jean Norman imitated the sound and feel of the theremin for the theme for Alexander Courage's theme for the original Star Trek TV series. 'But most of us theremin players use to play it.' [ [http://www.retrothing.com/2006/06/theremin_ghostl.html/ Thereminist Oscar in posting about "Theremin: Ghostly electronic music with a modern twist" at Retro Thing website, 07-18-2006] .Accessed: 05-20-2008.] Soprano Elin Carlson sang Norman's part when CBS-Paramount TV remastered the program's title sequence in 2006. [ [http://www.elincarlson.com/ Elin Carlson's website, Undated.] Accessed: 05-20-2008.]
*The television situation comedy "My Favorite Martian" employed a theremin in its theme music composed by George Greeley. In addition, the instrument was used whenever Uncle Martin (Ray Walston) practiced his powers of levitation or raised his antennae.
*The British television series "Midsomer Murders" uses a theremin in its popular theme tune as well as in underscore. The theremin part is played by Celia Sheen. [Citation
last=Maxwell
first = Francis
title = Hands off for gripping theremin concert in Barnes
url = http://www.makingmusiclondon.com/londharm/LH%20May05.pdf
journal = London Harmony
date = May 2005
pages=6
accessdate=2007-08-25
format = dead link|date=June 2008 – [http://scholar.google.co.uk/scholar?hl=en&lr=&q=author%3AMaxwell+intitle%3AHands+off+for+gripping+theremin+concert+in+Barnes&as_publication=London+Harmony&as_ylo=&as_yhi=&btnG=Search Scholar search]
]

*Bill Bailey, English comedian also uses a theremin in live performances on his stand up tours.
*In "The Ziff Who Came To Dinner" from "The Simpsons", Homer becomes upset when he believes that someone is playing his theremin in the attic.
*In the fifteenth episode of "Mahou Sentai Magiranger" "The Bride's Elder Brother ~Giruma Magi Majuna~", the Magiranger use a device known as the "Tell Me Theremin" which has supposedly not been used in 250 years.Fact|date=August 2007
*In May, 2007, the White Castle American hamburger restaurant chain introduced a television ad [ [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JlmxvkfpHhQ White Castle Ad on YouTube] ] featuring a theremin performance by musician Jon Bernhardt of the band The Lothars. [Citation
last=Laban
first=Linda
author-link=Linda Laban
title=The geek who captured the Castle
newspaper= [The Boston Globe]
pages=C4,C8
year=2007
date=May 7, 2007
url=http://www.boston.com/ae/music/articles/2007/05/07/the_geek_who_captured_the_castle/
]
*In the Comedy Central travel program "Wanderlust", host Gerhard Reinke is a theremin enthusiast and plays the instrument alongside traditional Irish musicians in a pub.
*In episode "Roger Codger" of American Dad! Stan says "I'll check out this lab, where the Theremin music is coming from" while searching for Roger the alien.
*On an episode of Nick Jr's Yo Gabba Gabba, musician Sukho Lee plays a lullaby on the Theremin in the "Cool Tricks" segment.
*In the episode The Farnsworth Parabox of the TV show Futurama the Theremin is used extensively to cue the difference between the normal universe and the parallel universe. In addition, in a later episode's commentary, series creator Matt Groening discusses his experiences and difficulties with buying and building his own Theremin.
*In the Adult Swim program, Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law, Mentok the Mind Taker often imitates a theremin when carrying on with great vanity about his mind taking powers.
*On the Space Ghost Coast To Coast episode "In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed", Zorak is briefly seen playing a Theremin
*In the sixth episode of the season 2 of the animated tv series I Am Weasel, I.R. Baboon plays the theremin to prove I.M. Weasel that he is a better musician.

Books

* In the novel "Hannibal", Hannibal Lecter buys and plays a theremin as well as other musical instruments.
* A theremin is played at a wedding ceremony in the Herman Wouk novel "Marjorie Morningstar"
* A Theremin was being played in a scene in the book "Mortal Coil" by Anthony McGowan and was described as "Trippy".

Video games

Composer Garry Schyman used a Theremin for the musical score of the cult classic videogame "Destroy All Humans!" [ [http://music.ign.com/articles/628/628770p2.html IGN Interview] ]

Lydia Kavina's solo theremin is featured on the soundtrack for the 2006 MMORPG computer game "Soul of the Ultimate Nation", composed by Howard Shore. [ [http://www.gamedaily.com/articles/features/ode-to-joystick/68875/ GameDaily: "Ode to Joystick"] ]

Similar instruments

*The Ondes-Martenot also uses the principle of heterodyning oscillators, but has a keyboard as well as a slide controller and is touched while playing.
*The Electro-Theremin (or Tannerin) does not use heterodyning oscillators and has to be touched while playing, but it allows continuous variation of the frequency range and sounds similar to the theremin.
* The Persephone, an analogue fingerboard synthesizer with CV and MIDI, inspired by the trautonium. The Persephone allows continuous variation of the frequency range from 1 to 10 octaves. The ribbon is pressure and position sensitive.
* The Electronde, invented in 1929 by Martin Taubman, has an antenna for pitch control, a handheld switch for articulation and a foot pedal for volume control. [ [http://www.britishpathe.com/thumbnails.php?id=19674&searchword=taubman&searchword=taubman Taubman demonstrates his Electronde. Stills and a downloadable video at British Pathe news archive] ]
* The Syntheremin is an extension of the theremin.
* The Croix Sonore (Sonorous Cross), is based on the theremin. It was developed by Russian composer Nicolas Obouchov in France, after he saw Lev Theremin demonstrate the theremin in 1924.
* The terpsitone, also invented by Theremin, consisted of a platform fitted with space-controlling antennas, through and around which a dancer would control the musical performance. By most accounts, the instrument was nearly impossible to control. Of the three instruments built, only the last one, made in 1978 for Lydia Kavina, survives today.
*The Z.Vex Effects Fuzz Probe, Wah Probe and Tremolo Probe, using a theremin to control said effects. The Fuzz Probe can be used as a theremin, as it can through feedback oscillation create tones of any pitch.
* The Haken Continuum Fingerboard uses a continuous, flat playing surface along which the player slides his fingers to create the desired pitch and timbre values. Describable as "a continuous pitch controller that resembles a keyboard, but has no keys."

See also

* American Museum of Radio and Electricity, which features a theremin that visitors can play
* The Pacific Science Center also has a theremin on display that guests can try to play. It is located in the lobby of the Boeing IMAX Theater building.
* The first theremin concert for aliens in the Teen Age Message sent to space.

References

Publications

* Rockmore, Clara (1998). "Method for Theremin". Edited by David Miller & Jeffrey McFarland-Johnson. Made publicly available at [http://www.electrotheremin.com/claramethod.html] [pdf]
* cite book
first = Carolina
last = Eyck
title = The Art of Playing the Theremin
publisher = SERVI Verlag
location = Berlin
isbn = 3-933757-08-8
year = 2006

* cite book
last = Glinsky
first = Albert
title = Theremin: Ether Music and Espionage
location = Urbana, Illinois
publisher = University of Illinois Press
year = 2000
isbn = 0-252-02582-2

Film and video

*cite video
people = Martin, Steven M. (Director)
year = 1995
title = Theremin: An Electronic Odyssey
url =
medium = Film and DVD
location =
publisher = Orion/MGM

*cite video
people = Olsen, William (Director)
year = 1995
title = Mastering the Theremin
url =
medium = Videotape (VHS) and DVD
location =
publisher = Moog Music and Little Big Films

External links

* [http://www.thereminworld.com ThereminWorld.com]
* [http://www.thereminvox.com ThereminVox.com]
* [http://oddmusic.com/theremin oddmusic.com theremin page]
* [http://theremin.ca TECI] : Theremin Enthusiasts Club International
* [http://theremin.info/ Theremin.info]
* [http://www.peterpringle.com/ Canadian actor and thereminist Peter Pringle's Theremin website, with pictures, audio, and text]
* [http://youtube.com/watch?v=pSzTPGlNa5U Clara Rockmore playing "The Swan" (Saint-Saëns)]
* [http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/218 Ted.com] : Pamelia Kurstin plays and discusses her theremin
* [http://www.137.com/hoffman Dr. Samuel Hoffman, Hollywood's premiere thereminist]
* [http://mysite.verizon.net/arthur_harrison/ Art's Theremin Page] : Complete construction plans for solid state and vacuum tube theremins
* [http://www.publicbroadcasting.net/kplu/news.newsmain?action=article&ARTICLE_ID=326982 Theremin Music Gaining Popularity] - Audio: KPLU's Bellamy Pailthorp reports.
* [http://www.razendit.hu/camtheremin CamTheremin] : A freeware program simulating theremin with your webcamera.
* [http://www.pekkanini.se/english/index.htm Pekkanini] Swedish composer and thereminist
* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BxECRKZjiDE Musique: Criptogenique] : Italian avant-garde pop artist Eugene playing theremin
* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xcTPRjiCs6s Super Mario theme being played on the theremin by Randy George.]
* [http://www.hoge-theremin.com/salon/hoge-what-is-a-theremin.html What Is A Theremin?]


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • theremin — (n.) 1927, from the name of its inventor, Russian engineer Léon Thérémin (1896 1993) …   Etymology dictionary

  • theremin — [ther′ə min] n. [after Leon Theremin, its Russ inventor ( c. 1920)] an early electronic musical instrument whose tone and loudness are controlled by moving the hands through the air varying distances from two antennas …   English World dictionary

  • Theremin — (spr. Theremäng), Ludwig Friedrich Franz, geb. 19. März 1780 zu Gramzow in der Ukermark, wo sein Vater Prediger der Französischen Gemeinde war, studirte in Halle u. bereitete sich dann in Genf für den Dienst der Französisch reformirten Kirche… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Theremin — Theremin, Franz, prot. Kanzelredner, geb. 19. März 1780 in Gramzow (Ukermark), gest. 26. Sept. 1846 in Berlin, wurde 1810 zum Prediger der französischen Gemeinde in Berlin, 1814 zum Hof und Domprediger und 1824 zum Oberkonsistorialrat und… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Theremin — Theremin, Ludwig Friedrich Franz, prot. Theolog, geb. 1780 zu Granzow in der Uckermark, 1815 Hof u. Domprediger zu Berlin, gehörte der Richtung Schleiermachers an, gab sehr viele Predigten sowie Schriften über die Theorie der Kanzelberedsamkeit… …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • Theremin — Modernes Theremin Theremin Klangbeispiel in mittlerer Tonhöhe Das Theremin (auch: Thereminvox, Thereminovox, Termenvox, ursprünglich Aetherophone) ist ein 1919 erfundenes …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Theremín — El theremin (théremin o théreminvox), llamado eterófono en su versión primitiva, es uno de los primeros instrumentos musicales electrónicos. Inventado en 1919 por el físico y músico ruso Lev Serguéievich Termen (quien luego afrancesó su nombre a… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Theremin — Thérémine Un thérémin de la marque Moog Le Theremin, thérémine, theremine, theremin ou thereminvox est un des plus anciens instruments de musique électronique, inventé en 1919 par le russe Lev Sergeïevitch Termen (connu sous le nom de Léon… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Thérémin — Thérémine Un thérémin de la marque Moog Le Theremin, thérémine, theremine, theremin ou thereminvox est un des plus anciens instruments de musique électronique, inventé en 1919 par le russe Lev Sergeïevitch Termen (connu sous le nom de Léon… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Theremin — Терменвокс (англ. theremin или thereminvox)  музыкальный инструмент, созданный в 1919 русским изобретателем Львом Сергеевичем Терменом. Игра на терменвоксе заключается в изменении музыкантом расстояния от его рук до антенн инструмента, за счет… …   Википедия


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