How Does A Theremin Work To Make Music Out Of Thin Air?

Read about the musical instrument called Theremin invented by Leon Theremin. Discover how does a theremin work to make music out of thin air?

What is Theremin?

The theremin is the gesture-controlled electronic synthesizer that controls the pitch and volume of the musical notes using hand gestures.

Yes, there is absolutely no need to touch the instrument in any way.

The theremin is a musical instrument invented ahead of its time. Music producers and electronic music artist would surely agree to this.

Electronic music was uncommon during the 1930s. However, this instrument revolutionized the way music was made.

The DJs and EDM artists have so much to control using hands. If only they knew about this experimental instrument. I think they should try this instrument at least once in their live performances.

Who invented Theremin?

Leon Theremin invented the Theremin. It is one of the early prototypes of the electronic synthesizers. He earned overnight success due to Theremin’s invention.

Listen to Leon Theremin playing his own instrument.

Here’s one more video from recent times with clear audio recording.

How Does A Theremin Work?

The Theremin’s control dashboard has two metal antennas that sense the relative position of the player’s hands.

The musician can control oscillators for frequency with one hand while the volume with the other. The electric signals from the theremin are amplified and sent to a loudspeaker.

Notable Theremin performers.

The theremin caught the attention of many musicians. Clara Rockmore was one of them. She made music from thin air using the Theremin.

Rockmore was a trained violinist but quit playing violin due to the physical strain. However, she couldn’t hold her excitement after discovering Theremin.

Rockmore not only mastered the Theremin but also became the part of optimizing and developing the instrument.

She suggested to make the early prototype more expressive and increase the octaves from three to five octaves to make more vibrant music.

Thanks for reading my 89th article in the series 100-day music blogging challenge. Stay tuned for more interesting articles.

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Published by Bharat

Hi, I'm Bharat. An artist, blogger, musician and digital marketing professional dedicated to sharing musing and stories about music, art and mindful resonance! Follow me @bharatpc