Theremin

.

embellishment

.

The Theremin, originally known as the ætherphone/etherphone, thereminophoneor termenvox/thereminvox is an early electronic musical instrument controlled without physical contact from the player.

It is named after the westernized name of its Russian inventor, Léon Theremin, who patented the device in 1928. The controlling section usually consists of two metal antennas which sense the position of the player’s hands and control oscillators for frequency with one hand, and amplitude (volume) with the other, so it can be played without being touched. The electric signals from the theremin are amplified and sent to a loudspeaker.

Léon Theramin is also the inventor of interlace, a technique of improving the picture quality of a video signal, widely used in video and television technology. His invention of “The Thing”, an espionage tool, is considered a predecessor of RFID technology.

.

Here is a video of Léon Theremin playing his Theremin.

.

Clara Rockmore plays Habanera by Ravel, on a Theramin.

.

Celia Sheen plays Midsomer Murders on Theremin

.

There have been many adaptations of the Theremin, including the Electro Theremin, often called a Tannerin.

The Beach Boys used unusual instruments such as a cello and an electro theremin when recording their hit song, Good Vibrations. (The actual instrument used in “Good Vibrations” was a Heathkit tube-type audio oscillator coupled to a mechanical action that allowed the player to mark notes along a ruler-type scale where notes could be located quickly and precisely.)

.

.

An interesting read:

The Summer Rock Went Dark, 7/31/2013

Forty-five years ago, the sunny optimism of the Summer of Love yielded to a darker season – the Summer of ’68. In this story originally published in 2008, music writer Alan Goldsher explores the factors that led to the shift.

Source: The Summer Rock Went Dark

The author, Alan Goldsher, concludes his article by stating: All of this goes to show that if it’s written and performed with heart and reverence, musical darkness can be quite bright and beautiful.

I respectfully disagree with that premise.

.

Not a Theremin

A musical saw, also called a singing saw, is the application of a hand saw as a musical instrument. Capable of glissando, the sound creates an ethereal tone, very similar to the theremin. The musical saw is classified as a friction idiophone with direct friction under the Hornbostel-Sachs system of musical instrument classification.

.

.