Thursday, July 31, 2008

Here a min, Theremin

The guys in this band are playing a theremin, something you've probably heard a lot but haven't figured out what kind of instrument makes those ghostly noises. I usually hear it when I'm listening to old broadcasts of scary radio shows. The spector emerges from the cemetery, belting out musical sounds thanks to the theremin.

This is actually the oldest electronic musical instrument ever, having been invented in 1919. The inventor Leon Theremin wowed Stalin with it and the leader quickly learned how to play it himself. Basically there are two antennae that stick out on both ends. The player moves his or her hands through the air, changing the frequency and volume. It was wildly popular after it was introduced, but few people ever learned how to play it.

I love the theremin because it is such a bizarre instrument. You don't even have to touch it. And, the fact that it's been in so many science fiction movies has endeared it to my heart. Let's see now if I can afford to get one...I really want this mini theremin from Japan. It's less than the rest and it's even illustlated, haha. I wonder if I can find a cheap one on craigslist...

I really ought to stop buying frivolous things, especially since my extra money has run low. Until I save up for a real one I guess I'll have to settle for my acapella (sp?) theramin rendition of Swing Low Sweet Chariot.


Alex said...

I actually got to play a theremin once at a children's science museum... it was pretty darn cool, actually.

Kat =^^= said...

Simply. Brilliant.