Theremin - A Brief Background

Leon ThereminThe history of the theremin reads like a bestseller international intrigue novel - and if my opinion counts for anything - I think it should be made into a big screen extravaganza directed by Ron Howard ... or Steven Spielberg... but I digress.

It's an undisputed fact that the only musical instrument you play without touching was invented by a Russian engineer extraordinaire named Lev Sergeyevich Termen, better known around the world as Leon Theremin. He invented many different devices, but it is the instrument that bears his name that has assured his memory in the collective minds of musicians, engineers and trivia lovers the world over.

Clara RockmoreMr. Theremin strived to create a serious, classical musical instrument that could be played by anyone. Significant work towards this goal occurred in New York during the 1920s. Theremin's disappearance off the streets of NYC, not to be seen or heard from for nearly 5 decades, is truly stuff of legend.

Whisked away by the KGB, Theremin spent his remaining days (after a stay in Siberia) as an inverntor-for-the-state, a prolific yet unnamed Soviet cog.

Check out the documentary 'Theremin: An Electronic Odyssey' or Albert Glinsky's book 'Theremin: Ether Music and Espionage'. Both are excellent sources for information on the fascinating story of Leon Theremin and his groundbreaking inventions.

Theremin: An Electronic OdysseyTo Theremin's chagrin, his instrument has been used as the premier sound effects box for science fiction and horror movies - it's become synonymous with space aliens, weird phenomena, creatures and suspense. An integral part of the scores for 'The Day The Earth Stood Still', 'The Bride of Frankenstein', 'Forbidden Planet', 'Ed Wood', 'Mars Attacks!' and countless other films, it continues to be the 'go to' instrument of entire genres of filmmaking.

You can add to this incredible legacy with your own theremin creations today!

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