What’s the spookiest musical instrument for Halloween?

Hi y’all, reposting this from last year since it’s chock full of good info and some of you may have missed it the first time around…

The Theremin!
The who?

Yup, the theremin. The theremin was invented by Russian scientist Léon Theremin, in 1920. It is the world’s very first electronic instrument—what is unique about the theremin is that it’s an instrument you play without touching it; it remains the first and only non-contact instrument.

Lev_Termen_playing_-_cropped
Léon Theremin, playing one of the first theremins that he invented.

Here’s a pic of the model of theremin I have, the Etherwave model made by Moog, that you can make from a kit:

250px-Moog_Theremin_Bausatz

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today there are virtuoso thereminists, but not too many. (Students! if you learn to play the theremin like Clara, you’ll always have work … but don’t give up the piano!)

Here’s a video of arguably the best virtuoso thereminist who ever lived, Clara Rockmore, playing The Swan by Camille Saint-Saëns. She was Léon’s protégée.

And the inventor himself, playing his own theremin:

And for you fans of the British mystery series, Midsomer Murders, yes, that’s a theremin you hear for the theme music, played by Celia Sheen:

And of course, the classic: The Day the Earth Stood Still, film score composed by the brilliant Bernard Herrmann (theremin enters at 0:42):

And for you true theremin geeks out there, here’s the theremin studio session from that film:

If you want to know all about the theremin and its inventor and history, watch the fantastic documentary Theremin: An Electronic Odyssey. It’s a bit hard to rent now, not on Netflix or Amazon, but usually can be found in libraries and is for purchase new or used on Amazon. I have it (on VHS!) for any of my students interested in watching it! 🙂

*Cool fact: Léon was snatched up by the KGB from New York City, where he lived,  in 1938. The filmmaker of the documentary went to Russia to find him and bring him back to NYC, where he was reunited with Clara Rockmore, after more than 50 years, in 1991.

220px-Theremin-_An_Electronic_Odyssey_FilmPoster

Here’s a clip of one of my students and me playing a free improvisation for piano and theremin a couple of years ago:

 

 

 

Check out the theremin on Google today!

OMG! On Google right now, Clara Rockmore playing the theremin! How totally cool. Check it out!

http://www.google.com

Wanna know more about the theremin? Go to my previous post and read all about it.
http://wp.me/p2ktnP-3h4

 

Lev_Termen_playing_-_cropped
Leon Theremin, inventor of the theremin playing one of the first models that he built.

 

 

What’s the spookiest musical instrument for Halloween?

The Theremin!
The who?

Yup, the theremin. The theremin was invented by Russian scientist Léon Theremin, in 1920. It is the world’s very first electronic instrument—what is unique about the theremin is that it’s an instrument you play without touching it; it remains the first and only non-contact instrument.

Lev_Termen_playing_-_cropped
Léon Theremin, playing one of the first theremins that he invented.

Here’s a pic of the model of theremin I have, the Etherwave model made by Moog, that you can make from a kit:

250px-Moog_Theremin_Bausatz

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today there are virtuoso thereminists, but not too many. (Students! if you learn to play the theremin like Clara, you’ll always have work … but don’t give up the piano!)

Here’s a video of arguably the best virtuoso thereminist who ever lived, Clara Rockmore, playing The Swan by Camille Saint-Saëns. She was Léon’s protégée.

And the inventor himself, playing his own theremin:

And for you fans of the British mystery series, Midsomer Murders, yes, that’s a theremin you hear for the theme music, played by Celia Sheen:

And of course, the classic: The Day the Earth Stood Still, film score composed by the brilliant Bernard Herrmann (theremin enters at 0:42):

And for you true theremin geeks out there, here’s the theremin studio session from that film:

If you want to know all about the theremin and its inventor and history, watch the fantastic documentary Theremin: An Electronic Odyssey. It’s a bit hard to rent now, not on Netflix or Amazon, but usually can be found in libraries and is for purchase new or used on Amazon. I have it (on VHS!) for any of my students interested in watching it! 🙂

*Cool fact: Léon was snatched up by the KGB from New York City, where he lived,  in 1938. The filmmaker of the documentary went to Russia to find him and bring him back to NYC, where he was reunited with Clara Rockmore, after more than 50 years, in 1991.

220px-Theremin-_An_Electronic_Odyssey_FilmPoster

Here’s a clip of one of my students and me playing a free improvisation for piano and theremin a couple of years ago:

 

 

 

What’s the spookiest musical instrument for Halloween?

The Theremin! The who?

Yup, the theremin. The theremin was invented by Russian scientist Léon Theremin, in 1920. It is the world’s very first electronic instrument—what is unique about the theremin is that it’s an instrument you play without touching it; it remains the first and only non-contact instrument.

Lev_Termen_playing_-_cropped
Léon Theremin, playing one of the first theremins that he invented.

 

Here’s a clip of one of my students and me playing a free improvisation for piano and theremin:


To see the full version of our improv, go here:

 

Here’s a pic of the theremin I have, the Etherwave model made by Moog, that you can make from a kit:

250px-Moog_Theremin_Bausatz

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today there are virtuoso thereminists, but not too many. (Students! if you learn to play the theremin like Clara, you’ll always have work … but don’t give up the piano!)

Here’s a video of arguably the best virtuoso thereminist who ever lived, Clara Rockmore, playing The Swan by Camille Saint-Saëns. She was Léon’s protégée.


And for you fans of the British mystery series, Midsomer Murders, yes, that’s a theremin you hear for the theme music, played by Celia Sheen:


If you want to know all about the theremin and its history, a fantastic documentary about the theremin and its inventor* is Theremin: An Electronic Odyssey. It’s a bit hard to rent now, not on Netflix or Amazon, but usually can be found in libraries and is for purchase new or used on Amazon. I have it (on VHS!) for any of my students interested in watching it! 🙂

*Cool fact: Léon was snatched up by the KGB from New York City, where he lived,  in 1938. The filmmaker of the documentary went to Russia to find him and bring him back to NYC, where he was reunited with Clara Rockmore, after more than 50 years, in 1991.

220px-Theremin-_An_Electronic_Odyssey_FilmPoster

 

 

 

Improvisation for Theremin and Piano

This week I took out my theremin for students to play during lessons. This improv with my 9-year-old student came out especially well; I think she’s a born thereminist! 🙂

 

Fun with the theremin for Halloween!

Here’s one of my young students—he’s 9 and in the 4th grade—playing a spooky-music theremin and piano improv!

What the heck is the theremin?

And here is a documentary about the theremin: Theremin: An Electronic Odyssey.

It’s Halloween; time to take out the theremin!

The what?
Well, it’s Halloween week, which is when I take out my Etherwave theremin to show to all my students. Dusted off, it’s ready for the kids (and adults!) to play this week in lessons. Sure wish I could play it; it’s pretty hard. But it is great fun to play around with for kids of all ages, and piano and theremin go very well together for spooky-music improv duets! And listen below to the greatest thereminist of all time, Clara Rockmore, who was a master of the instrument.

Etherwave theremin set up and ready to play!
Etherwave theremin set up and ready to play!

Below is Clara Rockmore, the greatest thereminist who ever lived, playing at a house concert, not sure of year, Bob Moog is there. All the songs she plays at this concert (with her sister on piano) are beautiful (they’re all on YouTube), but this is one of my favs; her artistry is astonishing. A great documentary on Léon Theremin and his instrument is Theremin: An Electronic Odyssey; you can get it on Netflix.