Saturday, April 26, 2008

Theremin... it's an instrument!

If it wasn't for Kevin's post and video, I wouldn't have learned what a Theremin was.

Here's a picture of a miniature version that Kevin bought and assembled.

Initially I thought the word (pronounced "Ther-re-min") referred to some animal or drug name!

Then after watching Kevin's enthusiastic (but at times noisy) attempt at playing his miniatured version of a Theremin, my curiosity was stoked and ended up watching several videos of Theremin performances in YouTube.

This one blew me away!

And when I thought that was it, this one made my jaws drop:

Beautiful control.

I delved into more YouTube videos and found this one that explained how a Theremin is operated:

And then I learned more about the principles behind how a Theremin works, from this video:

Check out this post, that links to this:
In 1919 Leon Theremin made an interesting instrument called the Theremin, it works a bit like a metal detector, and was the first musical instrument designed to be played without using your hands - here's how to make one from "Popular Electronics November 1967"

Now I can appreciate Kevin's fascination with a Theremin. His mini-version wouldn't be able to generate the smooth tone of the professional models. But perhaps with practice, he'd be able to play just as good as this person, who uses a mini-version as well:

Searching the NLB Catalogue quickly, I couldn't find any books that might explain how a Theremin works. But the library does have some Audio/ Visual materials on the subject.

As of this post, the items are mostly at the library@esplanade, and are mostly reference items.

Incidentally, this post is a case in point how resources like YouTube and Wikipedia really does impact on the use of public libraries. But I'll elaborate on this is for another post.

[Related "unusual" musical instrument I've blogged previously: Chapman Sticks (Sept 06)]

1 comment:

  1. It'll be so cool to do something on this and other electronic music at the library. Electro Fest or something.


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