One definitely needs fantastic coordination and a great ear for pitch to play this instrument!
The invention of the theremin came about after the outbreak of the Russian Civil War. During this time, Leon Theremin toured Europe demonstrating his instrument to large audiences. He then came to the United States, where he patented his invention in 1928. Though the theremin was not a commercial success, it did draw a lot of fascination. Touring musician Clara Rockmore helped in this area. Clara was a classically trained musician who became a virtuoso at the theremin, playing concerts across the country. Other notable theremin pioneers include Lucie Bigelow Rosen and Walter Bigelow Rosen, a married couple who contributed both financially and artistically to the development and popularization of the instrument.
After the end of World War II, the theremin enjoyed an increase in popularity but fell by the wayside shortly after. Serious musicians became more interested in newer electronic instruments that were easier to play; although there remained a niche interest with the instrument among electronic instrument enthusiasts. To this day, the theremin maintains it's popularity among the enthusiasts. Theremin-building kits are also popular with those who have a knack for and interest in electronics.
Let's check out some videos!
The one below is of theremin virtuoso Clara Rockmore performing "The Swan" by classical composer Camille Saint Saens. The musicality and precision is phenomenal!
Know of any other cool theremin videos? Do you know how to play the theremin? Have any other cool facts to add? We love to hear from our readers! Comment below!