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Theremin


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#1 smileygirl

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Posted 30 September 2006 - 21:01

My dad just bought a theremin and it is so weird like nothing else smile.gif
has anyone else got one and can anyone else play one?
they are so weird and interesting lets discuss them smile.gif ...

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#2 salrec

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Posted 30 September 2006 - 21:42

Sorry, I don't know what it is! Can you describe it?
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#3 Suepea

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Posted 30 September 2006 - 21:44

If, like me, you have never heard of a theramin, follow these links for interesting information.

theramin 1

theramin 2

theramin 3

theramin world

The information comes via the dolmetsch online music dictionary. The Dolmetsch site is an excellent one for all sorts of musical information.
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#4 salrec

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Posted 30 September 2006 - 21:46

Oh, just looked on Google. Yes, it is really weird, but I wouldn't have a clue how to play it. (Just like the autoharp we bought today - see another thread.)
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#5 oboebunny

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Posted 30 September 2006 - 22:58

Someone was playing one at my friend's club night last weekend, and now I really want one!! biggrin.gif
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#6 La_Chopiniste_

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Posted 01 October 2006 - 06:55

I've just found out what are thermins too. So strange!
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#7 Guest: jazzfan_*

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Posted 01 October 2006 - 07:29

I've just read the dolmetsch links (thanks for those Suepea, brilliant site) and read out to my cousin over the phone what it said about how it works (he's an electrical engineer and has tinkered about quite a lot with radio frequency stuff). From what I've told him, he said it seems to work on the same principle as hand-dryers do these days - it's your hand that activates a circuit which enables the dryer to start working, or in the theremin's case, enables sound to be heard. (He said a lot more technical stuff as well which I didn't understand, let alone remember)

So in theory, it should be easy enough to have hand dryers which activate sound at the same time as drying your hands, but nobody's marketed this yet (as far as I know, unless anyone else knows otherwise).

And apparently everyone's hand will make a different sound.

He's coming to stay with me in a few weeks time and I suggested he made me one, but he didn't seem to catch on to that idea!
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#8 Allannah

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Posted 01 October 2006 - 07:52

This site has some downloads on theremin method, written by an expert on the instrument. Good luck - let us know how you get on with it.
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#9 barry-clari

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Posted 01 October 2006 - 14:14

Was there not a theremin used on 'Good Vibrations' by the Beach Boys?

I'm afraid that's as far as my theremin knowledge goes.......
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#10 SaxFan

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Posted 01 October 2006 - 15:06

There are CDs of theramin music available...
strange 'instrument' but can make a lovely, rather ghostly sound. In fact, the sound is a bit like that of a musical saw!

cool.gif
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#11 sarah-flute

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Posted 01 October 2006 - 22:38

I think that Goldfrapp use a theremin in some of their songs.

One of the many things I'd love to own just for the amusement and novelty value laugh.gif
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#12 bassmadmatt

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Posted 02 October 2006 - 12:12

Led Zeppelin and Simon & Garfunkel were both prolific users of theremins.
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#13 Doogie Howser MD

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Posted 03 October 2006 - 10:09

One also features in the Midsomer Murders theme! smile.gif
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#14 wendy_noble

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Posted 03 October 2006 - 11:06

Fascinating. I learnt something new today. Make some music and let us know how it goes.

Found this on wikipedia: To control the theremin, the musician stands in front of the instrument and moves his or her hands in the proximity of two metal antennas, the distance from the antennas determining frequency (pitch) and amplitude (volume). Small and rapid movements of the hands can create a tremolo or vibrato effect. Typically the right hand controls the pitch and the left hand is used for the volume, although some play left-handed, either from handedness or by preference.

Based on the principle of heterodyning oscillators, the theremin generates an audio signal by combining two different but very high frequency radio signals. The capacitance of the human body close to the antennas causes pitch changes in the audio signal, in much the same way that a person moving about a room can affect television or radio reception. By changing the position of the hands relative to the vertical antenna, a performer can control the frequency of the output signal. Similarly, the amplitude of the signal can be affected by altering the hand's proximity to the looped antenna.

A careful combination of movements can lead to surprisingly complex and expressive performances. Typically, theremin passages mostly consist of glissandi, however it is possible for a skilled performer to produce staccato notes. Although theremin players do not need to have absolute pitch, the thereminist must rely on memory and careful listening to accurately play the instrument, which is difficult to master.


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#15 janexxx

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Posted 05 October 2006 - 11:40

Totally co-incidentally I just read this oon another board...

"I can't help but think I should record this as it was rather memorable.

I bought a theremin, made from a Marmite jar, on eBay.

('What's a theremin?' you ask. 'Are you familiar with the track 'Good Vibrations', by the Beach Boys? It's the bit that goes oooOOOOOoooooOOOOoooo').

On Wednesday it got intercepted by Gateshead CID (who were naturally quite concerned about unearthing a parcel containing a Marmite jar with a switch, full of wires and a circuit board) and was taken apart by an army bomb disposal squad. It was looking a bit touch-and-go for a while. At one stage the anti-terrorist squad were going to come round and look at all my emails. That would have been interesting for them, I'm sure.

I felt very very scared. Then very silly.

But thankfully it's all sorted now, which I'm glad about as my whole life was starting to look pretty dodgy (though I was looking forward to appearing in court with Brian Wilson as the first expert witness).

The poor bloke making them had his house under surveillance and has now been banned from making theremins. All very sad. I only wanted to rock 'n' roll..."
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