The Theremin is an early electronic musical instrument (patented
in 1921), which is played by moving your hands within the space
of two electromagnetic fields generated around a pair of antennas.
In other words, you play it by waving your hands in the air. Here's
a short movie about it from the BBC (please note that they mention
"70 years" several times, which is in error):
Its etherial sound was heard in major films such as Spellbound,
The Lost Weekend, and The Day The Earth Stood Still.
Here's Dr. Sam Hoffman, the man who actually played the Theremin
in all those films, with his instrument:
Where do I get one?
Theremins are available through many fine musical instrument shops
and dealers. You may wish to support local business by purchasing
from a shop in your area. Or, you can buy direct from the manufacturer
in many instances. Regardless, make sure to check out my list
of Theremin Makers and Models.
You may wish to read about how
to shop online before buying, to help you get a better
I have a theremin, but I'm not yet any good at playing it, as it's
the world's most difficult musical instrument. (I'm not kidding
about that.) I do make occasional appearances with my instrument
in which I give a brief talk (about 20 minutes) about its history
and use, answer questions, and allow the audience to come forward
and toy with my Theremin. I do not perform on it in public at this
time. If you'd like to discuss the possibility of arranging for
me to bring my theremin to your nonprofit group's meeting, public
school class, or science fiction club, please contact
me and I'll be happy to discuss it.
My theremin has been signed and/or played by many prominent figures
of the Science Fiction world, which makes it unique and very special