Essay on Musical Instruments

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Musical Instruments

A fairly old instrument that is still in use today is the theremin. It has a particular design that is different from any other instrument around and is played much more differently then other instruments in circulation today. The theremin is an electronic musical instrument that is played using electrical fields. When it was first introduced, society was shocked to see this instrument that could be played without even touching it. The theremin is tuned so that it has a range of three and a half octaves. The theremin's operation is based on the theory of beat frequencies. The instrument also has a peculiar look to it as well. Two antennas stick out on each side of the theremin. A vertical antenna is also located on
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The theremin gained more popularity when it made its way to America in 1928. In 1929, RCA bought the rights to manufacture the instrument. Leon Theremin stayed in America, where he met Clara Rockmore, the theremin's first virtuoso. Theremin worked on many variations of his original instrument including the Terpsitone (controlled by the entire body), an electric cello, and a theremin controlled only by the eyes. He wanted to continue to make variations to the theremin and experiment with what they could do. The other variations of the theremin were not nearly as popular as the original theremin was. (History of the Theremin, Moog). In 1954 Robert Moog had started on production of the theremin. He is also the main contributor to the theremin being produced by his company Big Briar Inc. Not only does his company produce the theremin, they also happen to produce kits that allow people to create and build their own theremin. The popularity of the theremin started to rise again and it was included in several movies such as: The Day the Earth Stood Still, Spellbound, and Lost Weekend. Apart from the theremin being used in movies, several modern day bands used the theremin in their music. The Beach Boys used the theremin in their hit song “Good Vibrations” and Led Zeppelin used it in their hit song "Whole Lotta Love".

Leon Theremin died in 1993, but his interesting instrument still is in
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