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TVOX Stories
 
Of the Theremin and Futurist Stringed Instrument Making
 
Page 1
 

Introduction

The date of birth of the first electronic instrument depends on that of the invention of the thermoionic valve or tube (the first exquisitely electronic component) or, more precisely, triode invented by Lee De Forest in 1906.


Lee De Forest.
Lee De Forest.


Having defined this, the first electronic musical instruments were the Audion piano invented in 1915 by De Forest, the Optophonic piano invented by the Russian Vladimir Rossiné in 1916, and the Theremin invented by Lev Termen (whose name was subsequently anglicised as Leon Theremin) in 1917.


Wladimir Baranoff Rossiné.
Wladimir Baranoff Rossiné.


Of these three, the Theremin is undoubtedly the instrument that has left an indelible mark on the history of music because its appearance is not only different from that of the other two, but also different from that of any other instrument of whatever type insofar as it is played without any tactile contact: the player moves one arm in one electromagnetic field to control the pitch, and the other in a second field to control the intensity of the sound.


Lev Sergeivitch Termen.
Lev Sergeivitch Termen.



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