Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Thermin & Birth Of Electronic Music


The Thermin was invened by Russian Leon Thermin as a proximity detector in the mid 1920's. That was not its fate however. Lenin after being given a demo of the Thermin immediately started taking lessons and commissioned 600 to be sent all over Russia and later the world. This was the birth of the first electronic instrument.

Clara Rockmore was the first virtuoso of the thermin in the mid 1920's. She was previously a violinist but a muscular disorder stopped that career. Fortunately she was friends with Leon who gave her a second career with the thermin.

After Leon invited the Thermin other instruments based on its design followed like the electric chello in the pic below. If I had a time machine this concert at Carnegia Hall would be on my list of stops. In America Leon Thermin influenced instrument designers like Raymond Scott and Robert Moog just to name two.

Thank you Leon Thermin.

1 comment:

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