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Scary Halloween Party Music From A Theremin

Updated on March 5, 2018
LiteraryMind profile image

My information on music comes from my late partner, Jim. His knowledge of, and ear for, music was phenomenal.

Lydia Kavina
Lydia Kavina | Source

The Theremin - Rarely Heard Of; Often Heard

The theremin, yes that's right, "theremin", named after its inventor, Leon Theremin.

A most unusual musical instrument, played without ever touching it; but just by waving your hands by each of its two antennas. You control the volume with one hand and the frequency (pitch) with the other. By "frequency" we mean electronic frequency. The sound produced is a trembling, eerie, high pitched sound. Usually it's played with some bravado, so the sound wavers and vacillates.

If you have ever listened to the theme song for Star Trek, then you have heard the theremin (also known as the etherwave). The Beachboys used it in their song "Good Vibrations".

It was especially used as a background sound in old horror movies. As someone approaches an obviously haunted house, this eerie foreboding music plays in the background. It has an almost human wailing sound to it. This is the sound of the theremin.

Create your own eerie atmosphere for your Halloween party this year by using the sounds of the theremin in the background.

What's your theremin experience?

A theremin
A theremin | Source

Until I went to a concert that featured the theremin, I never realized I had heard it before.

Have you ever heard of the theremin?

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Ah ha! I'll bet you have heard the theremin in the Star Trek theme

Listen, after the intro, when the words "Star Trek" appear on the screen and the sound changes. It sounds almost like a high pitched soprano voice in the background.

So just how is the theremin played? - Watch this great video of a theremin music lesson.

See how an instrument is played without ever being touched. Also, the musician gives a great explanation of how the two antennas work.

Interesting. Playing an instrument with one's body. Watch and learn the basics.

Would You Like To Own A Theremin? - They come in all price ranges

You could always start out with an inexpensive one and work your way up as you gain skill. There are even kits to build your own.

From what I have seen from the instructional videos, it's not that hard to learn to play. It just takes some practice. It's a matter of waving your hands up and down and in and out.

Wouldn't it be great to be able to play your own scary music at your next Halloween party. Or play by an opened window and play an eerie chord or two as you trick or treaters approach the house.

Would you like to build your own theremin? - There are lots of plans on the internet.

My significant other, Jim, who I have often mentioned in my articles, built a theremin one year. We are friendly with a couple, who go all out for Halloween. They decorate the front of their house in a different theme every year complete with video productions projected on their garage door and dressed mannequins.

So, Jim decided one year to build a theremin for them. His was a very simple one and the case he used was an reused plastic container that came with purchased cold cuts. It turned out "okay". We only have one electronics store in the area from which to purchase the parts, so we were limited. The sound quality was not wonderful, but it was fun to play with.

With access to higher quality parts, using the same plan, the unit he built would have had much better sound quality. We were in a hurry to make it in time for Halloween for our friend. If it were not for that, given more time, a good search of the internet would yield all the parts needed.You could make yours as plain or elaborate as you choose.

Watch as someone assembles a mini-theremin from a kit

This video is called "Build: Mini-Theremin in under a minute". Me thinks it took a little longer, but he sped up the film.

What I love is that he gets it all together and it looks as if he has a part left over. He notices it, and adds it in.

Your thoughts? Any theremin or other comments welcome.

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    • Cinnamonbite profile image

      Cinnamonbite 4 years ago

      I keep forgetting these things exist. The sound is freaky awesome!

    • ashleydpenn profile image

      ashleydpenn 4 years ago

      The subtlety of the theremin is often overlooked. Nice lens. Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      AlexBoloto 4 years ago

      One of the most well-known artists that play the theremin is Jean-Michel Jarre.

      Watch him play, for example, at Gdansk (Poland-2005).

    • LiteraryMind profile image

      Ellen Gregory 4 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      @Kim Milai: Wow< i didn't think there were that many people that played them. I think it must be fun.

    • esmonaco profile image

      Eugene Samuel Monaco 4 years ago from Lakewood New York

      Never heard of it, great idea, I'll listen the next I watck Star Trek Thanks

    • Kim Milai profile image

      Kim Milai 4 years ago

      I have a theremin, its the bomb!