The Who2 Blog

Happy Birthday, Leon Theremin

Today is the anniversary of the birth of Leon Theremin, the inventor of the musical instrument that bears his name. Here’s a photo of the theremin I have at home:

Here’s what it looks like on the inside:

Pretty simple. You need a 9-volt battery and an amplifier to make it work. Although I don’t think mine works — I loaned it to a friend whose kid took it apart.

Leon Theremin was born on this day in 1896, in St. Petersburg, Russia. He died in 1993, at the age of 97. During his lifetime he not only developed the musical instrument, he also spent time in a Soviet prison and was forced to work for Soviet intelligence services. Here’s a video of Leon Theremin playing his famous instrument:

And here’s a video of Clara Rockmore, the first real theremin artist:

Related Biography

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