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Christmas magic: Russian musician plays untouchable music

Pyotr Theremin revives the glory of the legendary electronic instrument controlled without physical contact. At his thereminvox music school, kids are exposed to the symbiosis of physics and music.
By Ilaria Kantorova, Rodion Beletsky

Have you ever imagined playing music without actually touching the musical instrument? Seems futuristic, but in fact an instrument like that was invented almost 100 years ago by Russian physicist Leon Theremin. The instrument, known as the theremin or thereminvox, is a box with two antennas: one controls the tone, the other the volume. 

To extract sounds, the theremin player just needs to wave their hands in front of the instrument like an orchestra conductor. Sounding like a violin and a double bass at the same time, back then the innovation impressed Einstein and Lenin among others.  

Today, Theremin’s great-grandson Pyotr wants to revive the greatness of his forefather’s unique instrument. He is passionate about teaching kids this unusual way of creating music.

"It's a symbiosis of music and physics but at the same time it is art and big music,” says Pyotr Theremin.

7 January 2017
Tags: music, culture, video

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