Is it possible to create music without touching the instrument? More like science fiction than reality, the theremin is responsible for answering that question.
Between the 80s and 90s, the slope House was responsible for popularizing electronic music . However, it was from the twenty-first century when the democratization of computers facilitated the creation of music based on binary codes, which led to increased supply and demand for these songs. But everything has a history, and in the case of electronics would be less. Before “Around the World” from Daft Punk , and even before the synthesizer used by Pink Floyd, we need to talk the theremin.
As reported in the BBC href=”http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-17340257″> all started when Russian Leon Theremin was He proposed developing an electronic device that serve to measure density of gases , but eventually end up drifting into a musical instrument. Scientific noticed how the sound emitted from his invention varied according to the position they were hands.
That is, the presence of a body in an electromagnetic field altering the frequency reproduced by the device. So, just enough to bring his right hand antenna to modify the notes issued; while doing so left antenna, the volume level is changed. Therefore, the human body which conducts electricity.
Birth, death and resurrection
Just as you play the theremin can be something magical and fascinating history behind the instrument there is also up to such adjectives.. On the BBC referred to the time when Leon Theremin presented his creation to Lenin , who was captured and sent by its author to present different parts of Russia.
Also, Leon Theremin also reached Europe and the United States, where exhibited the device and had a great impact in the press. Finally, the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) decided to bet on Leon Theremin and give the amount of $ 100,000 so he could develop his product. As we see in The Guardian product came to light in September 1929 for a price of $ 220.
” People learn to play it without too much difficulty “predicted Theremin, but the reality was quite different. The instrument was rather confusing for the majority, thus requiring some learning to be touched it correctly. Otherwise, the sound would not be at all pleasant. The high learning curve, by the collapse of Wall Street and high price were sufficient grounds for the Radio Corporation of America discontinue production .
However, from 1940 Hollywood was responsible for reviving the instrument . Because so characteristic sounds, it was used as a soundtrack in many horror films and science fiction, as some Alfred Hitchcock films. Later, we can see examples of its use in films like Ed Wood, Mars Attacks and Batman Forever. Also in the field of music would also be used by groups like the Beach Boys and Pink Floyd (as in the song Astronomy Domine), while years later we see in others like The White Stripes or Portishead.
The theremin as a Trojan horse
In a pre-World War II climate between the two superpowers (US and Russia) context and predicted the storm would burst years later . Therefore, Leon Theremin was not only a scientist but also a spy . His instrument was a Trojan horse that would help its creator traveled through enemy countries and could collect relevant information about companies like RCA and aviation companies. Thus, the Kremlin used a Theremin to expand its network of espionage without raising any suspicion.
He was sentenced to spending eight years in labor camps
However, the scientist also began developing other inventions such as drum machine, detection sensors or detectors aircraft weapons to Alcatraz Prison, reasons that Leon Theremin loyalty was questioned. Therefore, after returning to the Soviet Union was accused of counterrevolutionary and condemned to remain eight years in labor camps located in Siberia. There, he continued to support the Russian government to improve the technology of airplanes or creating bugs for spies of the KGB. However, Theremin was released because of their merits and shows commitment to the government.
Finally, the creator of the first musical instrument in history, worked as a teacher in the Moscow Conservatory , one of the largest music schools in the world. As noted in the New York Times, the scientist would remain in the capital of Russia until he died at the age of 97 years.
October 19, 2015
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