Record Breaking Theremin Jam

272 Theremin players in Japan gathered and set a world record for the largest theremin ensemble.

The 272 musicians gathered from across Japan to grab a new world record — the world’s largest theremin ensemble. The featured instruments are actually modified versions of the theremin crammed into empty Russian nested dolls, dubbed “matryomin” by their creator.

The world’s only instrument played without any direct contact, the theremin’s high-pitched vibrato is familiar soundtrack to anyone who has ever screened a sci-fi flick.

Invented in the Soviet Union around 1920 by scientist Leon Theremin (who taught music aficionado Vladimir Lenin how to play it), the electronic device has been used over the years to add its distinctive, spooky sound to the Beach Boys’ hit “Good Vibrations” and the cult-classic daytime soap opera Dark Shadows.

A vocally simulated theremin was used in the opening theme to the Star Trek TV series. Theremin have also featured in many films scores and tunes by artists including Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones.

Read more at CBSNews.

The theremin is probably the first electronic instrument ever played in public. It is played by moving your hands by two antennas. One antenna changes the pitch and the other changes the volume. It is apparently very hard to play.

For more background ojn the theremin check out the movie Theremin: An Electronic Odyssey

This is Leon Theremin playing the instrument he created.

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