Everything You Wanted To Know About The Theremin, But Were Afraid To Ask

In this video, thereminist Caronlina Eyck explains everything that you need to know if you want to compose music for the theremin. 

Topics covered include:

1. Basics 0:51

2. Types of Instruments 1:37

3. Range 2:02

4. Tuning 3:31

5. Playing Technique: Right Hand 4:23

6. Playing Technique: Left Hand 6:41

7. Timbres 7:39

8. Notation 10:00

Graphical notation: Kalevi Aho “Theremin Concerto

Approximate pitches: Christopher Tarnow “Sonata for theremin and piano” no. 1
3rd movement

9. Special Effects 11:14

Touching the antenna
Christopher Tarnow “Sonata for theremin and piano” no. 1
2nd movement

10. Effect Pedals 12:58
Using a Delay and Harmonizer in 5th
Eyck & Tarnow “10.000 Bells”

Using a Loop Station
Carolina Eyck “Elephant in Green”

Fazil Say “Universe Symphony” at 15:00

For more information on the theremin, you can see Eyck’s Facebook page or her site.

19 thoughts on “Everything You Wanted To Know About The Theremin, But Were Afraid To Ask

  1. What a great video! Informative and funny and actually made some nice sounds. I hope she does one of the Theremini. Anyone know how (potentially) inferior the Theremini would be in terms of playability (with any assists turned off of course)? Theremini might be able to squeeze into my price range!

    1. I own both an Etherwave and a Theremini. The Theremini is much harder to play because the pitch curve is exponantial and the spacing between notes is way too small except for the first (lowest) octave. And the tuning process is a pain compared to the 1 knob operation on the Etherwave.

  2. Unfortunately the 1950s fixed the Theremin in the public mind with horror and cheap science fiction films (and a few expensive high quality ones.) It has taken all this time to begin gaining popularity and legitimacy.

  3. Amazing set of videos, thank you.

    The first overview video is just great. A lot of somewhat esoteric information covered clearly and quickly. It helps that she is totally charming—an absolute authority on the subject but human and humble while sharing what she knows.

  4. Aside from the undeniable virtuosic talent & hard work Caroline Eyck is demonstrating, isn’t this one of the most pointlessly difficult to play instruments? i.e.: you can produce the same sound much more easily using any number of other keyboard techniques & simpler interfaces that are much easier & practical.

    1. The ‘point’ of an instrument is to make it easier to play a sound?
      Would anyone watch a performance by the “VST Symphony”

  5. Why play a fretless bass when you can play a fretted bass?

    I can play the keyboards, but there’s a special thing about the Theremin that just makes me prefer playing it instead of keyboards.

    1. I use one and it is awesome (Q-Tron+). The Moog Freqbox is really fun too, and pedals that have CV inputs are great too with the Etherwave Plus.

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