Okay, I thought this was either a joke or a tongue-in-cheek scam when I first saw it, but the #theremin is an actual instrument – an electronic instrument that plays almost like a violin or harp, but without the strings. What makes it particularly difficult is that the musician has to ‘find’ the note, literally from thin air!
This first video clip (audio only) is from a very old recording by Clara Rockmore who was the first musician to play the theremin… and it’s 100 years old!
In this second video clip you can watch a step-by-step tutorial on how to play a theremin.
[Warning! The guy sometimes plays flat. I don’t have perfect pitch but it did grate on my nerves a bit. The reason I chose it is to demonstrate just how hard it is to play the theremin well.]
And what would a music post be without a Guiness World record? Having seen how hard it is to get just one theremin to play on key, watch as 273 Japanese thereminists play Amazing Grace…complete with harmonies. You heard me. This is worth watching even just for a minute or two. In fact, I found it quite beautiful, more like a very good choir than an orchestra.
[Note: I started the 16 minute clip at about minute 5 to save you from heaps of setup footage. The actual music ends at about 10:38. ]