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Whether it is difficult to learn playing a theremin?

Music accompanied the person always. For hundreds and, maybe, thousands of years of people learned to elicit sounds in the various ways - from pipes and drums of the past to body or a concert royal of our days. But despite hundreds of different types of tools, the principles of extraction of a sound it is not enough...

Between a balalaika and a grand piano on the one hand, the huge difference, with another - inside is used the same physical principle of fluctuation of the tense string. And that the theremin - probably, the only tool using essentially other method of formation of the sound created by electric field is interesting to . Such tool could be invented only in the XX century when the electronic engineer and radio reached due level, the Russian inventor Lev Termen created it. About its inventions is written much, there is no sense to repeat therefore we will pass to an essence, to a method of work of a theremin at once.

In essence the theremin is quite simple. It contains the sound generator which frequency changes at the expense of electric capacity between the antenna of the tool and a body of the person. The closer the performer brings a hand to the vertical antenna, the tone of a sound is higher. Actual range of various models of tools - from 2 to 6 octaves. The second (horizontal) antenna allows to regulate volume of sound: than the performer`s hand is closer to the antenna, that the sound is more silent. By this principle the “classical“ theremin is constructed, there is also other modification - Kovalsky`s theremin in which volume of sound is regulated by a pedal, these models are less popular, however and they have the followers.

In what feature of sound of a theremin? In traditional musical instruments height of a note is almost always fixed, the performer cannot change it. So, for example, the note of “la“ of the first octave on a piano has the frequency of 440 Hz and if it is not so, it is necessary to call the adjuster … Unlike it, the theremin has “analog“, but not “discrete“ sounding - sound frequency smoothly changes together with the movement of a hand of the performer. Therefore the theremin has smoother and “melodious“ sounding that does it unique for a set of works.

Also as when singing, the frequency of a theremin cannot instantly switch from one note to another that is closer to a “natural“ voice of the person. Moreover, the movement of hands the performer can change not only a rhythm of game (legato, a staccato), but also a sound timbre: for example, easy vibration of a hand makes a sound similar to a violin. And it is even more, the movement of a hand the performer can vary increase and attenuation of a sound, changing thereby style of sounding that is almost impossible on other tools. In fact, the theremin gives to the performer almost full freedom within the frequency range of the tool (by the way, it is theoretically possible to adjust a theremin though in the ultrasonic range, however, there is no sense in it, it will be estimated unless dogs or bats).

The sound of a theremin is so unique in the parameters (it is almost true tone modulated on frequency without additional harmonicas) that this tool was used in 2001 when sending the message to extraterrestrial civilizations by means of the radio telescope in Yevpatoria: any civilization able to accept a radio signal will be able “to decode“ the tone changing on height and to understand its artificial nature (the truth, taking into account velocity of light, we will receive the answer from grateful listeners not earlier than cherezneskolko thousands of years).

And at last, we come back to the question asked in article heading. Whether it is difficult to learn playing a theremin? Yes, as the freedom of action described above for the performer not only the benefit, but also additional complexity. The musician has to control, aurally, both height of tone, and sounding loudness, nothing will help it with it - in traditional sense the tool has no keyboard! To play scale a piano maybe 5 - the summer child in a training couple of minutes. But to play scale a theremin (and it would sound purely and beautifully), few weeks of training or even can be required more. Of course, to approach the tool and everyone can wave with hands, but except howl hardly that will turn out from the first. Development of a theremin demands both ear for music, and coordination of movements. Generally, process difficult, though rather interesting.

To residents of Moscow in this plan it is simpler, there is Termen - the center where both lectures, and a practical training are given (an entrance on them it seems free). All the rest can use Youtube where many lessons of playing a theremin are laid out.

Certainly, the tool is available not only “electee“, can get it any both on the websites of producers on the Internet, and from local sellers. To call the price there is no sense who will want, will easily find, it is only possible to notice that it is quite comparable with the cost of the smartphone of average degree of “fanciness“. Can arise unless a question “why“, but on it there is no rational answer: if someone likes sounding of the tool why not to try independently?

P. S. For those who will become interested in this surprising tool - in comments several video lessons and records .