Weekly Eldritch: Theremin!

If I asked you to make a sound that matched the word “eerie”, chances are good that you’d start mimicking theremin music.

Here Leon Theremin demonstrates his invention, an early electronic musical instrument, which can be played without being touched – the tones are produced by the proximity of the hands to the two antennae. The most familiar use of the theremin was in spooky sci fi movies of the 1950s… Listen to acclaimed movie composer Bernard Herrman using the theremin for The Day the Earth Stood Still:

Bernard Herrman also composed scores for many Hitchcock films and came up with one of the two scariest music cues ever written, the screeching violins in Psycho. (The other top scary cue being the dun-dun-dun-dun from Jaws.)

Finally, a short clip on how to play the theremin:


For further info, see Wikipedia’s article on the theremin.

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