Ivor Darreg, Bart Hopkin, “STILL NOTHING ELSE LIKE IT: THE THEREMIN”, public translation into Russian from English More about this translation.

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In 1920, the Russian physicist Leo Theremin was engaged in designing an electronic burglar alarm, in an early practical application of electrical technology. Theremin’s alarm was designed to respond to changes in electrical capacitance caused by the approach of a foreign body, by producing a whistle over a remote set of headphones. In the course of this work, Theremin became intrigued with a particular property of the device that he had created: the pitch of the whistle, he noted, changed in a predictable way with the proximity of the approach­ing body. Holding his hand in the air before the alarm and varying his hand’s dis­tance by discrete amounts, Theremin found that he could play recognizable melodies, audible over the headset.

В 1920 году, русский физик Лев Термен занимался проектированием электронной охранной сигнализации в раннем практическом применении электрических технологий. Сигнализация Термена была основана на распознавании изменений электрического заряда, вызванного приближением чужеродного тела, передавая определенный свист, слышимый через удаленный комплект наушников.

History of edits (Latest: Shadowmaks 1 year, 3 months ago) §

Drawing from an article called “Musical Tones from a Beat-Note Audio Oscillator”,

giving instructions for making a home-made theremin,

from Radio News magazine, June, 1930.

для журнала Радио Ньюс, июнь 1930 г.

History of edits (Latest: Shadowmaks 1 year, 3 months ago) §

From this observation evolved Professor There­min’s extraordinary musical instrument, now usually called in English the there- min. The theremin was completely unique when it began to be popularized around 1928, and it remains unique today. It is the only musical instrument, before or since, played without being touched. It is the only musical instrument, before or since, with not a single moving part (on a macroscopic level) save the speaker diaphragm that moves the air. For those not already familiar with it, a brief description:

In its standard form, the theremin consists of a box con­taining electronic parts. From this box rise two antennae. One is usually an upright rod; the other often a looped anten­na. A wire from the box leads to a separate amplifier and loudspeaker. The player, standing before the two antennae, holds one hand in proximity to the upright antenna, and the other in proximity to the loop. The loop controls the volume. The closer the hand is to the loop, the louder will be the tone. Pull the hand far enough away and the sound stops entirely; gradually bring it closer and a swell or crescendo will be heard. The upright antenna controls the sounding pitch. The closer the hand, the higher the pitch (this need not be so, but it is the standard arrangement). Holding the hand farther away and slowly moving it closer produces a continuous ascending glissando. The instrument thus has a natural affinity for extreme portamento, and much of the art of playing consists in learning to move the hand quickly and smartly to the right position for the desired pitch. There is no anchor or reference point to help one find the spot; only the expanse of space. The tone quality may vary from one instrument to the next, but generally is close to a simple sine wave tone. Considering both tone quality and the affinity for portamento, the sound is often compared to that of the musical saw.

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