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Play Google’s Theremin for Clara Rockmore’s 105th Birthday

March 9, 2016

The first queen of the Theremin, Clara Rockmore (1911-1998) would have been 105 years old today. To celebrate this birthday, the occasionally free-time-having people at Google have gifted us with a playable Theremin web app as today’s Google Doodle.

Your cursor’s left-right position on the interactive Doodle determines the pitch, while the up/down position controls volume. You can also select the sound’s key, scale, octave and choose between a couple of waveforms.

Rockmore, of course, played the real thing, and on her way to becoming the best-known Theremin player, she even influenced inventor Léon Theremin’s design, convincing him to make it more responsive and five octaves instead of three.

Check out Electronic Musician’s profile on Clara Rockmore from 2006.

We have also published Lydia Kavina's fundamentals of theremin technique, a lesson from another Theremin virtuoso and Léon Theremin’s own daughter.

Lastly, we have a DIY guide to building the EM Theremin from Dr. Bob Moog himself.

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