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Moog Music Etherwave Theremin

People tend to associate the theremin with macabre sound effects-when they think of it at all-because of how Hollywood film-score masters employed it to enhance the dark psychological subtext of movies like Alfred Hitchcock’s Spellbound, Billy Wilder’s The Lost Weekend and Robert Wise’s The Day the Earth Stood Still. A distant cousin to the modern synthesizer, the theremin is the first true electronic instrument, and it has held a deep fascination for me as long as I can remember.

Dr. Robert Moog, whose innovative voltage-controlled synthesizer, the Minimoog Model D, helped revolutionized rock, classical and jazz-fusion, has been building theremins as a hobby since 1954. And for the past several years he has been producing both a professional Ethervox MIDI theremin, and an affordable, eminently playable commercial version, the Moog Music Etherwave theremin. It’s retrofitted to mount on a standard microphone stand and comes with two fascinating VHS instructional tapes, Mastering the Theremin with Lydia Kavina and Clara Rockmore: The Greatest Theremin Virtuosa-at $449 list.

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