The Theremin is a very strange instrument that was built in 1919 by Russian Leon Theremin. This instrument was one of the first instruments that could be played solely by not touching the instrument at all. It usually has two antennas. One controls pitch, and the other controls volume. The person playing this instrument simply waves their hands in front of the antennas and it will change the output sound. This is very similar to a tv channel going in and out of signal as a person walks around an old TV rabbit ears. A theremin has two different radio frequencies that are combined. You change one of them when you move your hand close to an antenna. It operates on the same concept of the recent DIY Metal Detector that I wrote on. You can read more about the history of the Theremin at Wikipedia.
I found a good picture that explains the theory behind a Theremin.
You may ask yourself, have you ever heard a theremin played before? Well, I am sure many of us have watched the original Star Trek (Yes, I am a trekkie ). The opening song uses a Theremin. There is also rumor that the Beach Boys used a Theremin in the song Good Vibrations. The truth is that they could not find a theremin. They instead used a similar instrument called a Tannerin. If you want to hear a theremin in action, you can go to carolina-eyck.de. It is amazing to see her play this thing. Another site is thereminworld.com/sounds.asp
Now another question, is where do I get one? The answer to that is obvious. You build your own. Oldtemecula.com has a theremin that you can build completely using Radio Shack parts.
This theremin outputs a sin wave from 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz. This site also has several other projects that people have built.
Now you may also want to be nostalgic and build an original RCA tube driven Theremin. I found this via Makezine. [via][Link]
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