A man from Santa Fe, New Mexico bought a theremin off e-Bay. If you’ve never seen a theremin, you’ve undoubtedly heard one. One of the first electronic instruments, and the only instrument played without touching, the theremin makes eerie, ethereal music, the kind that creates uncertainty and suspense in movie sound tracks. Robert Moog, creator of the electric synthesizer, called the theremin “a vital cornerstone of our contemporary music technology.”
When his theremin arrived, our contributor was excited to find an unusual document tacked to the inside of the cabinet. The letterhead paper bore the address to the Theremin Studios in New York City.
Does our contributor have one of the fewer than a dozen instruments in the U.S. that Leon Theremin built himself?
History Detectives travels to the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts in Katonah, New York to consult with experts and find out whether this strange instrument helped spark a rock n’ roll revolution.
- Also in Depression and WWII: 1929-1945 World War II Leaflets How did this scrap of paper help change the course of World War II?
- Related Investigation Josh White Guitar What role did this guitar play in the transformation of the music industry in the 1960's?
- Related Investigation Grace Kelly Car Is this the car driven by an actress turned princess, which would give it a place in cinematic history?
- Also with Elyse Luray Independence Trumpet Is a Pennsylvania man's trumpet somehow tied to the Revolutionary War?
- Also with Elyse Luray Lincoln Letter Does this cryptic letter reveal Abraham Lincoln's secret strategy for winning political power?
- Also with Elyse Luray Front Street Blockhouse Did this unassuming house protect an American colony from attack almost 300 years ago?
This is a place for opinions, comments, questions and discussion; a place where viewers of History Detectives can express their points of view and connect with others who value history. We ask that posters be polite and respectful of all opinions. History Detectives reserves the right to delete comments that don’t conform to this conduct. We will not respond to every post, but will do our best to answer specific questions, or address an error.