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An electronic instrument played by moving the hands near its two antennas, often used for high tremolo effects.

[After Leo Theremin (1896-1993), Russian engineer and inventor.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(Instruments) an electronic musical instrument, played by moving the hands through electromagnetic fields created by two metal rods
[C20: named after Leon Theremin (1896-1993), Russian scientist who invented it]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈθɛr ə mɪn)

a musical instrument with electronic tone generation, the pitch and tone volume being controlled by the distance between the player's hands and two metal rods serving as antennas.
[1925–30; after Leo Theremin (b. 1896), Russian inventor]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.theremin - an electronic musical instrument; melodies can be played by moving the right hand between two rods that serve as antennas to control pitch; the left hand controls phrasing
electronic instrument, electronic musical instrument - a musical instrument that generates sounds electronically
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
According to Heller, Baxter compiled music--some from studio outtakes of recording sessions--to create his "TV special." The compilation includes, among other elements, a recording of Richard Rodgers' "Lover," "Ruby" (Heller informs that this recording features Beverly Ford's voice and not a theremin), "Quiet Village," "Love Is A Many-Splendored Thing," and "Chopsticks."
"My whole life is sound," she avows, proving this by playing not only a series of conventional percussion instruments--the humble snare drum is her avowed favorite--but railings, tubes, buildings, detritus from a pub table and even a walkie-talkie, which sounds, in her hands, uncannily like a Theremin.
The haunting theme tune is rerecorded for every episode using an unusual instrument called a theremin, invented in Russia in 1919 by physicist Leon Theremin.
Apart from drums, trombone and guitar you are also likely to witness bagpipes and the little-heard theremin alongside Dunmall's sax and clarinet.
Cartoon sounds and Lawrence Welk licks soften the jungle aggression of "Think What You're Doing," while theremin wails give "Light from a Different Sun" an otherworldly glow.
My thanks to Stefan Czapsky, whose cinematography has summoned up these visions; to the production designer, Tom Duffield, who gave form to the delirium; and to Howard Shore for his music, appropriately scored for the sci-fi swoops of a theremin, plus savage, pulsating bongos.
The Untouchable Instrument is the title of the evening's entertainment, which features the Cyprus Symphony Orchestra alongside theremin soloist ThE[sup.1]rwald Jorgensen -- the theremin, of course, being the untouchable instrument.
There's a spooky Theremin, an electric screwdriver, and, on the song My Stupid Face, the Bullring shopping centre!
English music is featured in the four Delius Violin Sonatas played by Suzanne Stenzeleit with Gustav Fenyo, recorded in 1964, and Mark Fitzgerald has restored another film score by Shostakovitch, this time of the 1934 The Gilrfriends, which uses there mysterious sound of the Theremin. Salute to Spain and Rule Britannia, music for stage productions, and an unfinished symphonic movement complete this record of unknown but worthy Shostakovitch played by the Polish National Radio Orchestra.
There's an accompanying book written by Brend (published by Backbeat Books, pounds 16.95) exploring some of the most weird and wonderful crannies of pop history, essaying such gloriously oddball instruments as the theremin and the stylophone.
Think Robyn Hitchcock backed by a theremin and a hurdy-gurdy and you'll get the idea.
3 LON CHANGELY A former noisician and theremin devotee known mainly for his vast, compressed internal landscapes in the late '80s and early '90s, Changely has reemerged in the field of sculpture.