Meaning of theremin in English:


Pronunciation /ˈθɛrəmɪn/


  • An electronic musical instrument in which the tone is generated by two high-frequency oscillators and the pitch controlled by the movement of the performer's hand towards and away from the circuit.

    ‘Natalia plays these novelty instruments, including Austrian cowbells, the theremin, the toy piano and the musical saw.’
    • ‘The theremin is believed to have been the first electronic musical instrument, and it features in many of Miklos Rosza's scores.’
    • ‘They meet up in Torino without much of a plan and immerse themselves in the studio with traditional rock instruments plus a bunch of theremins and glockenspiels.’
    • ‘Out of the corner of my eye I saw a dozen musicians climb on stage with no less than 15 instruments, including bass trombone, accordion, pedal steel guitar, saw and theremin!’
    • ‘The theremin was the first electronic instrument, invented by Leon Theremin in the 1920s and still played today.’
    • ‘It's actually one of their most solid, cohesive releases, immediately illustrating that the band's utilization of theremin, marimba, banjo, musical saw, and bass clarinet was never a gimmick, but rather a means to an end.’
    • ‘The theremin is a music instrument you play without touching.’
    • ‘The final portion of the song is its shining moment, a powerful distorted guitar and the pounding piano provide a strong backdrop for a shrieking theremin.’
    • ‘So we had a very satisfying jam, with bass guitar, theremin and a drum kit minus sticks and cymbals.’
    • ‘The song picks up for its coda, breaking into a steady waltz beneath cleanly strummed guitars and theremin.’
    • ‘Hermann's score uses not one but two theremins.’
    • ‘As neat an instrument as the theremin is, some of its mystique vanishes when you first hear a musical saw; the two don't produce the exact same sound, but it's remarkably close.’
    • ‘And then they use a theremin to get things really spooky.’
    • ‘The theremin has the potential to be the electric guitar of this generation.’
    • ‘The album featured a liberal use of theremin, glockenspiel and organ; its far-off vibe could be bombastic and quaint, earthy and robotic at the same time.’
    • ‘It combines live didgeridoo, bass theremin and hand drums with electronic sequences and loops.’
    • ‘The theremin brought a real originality to the mix.’
    • ‘They will be joined on guitar, organ and theremin by Nick Larkins.’
    • ‘Although commercially made theremins had been available since the late 1920s, it was not until 1944 that one of the instruments found its way onto the soundtrack of a Hollywood film.’
    • ‘He started out making theremins (which he still produces) and a decade later introduced his first line of electronic synthesisers, the Moog Modular.’


Early 20th century named after Lev Theremin (1896–1993), its Russian inventor.