One of the strangest musical instruments in existance, and one of the first electronic musical instruments, is the legendary theremin. Invented by the Russian physiscist Léon Theremin, it uses the proximity of the player's hands to two controlling antennae to vary the pitch and the volume of the tone. The result is an eerie, etherial sound, perfectly suited to 1950s science fiction movies.
Robert Moog, the inventor of the Moog synthisizer, began building his own theremins as a high school student in the '50s, and the company he founded still sells pre-built theremins and theremin kits.
Game and Story Use
- Any Mad Scientist with an interest in music might own a theremin; probably one he built himself.
- Or any musician with an interest in Mad Science.
- Theremin music, such as the soundtrack from The Day the Earth Stood Still, would make good background music for a '50s-era science fiction campaign.