It’s the instrument that was the first real electronic music product. And it’s the reason we even know the name Bob Moog – as it inspired Moog to go into electronics and the sale of electronic musical instruments.

So, when the Theremin is the subject of a video by Bob Moog himself, it’s a big deal. You’ll have to settle for early-90s video quality, but you’ll be treated to the dulcet tones of Dr. Moog’s New York baritone narration of Theremin history, followed by an enchanting and pretty-darn-technically-good performance on the Russian electronic invention.

Thanks to Chris Stack and experimentalsynth for sending this along. Chris writes:

Many years before going to work for Moog Music as marketing manager I was a printed circuit board designer. I met Bob Moog in Asheville and wound up doing the PCB design work on his Multi-Touch Keyboard project. Around this time, Bob hosted a presentation called “New Vistas 91”, a look at some then current happenings in avant garde electronic music.

Bob was gracious enough to let me record the presentation on my then new Video 8 camera. The tape was lost for decades, but recently found and digitized. Unfortunately the audio and video quality is not great, but I feel this is very interesting from a historical perspective, and I offer it as such.

Enjoy,

Chris Stack

That PCB itself is an interesting story, but I’ll save that – and some of what Chris is up to musically – for another day.

Here via the Moog Foundation (and Moog Music) are early and later images of Dr. Moog at the instrument that changed not just history, but his history.

moog_theremin_1

bob351b

Bob playing theremin '52_1

  • Chris Stack

    The theremin has been ID’d as a Big Briar Series 91 Model C. The music is a piece written for the theremin by Joseph Schillinger.

  • Chris Stack

    The theremin has been ID’d as a Big Briar Series 91 Model C. The music is a piece written for the theremin by Joseph Schillinger.

  • Chris Stack

    The theremin has been ID’d as a Big Briar Series 91 Model C. The music is a piece written for the theremin by Joseph Schillinger.

  • lala

    its an awful instrument, to hard to control, hurts you physically when playing it. its out of tune all the time, and i don’t like the vibrato.
    I guess people liked it because it was futuristic to wave your arms in the air, and the vibrato reminded them of an drunk opera singer …

  • lala

    its an awful instrument, to hard to control, hurts you physically when playing it. its out of tune all the time, and i don’t like the vibrato.
    I guess people liked it because it was futuristic to wave your arms in the air, and the vibrato reminded them of an drunk opera singer …

  • lala

    its an awful instrument, to hard to control, hurts you physically when playing it. its out of tune all the time, and i don’t like the vibrato.
    I guess people liked it because it was futuristic to wave your arms in the air, and the vibrato reminded them of an drunk opera singer …

  • Ste

    What gene am I missing that I cannot appreciate a theremin at all – like absolutely not a tiny little bit?

  • Ste

    What gene am I missing that I cannot appreciate a theremin at all – like absolutely not a tiny little bit?

  • Ste

    What gene am I missing that I cannot appreciate a theremin at all – like absolutely not a tiny little bit?