Somewhere Over the Rainbow on a Theremin

The Theremin is an electronic musical instrument controlled without physical contact by the thereminist (performer). It is named after the Westernized name of its Soviet inventor, Léon Theremin, who patented the device in 1928. The instrument’s controlling section usually consists of two metal antennas that sense the relative position of the thereminist’s hands and control oscillators for frequency with one hand, and amplitude (volume) with the other. The electric signals from the Theremin are amplified and sent to a loudspeaker. Somewhere Over the Rainbow was written by Harold Arlen for the 1939 MGM classic The Wizard of Oz. It is widely believed to be the most loved and enduring popular song of the 20th century. It is played here on the 1929 RCA Theremin that once belonged to the late Hollywood thereminist, Dr. Samuel Hoffman.

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