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 Forum index » Instruments and Equipment » Theremin
In memory of Bob Moog and the theremin
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hypnotique



Joined: Apr 17, 2005
Posts: 17
Location: UK

PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2005 6:48 am    Post subject: In memory of Bob Moog and the theremin Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Would any of us be playing the theremin were it not for the fourty years of dedicated work by Dr. Bob Moog? Almost invariably not. Although Steve Martin's documentary 'Theremin: An Electronic Oddity' wheted the public's fascination, it was Moog's theremins - from the early Melodia through to the mass-produced Etherwave - the most played theremin model in the world - through to the over-ambition MIDI theremin project Ethervox (it's few owners that there are love them!), and the absolutely lovely Ethewave Pro (or the 'parking meter' as I like to call it) - the next 'hit' in the theremin series and winner of a design award I think.

Moog made theremins as a boy in the 1950s - his early clients included Raymond Scott. He always loved the theremin and came back to make them again in the 1990s. The man genuinally LOVED theremins and was even known to drive to customers houses to repair their instruments!! Moog aspired to always be making better and better instruments - and I do hope that Moog Music are able to continue this tradition still, but if not, hopefully his work will inspire another small company to take up the matle for continuous professional theremin building.

It was a great priviledge to demo the Etherwave Pro in Demark last year to a mighty congregation of Moog fans. I'll never forget walking down the red carpet to the squat-cum-warehouse that was the venue with Bob as local lads were spraypainting graffiti on the wall! (the building was about to be demolished) - a strange greeting for a legend!

This is the end of an era. Bob was one of the true innovators who changed a major part of the late twentieth century by changing the sounds we heard around us. When I wrote about Jean-Jacques Perrey and Bob Moog for my university dissertation, who would have thought that five years later I would count both these innovative men among my friends. Bob may have described himself as 'just an electronics geek', which shows just quite how modest and humourous Moog could be - Moog made geeks COOL.


Thanks Bob for inspiring me, for your talents, generosity and time you've given to all of your customers over the years. Long may Moog Music continue! Bob's gone to the big synth-maker in the sky - there will be an electric storm tonight!

Bob Moog interview & music show:
http://www.switchedonradio.co.uk


Susi

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EdisonRex
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Joined: Mar 07, 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2007 4:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Dr. Moog left a fairly good legacy, though.

Probably the biggest problem with a theremin is that practicing the technique of getting fast semitones (accurately) limits artistry to people who really understand the technique. And I think that the technique is easier taught than self-taught.

My 12 year old is learning cello, and theremin. He has a program of instruction for the cello, which, arguably, is as rational and understandable as the theremin. His cello teacher is fascinated by the theremin, but he has no idea how to teach it, so as my son gets better at cello, he still just messes around with the theremin.

I have the same problem. I've watched the Moog instructionals, read up on what I can, but it is a difficult stretch. There does not seem to be a normal or standard way to approach the relationship of finger control to pitch.

Yes, I know how the instrument works. But I'm just thinking that it would be easier with a proper exercise book. I have never seen one, though.

(sorry be being a forum noob blasting in)
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mosc
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2007 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Don't worry about busting in.

I think you bring up something very important. Kip Rosser has a methodolgy for teaching people to play the Theremin. Maybe someday he'll document it.

Still, I think there is something special with people that can play a Theremin, or any other instrument for that matter. It seem we are born with certain aptitudes.

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Gordon Charlton



Joined: Oct 07, 2006
Posts: 75
Location: UK

PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2007 8:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

EdisonRex,

You might look at Carolina Eyck's The Art of Playing the Theremin, available from her website, at

http://www.carolina-eyck.de/ENGLISH/method.html

Also Victor Estrada has made a method book available online as a pdf. here The associated midi files are here.

Note - Victor Estrada's book is in Spanish.


Alternatively, you might consider private tuition. Miss Hypnotique offers lessons. She is based in Nottingham. Also the world class player Lydia Kavina has recently moved to the UK and offers lessons. She is based in Abingdon. I know she is also arranging to host a master class in London soonish, but do not have details. You can contact her via her website.

As another option I am arranging a Theremin Symposium at the Purcell School of Music in Bushey (near Watford Herts.) over the last weekend of July. Watch out for announcements at http://theremin.org.uk, http://thereminworld.com and my mySpace site: http://myspace.com/beatfrequencyuk.



Incidentally, the UK's most promising classical thereminist, Charlie Draper, is 16 years old. I thought you might be interested. http://www.myspace.com/charliedraper.

Another thought - you might also be interested to follow Jen Hammaker's blog http://thereminjen.wordpress.com/ - she has just gone back to school to learn the theremin - in the absence of a theremin teacher she is being taught everything but technique by a violin teacher, which seems a sensible arrangement.


Hope some of this is helpful. Theremin
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EdisonRex
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2007 10:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Gordon, that is a collection of excellent references. Thanks for that.
I am in NW London. Unfortunately I already know I shall be out of the country during the last week of July. But I'll look into the other references.

Thank you very much indeed for the pointers!
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