the·​re·​min | \ ˈther-ə-mən How to pronounce theremin (audio) \

Definition of theremin

: a purely melodic electronic musical instrument typically played by moving the hands in the electromagnetic fields surrounding two projecting antennae

Examples of theremin in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Before the moon landing, movie music for space travel mostly dealt in fantasy as well, whether with Wagnerian bombast or ghostly theremin. Tim Greiving, Los Angeles Times, "Hollywood Bowl concert goes to outer space, from ‘The Planets’ to ‘First Man’," 15 Aug. 2019 While there are few theremin players, Sussman said the instrument has stood the test of time due to its popularity in music and film. Anthony Clark Carpio,, "Get a close encounter with a theremin at the Buena Vista Library," 14 June 2019 Last year’s , starring Ryan Gosling as astronaut Neil Armstrong, offers a fictional interpretation of the first moon landing, but the real scene-stealer was a theremin. Tim Fernholz, Quartz, "The best Apollo 11 content to read, watch, and experience," 19 July 2019 As opposed to a traditional horror score with sweeping orchestrations and a bit of theremin, this show's music relies instead on minimalistic electronic arrangements to further lean into its offbeat ethos. Nathan Mattise, Ars Technica, "HBO’s Los Espookys will make you want to be a horror technician, too," 14 June 2019 Concert Atop the Crypts: Divine Hand Ensemble The Divine Hand Ensemble takes advantage of the haunting backdrop of the historical Laurel Hill Cemetery to perform music on the iconically sci-fi instrument, the theremin., "Carrie Underwood, Celebration of Black Arts and other great events in Philadelphia, June 29-July 6," 28 June 2018 Friction Quartet with Thorwald Jørgensen Jørgensen, theremin. Chronicle Staff Report, San Francisco Chronicle, "Classical music and dance listings," 10 May 2018 There’s one singer, Clinton Curtis; many vocal lines are given to the theremin (played by Rob Schimmer), not a Beatles instrument but one whose weird sonority adds its own layer of drama. Alastair Macaulay, New York Times, "Review: Mark Morris’s Lonely Hearts Club Band," 22 June 2018 He's also got Bob Moog's personal MemoryMoog Synthesizer, a bargain struck after Moog couldn't deliver on a theremin promised Mothersbaugh while the electronics firm worked out the kinks. John Wenz, Popular Mechanics, "Take a Tour Through Mark Mothersbaugh's Synth Collection," 3 Feb. 2015

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'theremin.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of theremin

1927, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for theremin

modification of Russian termen-voks from Lev Sergeevich Termen (Léon Thérémin) †1993 Russian engineer & inventor + Latin vox voice

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Time Traveler for theremin

Time Traveler

The first known use of theremin was in 1927

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Cite this Entry

“Theremin.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 12 December 2019.

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a period of high artistic development

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