3D50.30 - Theremin

Code Number:
Demo Title:
Variable Pitch Electronic Circuit
Area of Study:
Theremin Unit, Radio Shack Amplifier Speaker, and VHS Video Tape: "Theremin - An Electronic Odyssey."

Video Credit: Jonathan M. Sullivan-Wood.

The Moog Theremin unit has two antenna.  The curved one is for volume control and the straight one is for pitch control.  You can also adjust the pitch, waveform, and brightness using the controls in the front.  This unit also has the ability to control other devices using the outputs located on the bottom of the unit. 

Plug the Theremin unit into the amplifier speaker.  Turn the speaker volume way up and adjust the tuning capacitor on the Theremin until a high frequency pitch is heard.  Now as your hand is brought near the antenna the pitch should change.  With much practice tunes may be played.

  • Nick Holonyak, "Theremin Oscillators and Oscillations", AJP, Vol. 67, #5, May 1999, p. 369. 
  • Kenneth D. Skeldon et al., "Physics of the Theremin", AJP, Vol. 66, #11, Nov. 1998, p. 945.
  • Yaakov Kraftmakher, "7.7. Metal Detection and the Theremin", Experiments and Demonstrations in Physics, ISBN 981-256-602-3, p. 455.
  • "Theremin: An Electric Odyssey", Discover - The World of Science Magazine, Dec. 1998, p. 52.
  • Jake Rothman, "Simple Theremin".
  • Paul Noel, "Optical Theremin Instruction Manual", AAPT Summer Meeting 2018.

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